Exposure to new cultures and ways of life can foster a better understanding between people from different lands. That understanding can be the foundation upon which lasting peace and harmony can someday rest. Rotary Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures, thus planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.
Students reap many rewards from an exchange experience including:
- Benefiting from immersion in another culture while adapting to a new way of life
- Improving foreign language skills in some instances
- Making lifelong friends, not only within the host country but also with other students from around the world
- Learning about the practices and accomplishments of people in other countries
- Returning home with a greater sense of the world and a deeper understanding of themselves and their culture
- Assuming leadership roles shaped by lessons from the experience
- Improving resumés for college or job applications
- Building memories that may last forever
Participants benefit their community by serving as an ambassador for their country and community.
Ideal Youth Exchange candidates are young, open-minded individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities that will enable them to become excellent cultural ambassadors for their country and the Rotary club or district that supports them. Applicants are not required to be involved with Rotary in any way before applying. Children of Rotarians are welcome to participate, but are not given any preference. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.