Long Term Exchange/Year Abroad
Since 1929, study abroad has been a part of Rotary International and it continues to grow and change lives. Currently, about 8,000 students study abroad every year. Rotary, through its international network of clubs, offers a unique opportunity for high school students to live and study abroad and immerse themselves in the language and culture of their host country. Are you interested in becoming a Rotary Exchange Student.
What can I expect during my host year?
- You will live with 2-3 families for a full academic year. To ensure your safety, the host Rotary club carefully screens and selects all host families.
- You will attend a local high school while on exchange. Eligible students who have just graduated from high school and are going on exchange during their gap year are still required to attend high school full time in their assigned foreign country as a part of the cultural immersion.
- A monthly stipend will be provided by the local host Rotary club.
- A dedicated counselor will be assigned to you to help you get the most out of your exchange.
“Studying Abroad” as a high school foreign exchange student is an immersion into the culture of another country. The challenges are great, but so are the benefits and rewards.
Our Long-Term Exchange is Rotary International’s flagship exchange program! Come see what the excitement is all about!
Why Live and Study Abroad?
Gain a new perspective about the world you live in
Immersion into another culture and adapting to a new way of life
Become fluent in another language
Improve life skills such as resiliency and independence
Become more confident
Set yourself apart on a college or job application
Make lifelong friendships in your host country
Develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your culture
Assume leadership roles shaped by lessons from your experience
Build memories that will last a lifetime
Are you a student interested in learning about other cultures? Are you a leader in your school or community? Does the adventure of international travel interest you? Long-Term Rotary Youth Exchange is open to students ages between 15 and 18-1/2. (You cannot have turned 18-1/2 years old before you depart on exchange.) To qualify, applicants should be above-average students who have demonstrated leadership in their community. Candidates should also possess qualities such as flexibility and a willingness to try new things that will enable them to fully experience life in another country and a desire to embrace their cultural experiences. All applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and complete both a written application and in-person interviews.
Applications are accepted from September through December. Interested students are initially interviewed by members of a sponsoring local Rotary club. This is an information sharing and interview session which involves both the student and parents. Students are usually selected by January. If accepted, students participate in a weekend orientation with other student applicants held in February by SCANEX. A final weekend orientation is held in April which involves both students and parents. Country placements are usually determined by early May to allow the students to make their travel arrangements.
As part of the program cost, round trip, changeable tickets are purchased through our partner travel agency TZELL Youth Exchange. This type of ticket facilitates an emergency return home if required. Departures can be made from most major metropolitan cities. Rotary in conjunction with TZELL will assist in the coordination and securing of student’s travel needs.
What Does it Cost?
The Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship program is the lowest cost, study abroad program, period! The scholarship program is administered by volunteer Rotary clubs and it’s members, which keeps program costs to a minimum, making it possible to provide a rewarding and cost-effective experience for the student. For the 2023-2024 academic year the program fee for the study abroad program is $5,700 and includes the following:
Round-trip air transportation
Two weekend, multi-day orientations
Rotary blazer and emblem
Other misc. expenses
In addition to the program fee of $5,700 for direct expenses, students and their families are responsible for:
Travel Insurance that includes comprehensive medical, accident, and illness coverage (differs by country, but is about $800).
All travel documents, such as passports and medical records.
Spending money for any expenses and incidentals above the monthly allowance provided by the host Rotary club, ancillary travel, and tours.
Emergency fund for unexpected expenses during the year (typically about $500).
Where Can I Go?
District 5340 in partnership with SCANEX currently performs does exchanges for the Long Term program with nearly 30 countries worldwide. These countries span four continents of the world and are selected for their stability and degree of concern about the welfare and safety of our students while abroad. Rotary District 5340 makes every effort to place our students in a country on their preference list. Below is a sample of the countries we have established exchanges with:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay (subject to change).
Interested In Applying?
To apply, start by submitting the preliminary application form available on the Contact Us page (click on the Get Started button below). A local Rotarian will contact you and arrange for an interview to be scheduled by a club representative. If selected, you will move onto our district level interview and orientation process. Your local club will help guide you through the application and interview process. Once your orientation is completed, successful applicants will be notified regarding which country they have been selected for.
If you are selected to be a Rotary Exchange Student, you and your parents must attend a mandatory Outbound Orientation. 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 typically occurs in late July or early August.