Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange Program (YEP)

Each year thousands of young people worldwide are given an opportunity to experience the cultures and accomplishments of people in other countries.

During your exchange, you will grow considerably in self-confidence, tolerance and self-reliance.

You’ll also learn to accept greater responsibility in your everyday life.

You will have to adapt to unfamiliar and different surroundings and ways of life that are different from home.

For some this will be the first extended period of separation from their family. This will bring about many trials and tribulations which you will need to overcome and by so doing develop many “survival skills”.

To live away from home for the 50 weeks duration of the exchange is a demanding yet rewarding experience. It is not always smooth sailing and requires a great strength of character, tolerance and an understanding of the acceptance personal responsibility.

The exchange provides a unique opportunity for young Australians to experience at first hand the many cultures of a different country, a new way of life and in some instances another language. Often, the friendships they make will be life long and important in achieving the aims of the exchange – the building of goodwill and understanding between countries.

As a Rotary Youth Exchange you’ll have:

  • An opportunity to develop your personal self confidence and maturity
  • An opportunity to develop a lifetime of international friendships
  • An opportunity to develop a real understanding of many different cultures
  • An opportunity to develop new language skills
  • An opportunity to develop a base for future education and career goals
  • An opportunity to develop in many ways

Important dates

The closing date for applications for Rotary Youth Exchange is in March of the year prior to departure. Always check this with your local Rotary District.opportunity to develop new language skills
February 2016 – Applications are now open.

Exchange Destinations

Rotary Youth Exchange Australia maintains hosting arrangements with over 30 countries worldwide.
Your Australian host District 9600 can provide you with a list of countries available for Exchange.

Frequent Host Countries

Countries Australian Rotary Clubs frequently host with include:

Argentina Austria Belgium
Brazil Canada Chile
Czech Republic Denmark Finland
France Germany Hungary
Italy Japan Mexico
Netherlands Norway Poland
South Africa South Korea Spain
Sweden Switzerland Taiwan
Thailand Turkey USA

Please note that not all Districts exchange with the same group of countries and options may change from year to year.

Students have the opportunity to nominate a preferred country of exchange available to that District. However, as there are limited places in any one country, a preparedness to accept an exchange in any of the other available countries is necessary.

The District committee decides the final country of destination.

Program Costs

The total cost of your Exchange varies depending on the country of Exchange, your departure location and your personal budget.

The cost of a Rotary Exchange also varies between each District (see to the right) around Australia. To get a more detailed idea of the costs of an Exchange from your local Rotary District, use the District locator to the right. Some Districts offer a package price for many of the obligatory cost items.

Below is a broad outline of costs, to give you a general idea.

The student’s natural parents or guardian provide for all of the following costs:

  • An administration fee
  • Return airfare, as arranged by Rotary, to the country of exchange
  • Personal insurance, as defined by Rotary International
  • Internal travel in overseas country including Rotary organised tours
  • Day to day living expenses of the student, postage, phone calls, personal items, clothing, footwear etc.
  • A small emergency fund (redeemable at conclusion of exchange, if unused)

Rotary provides:

  • Rotary approved host families who provide a family environment for the student
  • Schooling and the payment of normal school fees and expenses
  • A monthly allowance of approximately $100 to the student
  • A student counselor, both here and in the host country
  • Back up support and counseling for the family of the student

Amounts vary but we suggest you allow approximately $5,000 to $10,000 for additional expenses throughout the year.

Naturally, you have to consider these amounts against what it normally costs to keep you for 12 months living at home.

Application Process

The Rotary Youth Exchange program is open to Australian high school students who are between the ages of 15 and 18 at the date of departure (mid-January in each year). Please note that some countries may have lower age limits.

All applicants and their parents are interviewed by your local District Youth Exchange committee. Successful applicants who progress through the initial interview are then asked to complete a more comprehensive final application. Your local Youth Exchange committee then nominates successful applicants to an overseas District committee for their consideration.

This official application provides the following details for a potential host Rotary club:

  • Personal particulars and background
  • General information relating to the applicant
  • Applicant’s school activities
  • Principal’s report
  • Medical and dental reports
  • Endorsement of sponsoring Rotary club and district
  • Guarantee form signed by applicant and parents
  • Parental/guardian release form

How are students prepared for the exchange?

The District committee arranges training in a wide range of areas.

These include personal development, public speaking, communication skills, cultural awareness and financial management. This is to prepare the student as much as is possible for the exchange year. Parents are required to be involved in this training and therefore gain an appreciation of the many issues, which will confront the student during the year.

For Youth Exchange FAQs & Program Rules please click here

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