The Youth Exchange Program is one of Rotary’s most popular programs that build lifelong friendships and develop international understanding. This program was first launched in 1927 by the Nice Rotary Club of France. The Youth Exchange Program in Europe continued until World War II, and after the war it was resumed in 1946. In 1939, a program covering a wide range of youth exchanges between California and Latin America was created. Since then, this program has wasted and expanded every aspect of the world. More than 7,000 young people in recent years have participated in this annual youth exchange program sponsored by the Rotary Clubs and Regions.
The value of youth exchange programs is not only attracted to the interest of young people in secondary education, but is welcomed and appreciated by host families, sponsored clubs, schools accepting students, and the whole community. Young people who have attended the Youth Exchange Program and have lived in another country for some time, share everything about their experiences such as what they saw and learned, the different culture and society’s lifestyle, language and family life when they return to their school.
Through the Youth Exchange Program, young people have a chance to be a part of interesting opportunities, gain rich experiences and gain the opportunity to recognize a country outside their own country by living there.
In general, students who are participating in the exchange program spend one full year of study in another country abroad. Some clubs and districts make exchange students able to have shorter periods of time that last for a few weeks or a few months.
These activities aimed at the development and dissemination of the concept of international understanding and goodwill. And they are important, recommended and encouraged for all Rotary clubs.