What is it?
Rotary Youth Exchange is a 12 month program which provides secondary school students with the opportunity to travel abroad, live with 3-4 host families, and experience life first hand in a different country, school, and social environment. Exchange students will gain lifelong advantages through an expanded world view and greater appreciation of the world. Students will be sponsored by an Australian Rotary Club and hosted by a Rotary Club abroad.
Where can I go?
The availability of countries varies from year to year. In the past, Rotary District 9500 has exchanged with countries including: Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. There is no guarantee that of a place in your chosen country – it is at the discretion of the District Committee.
Who can apply?
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is open to secondary school students who are in good health and aged between 15 and under 18 on departure. You must be an Australian citizen to participate in the program. Ideally you will be an enthusiastic outgoing individual who can capably act as a good ambassador for Australia within the international environment, capable of adjusting to new and strange conditions. Participants are selected solely on merit; sons and daughters of Rotarians are eligible to participate but receive no special preference in selection. Students going abroad (and their parents) are required to sign a Guarantee form and a Code of Conduct to accept the conditions of the Exchange.
Students participating in the program will depart in January and return in January of the following year. Applications close in March each year for exchange in the following year. This date changes from year to year and even if you think you may be late, it’s worth inquiring. Interviews are held by the local Rotary Club in April and by the District Committee in May. Successful applicants and their parents attend briefing sessions usually held in August and December.
The Exchange fee will be around $8000 which includes
- return airfare ex Adelaide to the host country, which includes visa and entry costs
- blazer, polo shirt, rugby top, business cards and photographs
- an administration cost, covering out-of pocket expenses of the program administrators, briefing sessions for the participants, parents and counsellors
Additional essential costs include a valid Australian passport and a refundable (unused portion only) “Emergency Fund” of $AUD400 to be deposited with the Host Rotary Club. There may be costs associated with language schools and vaccinations.
While this cost may seem high, keep in mind that the normal costs of supporting a school student for a year (school fees, food, etc.) may approach this figure anyway.
How do I apply?
David Johnston Chairman Youth Exchange Program
Rotary Club of Port Lincoln