Each year, about 8,000 students from over 100 countries participate in exchanges through the Youth Exchange program. The long-term exchange is open to students ages 15-18 and usually lasts 10-12 months. The student lives with more than one family in the host country and is required to attend school.
Host families are a vital part of the cultural exchange, offering the student a view of another country and in turn you have the opportunity to learn about a new culture from a young leader. Hosting is a tremendous experience in which you can share in a young person’s hopes and dreams and develop a lifelong connection with a student and family from another country. It can be challenging to help a young person transition to a new culture and ease into the surroundings but the rewards are immeasurable.
Host families in the Youth Exchange program come in all shapes and sizes. They can be Rotarians or non-Rotarians, and may include young children, older children, or no children at all.