FAQs

Am I eligible?

    • You are 16 or 17 years old when the school year starts abroad
    • Your school is prepared to recommend you to take part in the programme
    • You are capable of acting as an Ambassador for your country, your family and for Rotary

I’m older than 18, what about me?

Have a look at New Generations Service Exchange [NGSE]

How much does it cost?

You pay the fare to your destination country and the cost of an insurance policy agreeable to Rotary in the host country. Rotary can often give leads as to charities or other organisations who may offer financial assistance towards the cost of travel. Any return air ticket has to be open ended in case of an early return, for whatever reason, and this will be more expensive than a normal ticket. You may also be required to pay an administration fee, if so you will be informed very early in your application process of this cost.

In addition you will require a Rotary blazer, business cards, and pin badges to exchange with others. Along with the cost of the compulsory outbound orientation, this should not be more than £300 and help towards some of this cost may be provided by your local Rotary Club.

Each student has to take with them an emergency fund of between the equivalent €200 and €500 depending upon the requirements of the programme in the country to which they are going. This fund will be held by their host Rotary Club and, if not used for emergency purposes, returned to them at the end of their time abroad.

The host Rotary Club in your destination country provides you with up to four carefully selected host families, free meals and accommodation, free tuition, and a monthly allowance, which is set by the host country and is in the region of €50.

You pay for your passport, a visa if necessary, and you take some spending money with you.

There is a non returnable central administration charge of £25 which becomes due when you are accepted on the programme. Some Rotary Districts may charge an additional fee. Administration charges will be fully explained to you during your initial interview.

From your parents’ perspective, it can be less expensive for you to go abroad than to stay home!

What insurance will be acceptable to Rotary in the Host Country?

Rotary International have determined a minimum level of cover for Youth Exchange students (View).

There are certain countries where, for local reasons, you will be required to take their insurance. You must check with your local Youth Exchange contact before purchasing any insurance.

Where can I go?

Exchange opportunities are available throughout Europe. The countries you can exchange with are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

You are asked to choose three countries. Your preferences are taken into account during the selection process but it is not guaranteed that you will be placed in any of your chosen countries.

It is very rare for exchange students who miss out on their country choices not to enjoy their year in the country where they are placed.

Why can’t I go to Japan or the USA?

The Rotary Long Term Exchange programme runs for a full school year and is what it says, an exchange programme. In return for a foreign country hosting a student from the UK or Ireland, we are expected to host a student from that country for a full year.

Under current immigration rules, in order to be eligible to attend a state school in the UK or Ireland for more than six months, a foreign student must hold a European passport and have lived in Europe for the three years immediately before coming here. So students from countries outside the European Economic Area are unable to get a visa.

However, students who live outside of Europe but hold a European passport through someone such as a grandparent can exchange with UK or Irish students as long as the person upon whom their passport relies is still alive and living in Europe. For this reason we can occasionally exchange with countries where Europeans have emigrated but grandparents still remain in Europe. What this means in practice is that most Long Term Exchanges will be with European countries.

Please Contact Us if you wish to discuss the alternatives to LTEP for exchanging in countries outside Europe.

What’s in it for me?

Rotary Youth Exchange offer you adventure and new experiences, submerses you in new cultures, can help you to learn a new language, make new international friends, help build character and improve your confidence and maturity and give you a much broader view of the world

Taking part in the programme can add a competitive edge for a university application and you also gain skills which are attractive to employers.

What is Rotary Certification?

Rotary International have established standards to ensure the health, welfare and general protection of our students wherever they are during their year of study. Every country is split into Rotary Districts and those Districts taking part in the Youth Exchange programmes must submit their procedures for approval by Rotary International. If it is agreed that these procedures meet, or are of a higher standard than, the requirement then the District is granted certification to take part in the Youth Exchange programmes. Rotary International carries out regular audits to ensure Districts continued compliance.

Are exchanges available in my area?

Opportunities for long term exchanges may not be available in the area you live. However even if you cannot get a place in the long term programme you may be able to apply for a short term exchange or to go on a Rotary camp or tour.

What is the closing date for applications?

You must register your interest online before 31st December for exchanges starting the following August.

What’s the next step?

If you live in the UK or Ireland then submit online a Registration of Interest

If you live outside the UK or Ireland then you must contact Rotary in your own country. To find your local representative contact Rotary’s head office by emailing youthexchange@rotary.org giving your name, city and country of residence and they will be pleased to send you the name and e-mail address of your local Rotary Youth Exchange contact.

For further information or other questions Contact Us

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