Types of Exchanges

Rotary Youth Exchange offers three types of exchange programs:

  • Long Term Exchange (LTE) These exchanges usually last one year, during which the student lives with more than one family in the host country and is required to attend school there. LTEs may be extended to include part or all of the holiday/vacation periods immediately before and after the academic year.
  • Short Term Exchange Program (STEP) These exchanges vary from several days to several weeks; they often take place when school is not in session and usually do not include an academic program. STEP is a family-to-family exchange, generally involving a homestay experience with a family in the host country, but they can also be organized as international youth camps or tours that bring together students from many countries.
  • Virtual Exchange (V-X) Virtual exchanges are an engaging alternative to in-person exchanges, providing young people a unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with people from other cultures and communities online. Virtual exchange sessions last for seven weeks, and provide structured meeting topics, counselors from the Rotary clubs, and individual and group meetings. Rotary volunteers and participating families are screened and background checked and there are specific youth protection policies for virtual exchanges to ensure the safety of youth participating in the program.
  • New Generations Exchange These specialized short-term exchanges last three to six weeks and are open to young people ages 18-25. This program may include a vocational element. D5180’s RYE Committee is not participating in this program to date. Should you wish further information please contact Jeannine Sparks, chair@rye5180.org and she’ll try to help you connect with a Rotarian that can assist you.

Individual district and multidistrict programs may develop their own program rules and guidelines, provided they are consistent with those set by the Rotary International Board. The Rotary International Handbook should be read in conjunction with the materials developed locally for use in a district. Check with those responsible for your district’s Youth Exchange program for specific local modifications, as well as the division of responsibilities for Rotarians involved in the program.