What are Short Term Exchanges?

Exchanges usually take place during the long summer break from school but one leg could be at Easter or Christmas, if so wished – this is often the case when the partner is from a Southern Hemisphere Country. Remember that mid summer is in December in the southern hemisphere so students from that area of the world might want to travel in their long summer break from school and experience Christmas with a difference……for them that is. It has the attraction that a longer stay in each country can be managed, too.

Short-term exchanges involve spending 2 weeks or more staying with an exchange partner in their family home and exploring a different country, another culture, and possibly another language, and then hosting the same exchange partner in your home for a similar period. This often operates with the visitor coming to your home in Britain or Ireland first.

Am I eligible?

  • You are 15-17 years old.
  • You agree to host your exchange partner in your home for 3-4 weeks.
  • Your school will give you a good character reference

I am younger than 15, what about me?

Register your Interest now and this will allow Rotary a year or more ahead to make sure you get your first choice of countries.

Where can I go?

The world is your oyster …. well, almost; there are Rotary Clubs in about 170 countries and most of them are certified by Rotary International to take part in the Short Term Exchange Programme. Not all countries participate every year but the UK and Ireland are very popular destinations so we will do our best to arrange an exchange with your chosen country.

What is Rotary Certification?

Rotary International have established standards to ensure the health, welfare and general protection of our students wherever they are. 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, the District is granted certification to take part in the Youth exchange programmes. Rotary International carries out regular audits to ensure Districts continued compliance.

Is it necessary to be able to speak a foreign language?

No! The programme is cultural in nature but is also for a short period of time. Many countries throughout the world teach English as a second language and exchange students from non English speaking countries are usually proficient in speaking our language but you can always choose to exchange with the USA or another English speaking country. However, if you are studying a foreign language in high school and you exchange to a country that speaks that language, you will be able to greatly improve your conversational ability and possibly your examination grades.

What does it cost?

You are responsible for the cost of your travel. You must also take out an insurance policy which is acceptable to Rotary in the host country. You must obtain a passport, a visa (if required) and provide your own spending money for the duration of the exchange. 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. 

Your parents need to take into account the cost of having your exchange partner as a guest in your home for 3-4 weeks and the additional expenditure of excursions you might make with them or events to which you might take them.

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 parts of the world 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.

What’s the next step?

Complete a Registration of Interest (before 1st January) and someone from Rotary will soon contact you to discuss your exchange options. On receipt of your registration the National Coordinator for the programme(s) you are interested in, with your District and Club Youth Exchange Officer will start making enquiries from our opposite numbers in your preferred destination. We are rarely unsuccessful as UK & Ireland are probably the most popular destination for Exchange candidates from other countries.

If you have any more questions then Contact Us

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