Whether students participate in Rotary’s long-term or short-term Youth Exchange programs, they will learn a new way of living, a great deal about themselves, and maybe even a new language. They will also be a Rotary ambassador, teaching people they meet about their home country, culture, and ideas. Exchange students help bring the world closer – and make some good friends in the process.
More than 8,000 young people each year have experiences like these through Rotary Youth Exchange. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
Currently, District 5320 offers the short-term summer exchange program, and the one year long-term exchange program. The qualified students are 15~19 years old and in good academic standing.
In the short-term exchange program, the student typically lives with a host family for about 3 weeks, returns home and then hosts the student they lived with abroad for 3 weeks. There are no academic classes. The exchange usually occurs in July and August. For the Rotary year 2010~2011, we have two short term exchange students; one going to France (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Irvine Spectrum) and one going to Belgium (RC Coto de Caza/Rancho Santa Margarita).
In the long term exchange program, the student attends the local high school abroad for the entire school year while living with one or two host families. There may be some language proficiency requirements depending on the country. For the Rotary year 2010~2011, we have two long term outbound students; one going to Brazil (RC Huntington Beach) and one going to Spain (RC Mission Viejo). In addition, we have one inbound student coming from Italy to live here in Orange County (RC Mission Viejo). Hosting a foreign exchange student IS NOT a requirement for the outbound student or the sponsoring club.
For anyone interested in participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange program for 2011~2012, here is the approximate timeline and cost:
- Short term (summer 2011) application deadline: March 1st, 2011, Cost: $2500
- Long term (academic year 2011~2012) application deadline: December 31, 2010, Cost: $4500
For the interested student:
- Contact your nearest Rotary Club and ask them to be your sponsoring club
- Fill out the application
For the interested club:
- Once an application is turned in, appoint a club member to be the designated counselor for the student
- Contact the District youth exchange officer (YEO) immediately to begin the application process
For more information about the Rotary Youth Exchange program in District 5320, see Rotary5320.org