How to apply
A life-changing experience awaits you. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Start planning early.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program is highly selective, so start planning as soon as possible. For long-term exchanges, apply nine to 12 months before you want to leave; for the short-term program, apply at least six months in advance of your departure. There are exceptions, but most exchanges to the southern hemisphere countries leave in January, while exchanges to the northern hemisphere countries leave in August. For example, if you wish to travel when you’re in 11th grade, you should apply in September of your 10th-grade year.
The reason for the early deadlines? Most sponsor Rotary clubs and districts have an extensive selection and orientation process, which helps them identify the best candidates and prepare them well for their time as Youth Exchange students.
2. Contact Rotarians in your area.
Youth Exchange is administered locally. Chances are, Rotary clubs near you are involved in the program: There are about 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Identify the club closest to you through Club Locator or your local phone listings, and find out whether a club or district has listed its website with Rotary International.
Remember that participation in Youth Exchange varies from country to country, so check with your local Rotary club for details.
If you can’t find your local club, remember that all clubs belong to a district that covers a specific region. Each district has a Youth Exchange chair whom you can contact to apply.
3. Fill out an application.
After you’ve gotten in touch with your local Rotary club or your district Youth Exchange chair, Rotarians from your area will supply a preliminary application for you to fill out. If that application is accepted, candidates usually complete a full application, go through a series of interviews, and occasionally take a test.
Your district chair and local Rotary club will help guide you through the application and interview process.