Who can apply for the exchange program?
Rotary’s Youth Exchange program is open to young men and women, between the ages of 15-19, sons and daughters of Rotarians AND non-Rotarians alike. Applicants are selected by a sponsoring Rotary club and district on the basis of a written application and a personal interview. Qualified applicants are academically in the upper third of their class, articulate, and demonstrate community leadership skills.
What are the different types of exchanges offered?
Exchanges usually last for an academic year, during which the student lives with more than one family and attends high school in the host country. North Star Rotary Youth Exchange does not offer a short term exchange program.
Where can I go on my exchange?
Exchanges can occur between any two countries in which there are Rotary clubs. Rotary clubs in approximately 65 countries and regions annually sponsor or host Youth Exchange students. North Star Rotary Youth Exchange currently has an exchange relationship with these countries.
How much should I expect to pay?
While room and board for the exchangee are provided by the host family, the student and the student’s own family assume certain financial obligations. The participation fee for students applying in 2012-2013 is $5,900. Included in this amount are: round-trip air transportation, orientation sessions, Rotary blazer and emblem, basic insurance, pins for exchanging, business cards, study materials, and a name badge. The host Rotary club will provide a modest monthly allowance, and will usually pay the student’s tuition for all required academic programs. A program has been established by the North Star Rotary Youth Exchange Committee to help pay part of the Youth Exchange Program fee for those students who demonstrate financial need. To obtain an application for financial assistance, after district interviews are held, a written request must be sent to the Youth Exchange Office prior to December 31. For more information about the participation fee, click: Cost of Participation memo.
Where and when do I apply?
The first step is to obtain sponsorship from your local Rotary club. Please visit the Where Clubs Meet District 5950 or Where Clubs Meet District 5960 sections of the district Web sites to find the Rotary Club nearest you. Or you may contact the North Star Rotary Youth Exchange Office: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact your local Rotary club representative and you will be advised of the club’s procedures for application. Your local Rotary Youth Exchange club exchange officer will review your application and schedule an interview for you and your parents. If you meet the requirements of a good candidate, your application will be forwarded to the Youth Exchange Office so it is received by November 9, and you will be invited to a final interview on Saturday, December 1, 2012. All interviewed candidates will receive the results of this final interview by December 22.
If you are selected to be a Rotary Exchange Student, you and your parents must attend three mandatory Outbound Orientations in 2013: January 12, February 9, and April 13, 2011. If yours is a one-parent family, only the parent with whom you live is required to attend. There may be one additional orientation session scheduled before departure. Departure to your exchange country will occur in June, July or August, 2013.
Are there any program rules?
Although Rotary International offers support to local Rotary Youth Exchange programs through publications and suggested guidelines, Rotary districts and clubs run their programs independent of Rotary International. Therefore, each club or district program will have its own specific rules for students to follow. Students accepted into the program sign and agree to abide by a list of program rules prior to their departure from home. While the hosting Rotary club will discuss all program rules with you, you and your parents may wish to review the program rules to be sure that everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected. Program rules generally consist of common-sense stipulations, such as no driving of motor vehicles and the need to obtain special permission for travel while on the exchange. Full rules can be found here.