What is ROTARY?

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders, united worldwide and dedicated to humanitarian service and ethical standards in business. Rotarians promote world understanding & peace through programs like Youth Exchange. With more than 29,000 clubs, in more than 160 countries, Rotary has an extensive network of volunteers who are community leaders.
Rotary has experience: a history of more than 50 years of successful international youth exchanges.
Rotary has commitment: the dedication of more than one million Rotarians who want to make your child’s experience one of personal growth and warm memories.
Rotary Youth Exchange
This year almost 8,000 students from 80 countries will enrich their lives. They will see the world the way it is best seen-from the inside out-through Rotary’s Youth Exchange.

A ROTARY ACADEMIC YEAR HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENT (LONG TERM EXCHANGE STUDENT) travels abroad & attends school in the host country for a full year. They participate in camps, meetings, & trips in their host country & surrounding countries (some are optional). They will be immersed in the language & culture of their host country. Your student ambassador will be hosted by a local Rotary Club in the exchange country and will be hosted by one to four families approved by Rotary. The host Rotary Club will issue a monthly stipend in the foreign currency. This is an enriching experience for the student & an opportunity to develop lifelong friendships. Universities recognize the value of greater self-reliance & social maturity students acquire during their year abroad.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? The youth exchange program is open to qualified young men & women between the ages of 15 & 18 ½. Some countries have narrower age restrictions. The sons & daughters of both Non-Rotarians & Rotarians are eligible. Ideally the student should be either a high school sophomore, junior or senior. Graduating Seniors can apply if they are within the age limit. Applicants are to be approved by a local Rotary club on the basis of a written application and personal interview.
What is Rotary Y.E.S.?
Rotary Youth Exchange Service (formerly SCANEX) includes So. California, Arizona, So. Nevada, Hawaii & Utah and is an organization formed by nine Rotary International Districts (5000, 5240, 5280, 5300, 5320, 5330, 5340, 5420, & 5490) that have pooled their resources to provide effective & efficient services. By creating Rotary YES, we can provide you with the advantage of years of international youth exchange experience together with Rotarians in your local community who can support you. Rotary YES is not a commercial program. It is an organized effort by volunteer Rotarians. All revenue generated is used to offset the costs of operating the program. We are dedicated to providing an affordable and worthwhile experience.

District Programs

Currently, District 5000 offers the long-term academic year exchange program. Qualified students are 15~19 years old and in good academic standing.

Long Term Exchanges

These high school year exchanges generally begin in August. Each year Rotary Y.E.S./SCANEX Youth Exchange Officials select countries with whom we plan to set up exchanges. The countries selected are carefully screened to ensure an exceptional experience. Some of the countries that are usually available for the year long program are:
South America – Argentina, Chile*, Ecuador*, Peru, Brazil & Mexico*
Asia – India, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Philippines, & Thailand
Australia & N.Z. – may not turn 18 during exchange in these countries
Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden & Finland – language camp required on arrival at extra cost
Eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey & Russia
W. Europe: Italy*, Spain*, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France* (min. age France & Germany 16)
Africa: Republic of South Africa, Kenya & Zimbabwe

   Countries with an asterisk * require the student to appear in person at the country's consulate (usually in San Francisco) for a personal interview in order to receive the visa. Students must travel to the consulate at their own expense.     If you would like to hear what other exchange students have to say about their year abroad both in the United States and countries foreign to the USA, go to www.youtube.com and do a search for "Rotary Exchange Student".

What does it cost?

The cost is very reasonable since the Program is administered by Rotary volunteers. The students are guests of Rotary Clubs and the hosting families. Living expenses are provided at no cost to exchange students. Students will need to have some funds from home to pay for non-living expenses.

Long Term Exchanges …..…..…. ~$5,300*

*Flat fee is subject to change due to variables beyond our control such as airline fares, visa fees, insurance, etc. Cost will be confirmed when you  apply. All applicants pay the same fee regardless of destination country

and search for "Rotary Exchange Student". 

Long Term students receive a stipend equivalent to $100 per month from the hosting Rotary Club in that country.

Costs for Long Term include airfare with flexible return flights, health and accident insurance, evacuation insurance, visa acquisition fees and courier, orientations, materials & administration. Students also receive Rotary business cards, Polo Shirt, blazer, Badge, Pin, & Patch. The cost of the program is significantly less compared to comparable programs since Rotary is a volunteer based International Organization. Rotary Clubs, host families and Rotary Districts absorb all but the above fees in order to make the program affordable to most participants.

An $800 deposit is required to begin processing your application. In the event you are not placed with a host family / club, all but up to $100 will be refunded. The earlier the application is received the greater the chance of placement. All parents, stepparents & guardians must approve and sign a formal statement in order for their child to participate in the program.

How Do I Sign Up for a Long Term Application?


In order for a student to be considered for being a candidate for Youth Exchange, he/she must find a Rotary club to consider sponsoring them. When that is done the student fills out a pre-enrollment application, a simple one page form. This form is then given to the Rotary club. The club then arranges for an interview with the student and the student's parents to determine whether the club wishes to go forward with the sponsoring process. Students and their parents should be aware that there are a general set of criteria that the district adheres to for student consideration. There will also be a set of questions that the student should think about before the interview as well as a set of questions that the parents should consider as wellIf the club does agree to consider sponsorship in more detail, the student then fills out the Long Form which is described below.

Beginning in the summer of 2015 SCANEX has transitioned from hand-written or typed forms to data entry directly into the YEAH (Youth Exchange Auxiliary Hub) database. The link to begin the application is here:  http://yehub.net/SNX-obapp . This portion of the application is the first eight (8) pages or photo requirements of the Long Form. Filling this form out will take time and thought, especially the student and parent letter portions. After the Long Form application has been finished, it will be reviewed once more by a committee from the Rotary club which is sponsoring the student. Upon having a successful final review, your YEO will e-mail you a few supplemental pages specific to our multi-District program once your application is received if needed. Submit a copy of your U.S. Passport to your Rotary club contact with the $800 deposit check (made out to Rotary District 5000) by mid-December or sooner. The club contact will then forward them to the YEO who will contact you with further instructions.

 Timely applications help ensure that you will get one of your country choices. It takes a lot of time to fill out all the forms so please start early.

For more information contact your Rotary District’s YEO (Youth Exchange Officer) :  YOUTH EXCHANGE CONTACT


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 (David C. Hurd , YEO) immediately to begin the application process


Rotary International