How to become an Exchange Student?


arrow»What we do and who we are?
»How to become an exchange student?
»Where can I go?


arrowAttend an information session during the fall in your geographical Rotary District. Visit “your” district’s webpage for date, time and registration to attend. (Some district require you to attend with your parents). Find your District



arrowThe application deadline each year is November 1st, for the following school year.  Application forms become available around September 1st on this website – please plan 3-4 weeks to complete the application. The application process is very extensive, and includes one or more interviews. View Application



Rotary Youth Exchange is for high school aged students who are interested in living and studying abroad for one year. Its goal is to promote the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace at the person to person level.

What is Rotary Youth Exchange…?

  1. Opportunity to learn a new culture and language
  2. Opportunity to be an ambassador
  3. Opportunity to make friends for a lifetime
  4. It’s a year of adventure
  5. Our returned students call it “The best year of my life”
  6. Hear from a Rotary Youth Exchange alumni, in their own words,on how to become an exchange student

Quick Overview…

It is not a vacation…instead it’s a cultural and academic exchange that lasts a full school year(11-12 months.) While on exchange you will have the opportunity to learn the language and culture of your host country.

While in your host country you will attend school, be hosted by families (normally 3-4 )and be supported by your Rotary club and Rotary counselor (as well as Rotarians here in the USA/Canada.)

Where can I go?

We exchange with over 40 countries, including:

Australia Japan Croatia Norway  
Thailand India Hungary Singapore  
France Brazil Denmark Latvia  
Spain Germany Estonia Taiwan  
Sweden Mexico Greece Turkey  
Belgium Argentina Italy Switzerland  
Zambia Poland Korea Lithuania  
Finland Chile Peru Paraguay and more!

When applying, you indicate which countries interest you the most–and we attempt to place you in one of them. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our program we can not guarantee that you will be placed in a specific country.

Why Rotary?

Rotary Youth Exchange is one of the largest, oldest and most respected Youth Exchange Programs.

Key reasons to consider Rotary include:

  • Orientation/training process before you leave
  • Hosted by a Rotary Club and Host Families
  • Activities with Rotary/Rotarians
  • Low Cost / Everyone is a volunteer

Do I Qualify?

Key Qualifications:

  • Must be a good student (top half of class)
  • Between 16 and 18 1/2 years old at the time of departure

How much does it cost?

  • Airfare depends on country (and is higher than you might expect because of specific ticket requirements)
  • Insurance / orientation / blazer
  • Possibly language school/extra insurance in your host country
  • Passport and visa
  • Pins, presents, photos
  • Spending money / extra trips in your host country/ souvenirs

For most students the cost of the year is between $5,000 – $8,000 ($6,500 – $10,000 $CAD) although this is very much dependent on your spending habits while on exchange.

This does not include what your parents save while you are gone (food, car insurance, etc.)

Rotary provides:

  • Host families and school
  • Monthly allowance
  • And often lots of extras…

Getting Ready

Rotary International has prepared a Primer for Exchange Students that is a good introduction to the many things that you need to do to prepare for your year as an exchange student. Please download and review the primer as soon as you have been accepted into the program.

More Info…

For more information, contact your local Rotary Club’s Youth Exchange Officer or visit the Districts section of this website to determine which District you live and get the appropriate contact information.

Links and Resources

Rotary International

Rotary International Youth Exchange

North American Youth Exchange Network

YEO Resources

Rotary Youth Exchange logo