EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE!

We have been connecting students and families across the world since 1929

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BUILD LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS

Rotary believes that cultivating empathy and understanding is an effective way to build bridges among nations and cross cultural, racial, and religious divides. With this goal in mind, we have been organising live-in experiences across the globe for the past sixty-plus years.

Our Youth Exchange Programme gives students, parents, and host families the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons. Students get the opportunity to live in another country for either six weeks or a full academic year. Parents present their children with the experience of a life time. Host families care for and learn from foreign students from all over the world.

The programme aims to assist Southern African teenagers to become citizens of the world, to promote self-development and to foster international relations and goodwill.

Choose between two programmes

The Rotary Youth Exchange Short-Term Programme

is a 6 to 8 week family to family exchange, for 16 to 18 year olds, whereby you host a student either in July/August (for students coming from the Northern Hemisphere i.e. Europe) or December/January (Southern Hemisphere i.e. South America). All students from Southern Africa depart November/December of any given year.

The Rotary Youth Exchange Long-Term Programme

is a 12 month secondary education exchange programme. The programme is ideal for students aged between 16 and 18 ½, who are intent on becoming fluent in another language, learning a new culture on an intimate basis with 3-4 different host families and being an ambassador for their country. This programme is for students who are self-motivated, friendly and outgoing, caring and smart. Students may live with a number of families but they are not guests – they are expected to fit into the family’s normal daily routine. This includes doing basic chores requested by the family, participating in all family events, and generally becoming the closest representation of a biological child as is possible. Long term students depart in January of any given year.

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Students Worldwide
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Countries We Exchange With
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Long Term Students
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Short Term Students

Five reasons why a culture shock is a good thing

Teens are a great risk of getting the most out of a proper culture shock. Before you get bogged down by the routine and monotony of adult life, take this opportunity to create experiences. Sir Richard Branson says it best: “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” And for the more philosophically-inclined: “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Says Mary Anne Radmacher.

So why is travel such a great way to broaden your horizons? Here are our top 5 reasons:

It helps to shape your personality. If you are not sure of who you are yet, this is a great opportunity to get to know yourself much better. So, will you do as the Romans when in Rome?

You will learn a new language quick, quick. If you are forced to speak German, you will learn it much faster. In a connected world, the ability to speak more than one language lifts you to a different level.

Make the circle bigger. You will make friends in foreign places.

Gain valuable life experience. When you taste different foods, listen to new music, learn about traditions and values, you enrich your life and become a more accepting and well-rounded individual. You become interesting to others too!

You will realise that we are all one. Despite our superficial differences, we are all the same. This insight will turn you into a compassionate, kind, and tolerant human being.

Whether you are a student travelling to a foreign land, a parent letting your precious child spread their wings, or a host family caring for a student from another country, a culture shock does a world of good to all involved.

Why use Rotary Youth Exchange
to broaden your horizons?

The Rotary International Youth Exchange programme is the most inexpensive of its kind in the country.
Rotary Youth Exchange is a non-profit organisation.
We offer multi-tiered support to students, parents, and host families.
We arrange flights, transits, and accommodation.

Learn more about Rotary