If you’ve participated in a Rotary Youth Exchange, you probably know that your exchange experience does not end the moment you return home. From your time abroad, you gained insight into how people from other cultures view the world, and as such, you now likely view your native culture in a different light.
For many students, the personal growth they experience on a Rotary Youth Exchange program remains with them, affecting them for the rest of their lives. Because of their exposure to the world outside of their own backyard, many students develop a lasting interest in international and global affairs. Below are a few examples of what Youth Exchange alumni have accomplished as a result of their broadened horizons:
A program alum from the United States now works at the United Nations. An alum from Canada who went to Thailand wrote a book that received national honors. Numerous alumni work in international exchange offices throughout the world. An alum from Denmark who went to Japan conducts tours in Denmark for Japanese tourists. A number of alumni have spent a portion of their university studies abroad. Countless alumni have become Global Grant Scholar, Rotaractors, and Rotarians.
Many former exchangees are active in Youth Exchange alumni or ROTEX groups. ROTEX groups comprise program alumni who have a desire to remain in contact with each other. Although not an official program of Rotary International, ROTEX serves as a social and support group for students involved in Youth Exchange.
If you are not a member of your local area’s ROTEX club, consider joining. With fellow ROTEX club members, you can share your stories of your time abroad, give advice to students planning to participate in Youth Exchange, and network with others who share similar interests.
To find a ROTEX club in your area, please contact your local Rotary club. To locate Rotary clubs in your area, please use the city search program in the Club Locator section of our site. As Rotary clubs are named after the cities in which they meet, chances are you will find a club very close to you. If, however, there is no Rotary club where you live, enter the name of the closest large city to your town.