Rotary's Youth Exchange is one of the most popular programs to promote international understanding and develop lifelong friendships. It began in 1927 with the Rotary Club of Nice, France. Exchanges in Europe continued until World War II and resumed after the war in 1946. In 1939, an extensive Youth Exchange was created between California and Latin America. Since then, the program has expanded around the world. In recent years, more than 7,000 young people have participated annually in rotary club- and district-sponsored exchange programs.

The values of Rotary Youth Exchange are experienced not only by the high-school-age students involved but also by the host families, sponsoring clubs, receiving high schools, and the entire community. Youth Exchange participants usually provide their fellow students in their host schools with excellent opportunities to learn about customs, languages, traditions, and family life in another country.

Rotary Youth Exchange offers young people interesting opportunities and rich experiences to see another part of the world. Students usually spend a full academic year abroad, although some clubs and districts sponsor short-term exchanges of several weeks or months.

Rotary Youth Exchange is a practical activity for the enhancement of international understanding and goodwill.


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