Rotary Youth Exchange
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program has been an integral part of Rotary International since 1974. The program is a means of advancing international understanding and goodwill. Each year more than 8,000 students from 82 countries are involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, making it one of the Rotary’s largest, most popular and most successful programs. It is also one of the largest high school exchange programs in the world.
Open to all young men and women ages 15 to 18 1/2
The program is open to all young men and women ages 15-18 1/2. The student's parents, local Rotary clubs, and the district finance the program. Student selection is based on submission of an online application followed by personal interviews at the club and district levels with the applicant and the applicant’s parents.
Rotary District 5790 has had a youth exchange program since 1985. The program is administered through the local Rotary Clubs with assistance from a District Rotary Youth Exchange Committee.
Rotary Youth Exchange - Inbound and Outbound Student Exchange
OUTBOUND PROGRAMS  We have two types of Outbound Exchanges:
Long-Term Exchange: Covers the academic year, during which time the student lives with more than one host family and attends high school in the host country.
Short-Term Summer Exchange: Is primarily a cultural exchange program for three to four weeks during which time the student lives with one host family. However, the short-term program is usually a reciprocal exchange. The family who hosts our student sends one of their children back with our Texas student to spend an equal amount of time with his/her family. Therefore the two students are together anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks in the summer.  The student will not attend high school on this program.
INBOUND PROGRAMS We have two types of Inbound Exchanges:
Long Term Inbound Exchange: International students come to our district and live with two or more host families and attend high school.  Interested in being a host family for an inbound student? Follow the links to the left, Host Family Info.
Short Term Inbound: As noted above the international students return with the American student who has been hosted in their home. This student spends an equal amount of time with the American host family.
For more information contact the District 5790 Rotary Youth Exchange Officer, Steve Trine at
Rotary Youth Exchange - Student and Host Information
Rotary Youth Exchange - Student Information
Where do I start:  When do you want to go?
Start planning early. The Rotary Youth Exchange program is highly selective and not everyone is qualified to go. For the Long Term exchange the full process can take between 9 and 12 months.  It takes almost the same amount of time to prepare for the Short Term exchange so early preparation is essential. Most exchanges go from August to July of the following year; for exchanges to the Southern Hemisphere the exchanges typically go from February to January of the following year.  Rotary District 5790 has an extensive selection and orientation process which helps identify the best candidates and prepare them for their time as Youth Exchange Students. Also by planning early you can line up your current class schedule to cover subjects you might not get in a foreign school such as US History, English, US Government etc.

Who do I contact about going?

Youth Exchange programs are administered by local Rotary Clubs and supported by a District Youth Exchange Committee. Chances are that the local Rotary Club near you is already involved in the Youth Exchange Program. There are over 74 Rotary Clubs in District 5790. It is possible to identify your local Rotary Club by using the Club Locator link below, or by doing a Google or Bing search, using your city name and Rotary. If can’t find a local club near you at the bottom of this page there is an e-mail address for the District Youth Exchange Chair that will help you locate a Rotary Club near you.
Why do I need a find a Local Rotary Club? All Rotary Youth Exchange students must have a local Rotary Club sponsor them during their exchange.  If your local club is not sponsoring, DON'T GIVE UP! Contact the district Exchange officer and we'll work to find a sponsoring club for you.

Next Step:

Once you have contacted your local Rotary Club or the District Youth Exchange Officer you will need to complete an application. If that application is accepted by your local Rotary club, you will be asked to go to a series of interviews and complete a more comprehensive application. Follow the link on this site for Application Materials
We are excited that you are interested in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and look forward to helping you move forward with your adventure.
Rotary Youth Exchange - Why be an exchange student
Rotary Youth Exchange - Host Family Information
Host Families are the key component of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.  Without Host Families this program would not be possible.  Host Families are our most precious resource.  We cannot completely express the importance of and our appreciation for your role in the Youth Exchange Program. We want to do what we can to support you during your hosting experience.
Host Families are set forth as one of the key components of the Visitor Exchange program as set out by the U.S. State Department.  When you host a student from another country you act as our U.S. representatives and Host Families become the de facto face of our country.  While hosting a student you are acting as an ambassador and representative for our nation, it is your family and the life you show them that these students will take back with them to their home countries.
Before the student arrives:
  • Complete the Host Family Application.
  • Criminal background check is performed on each permanent resident of the home over 18.
  • Interview, Home Inspection and Orientations are performed.
  • Rotary Chain of Command is explained and points of contact are established.
  • Make contact with student and begin establishing a welcoming relationship.
During students Exchange:
  • Provide safe welcoming environment to encourage development of trust and friendship.
  • Help student become a part of the family.
  • Provide room and board, meals and reasonable access to communication with their home.
  • Provide transportation or facilitate transportation to and from school.
  • Provide a sounding board for the students concerns and struggles with language, culture etc.
  • Introduce student to local customs and traditions.
  • Make sure student follows and obeys Rotary rules and local and state laws.
  • Maintain clear contact with Rotary Counselor and Rotary District support.
We feel this program is as instrumental in teaching the students about the US as it is in our learning about the student’s country of origin.  Our goal in Rotary is that each one of these exchanges would help us achieve the ultimate Rotary goal of World Peace.
Rotary Youth Exchange - Why be a host family