Rotary Exchange Program


As a Rotary Youth Exchange students spend up to a year living with host families and attending school in a different country.  For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students each year participate in the program, which is administered at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs.

Rotary maintains a strong connection to youth and young adults. Besides Youth Exchange, Rotary clubs sponsor youth service clubs such as Interact , Rotaract , and RYLA and offer career development and mentoring programs.

Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange sends some 7,000 high-school age young people abroad each year. They are responsible for:

1. Secure host families for foreign exchange students
2. Assist with outbound students sponsored by the Club
3. Help with exchange student group activities.

The Rotary Youth Exchange committee is actively looking for host families starting August of each year, and applicants for outbound year-long youth exchanges through September of each year. If you, or someone you know, is interested in finding out more about being a Rotary Youth Exchange host family, please contact Boise Downtown Rotary here.

Outbound Youth Exchange Opportunities

If you are interested in spending a year overseas as a Rotary Youth Exchange student, please contact us for more information.




A Brazilian student makes her first snowman in Finland. A South African masters eating with chopsticks at his Japanese hosts’ home. An Australian becomes part of an extended family in Russia, and a Mexican student in France raises funds to benefit homeless children in Haiti. New experiences, new “families” and friends, and new adventures can await you, too.
As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you will spend a year, or perhaps just an extended period of time, living with a host family in a country other than your own. You may learn a new language; you will learn a new way of living and a great deal about yourself. But there’s more. While you are busy learning, the people you meet will be learning as well — about your country, culture, and ideas. You will be an ambassador. You will be helping to bring the world closer together, and you’ll be making good friends in the process.
If you are ready for the challenge and the rewards of living in another land as an exchange student, then you are ready for the Rotary Youth Exchange.


Rotary Youth Exchange is a true one-to-one exchange. Rotary sends out an American student for every foreign student taken in exchange. The District 5400 Rotary youth exchange program is a long-term high school exchange program which lasts for an academic year. During your stay, you will attend high school and live with one or more host families
— in some cases as many as three different families.


We strive to achieve the following objectives through Rotary Youth Exchange:
  • To further international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to study first hand some of the problems and accomplishments of people in lands other than their own.
  • To enable students to advance their education by studying for a year in an environment entirely different from their own, and undertaking the study of courses and subjects not normally available to them in their own country.
  • To give students opportunities to broaden their outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, creeds, and colors and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment completely different from the one they have experienced at home.


    To qualify, Rotary requires that you be between the ages of 15.5 and 18.5* upon arrival in the host country (generally between the ages of 15 and 17 when applying) be in the upper third of your academic class, be of good character and emotionally stable and be in good physical health. Most importantly, you must be able and willing to be a good ambassador. Students who will graduate from their high school the same year they leave on their exchange are acceptable in the program so long as they meet the age requirements and are accepted by the host country.
    *Important Note: Districts worldwide develop their own rules, particularly regarding age. Some districts have more restrictive rules than Rotary requires.
    Remember, where there’s a difference, the district rules apply to all students of that district. For example, a district might require a student to be no younger than 16 years of age to participate, or a district might require that students no older than 18 at time of departure. You would have to fit within their guidelines to have an exchange in such districts. Flexibility is the key in those situations.