Kyrene Rotary Club demonstrates our commitment to International Service in one of the best, most direct, most meaningful, most life-changing and most fun ways possible, Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarships. We have hosted inbound students, each for one year, from Denmark, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and this coming year, Argentina. Our outbound students have gone to Brazil, The Netherlands and Denmark. All have been outstanding ambassadors for their countries. Look at the photos below to see some of the students we have had the privilege to know.
We hope you will join us in building a more integrated global community–be it as an exchange student or a host family. In the words of Dennis White,  Ph.D., Chair of Editorial Board, RYE Students are Rotary's "Temporary volunteer employees 'hired' to represent Rotary internationally as we try to deliver the 'product' of peace through international goodwill and understanding."
How will I benefit from being abroad?
Living in a foreign country has a powerful effect on your maturing process. Managing your own finances and making decisions gives you more confidence and independence. You learn to think and converse fluently in another language. You develop more confidence in speaking before groups. You become more tolerant of other people, different cultures and different personalities. Your youth exchange experience will be priceless, something that you can’t replicate any other way.
Why is Rotary’s Youth Exchange program better than other programs?
RYE is volunteer-driven. It is organized and administered by Rotarians within local Rotary clubs, Rotary districts, and regions. These volunteers screen student applicants, select the students, prepare them, and arrange hosting abroad, insurance, school admission, visas, etc. All of this is done by Rotarians as an unpaid service.
Because we depend on volunteers, the Rotary Program is the least expensive, safest and highest quality program. Students are provided local supervision by members of the hosting Rotary club, who are directly involved in their welfare. Because of this close connection, students away from home feel comfortable knowing that their host club Rotarians are available to offer guidance. Students often attend Rotary Club meetings thus getting to know Rotarians who are the local business/professional leaders in the community. Frequently, these connections benefit students later in life in their academic, business or professional lives.
Where can I go on my exchange?
Exchanges occur between two countries in which there are certified Rotary Districts. Rotary Clubs in approximately 65 countries annually host exchange students. Approximately 8,000 students are sent every year!
Who can apply for the RYE program?
High School students, aged 15-18, that are of good character, warm personalities and average to above-average academic performance. Applicants should be adaptable, flexible, well mannered, and want to learn about other countries and cultures. Children of both Rotarians and non-Rotarians are eligible and encouraged to apply.
Do I have to speak a foreign language to be accepted?
Students are required to attend the local high school which typically teaches in their language. The need for a working knowledge or proficiency in the language varies depending on the country. For example, in India, schools teach in English, whereas in Romania they teach in Romanian. Knowing as much language as possible upon arrival in your host country is quite beneficial. We encourage you to independently study the language before you leave. Some countries have a required ‘language camp’ for all arriving students.
Are educational credits transferable?
Some Arizona High Schools do accept credits, however, it depends upon your school system and the foreign school. To get credit, you MUST make arrangements with your local school in writing PRIOR to your departure. Universities may give up to 6 credits for a foreign language, but you must apply for it with that school’s administration.
How many host families will I have?
Students are generally hosted by 2-4 fully screened, vetted and trained families during their stay and always within the same school district. This allows for a broader understanding of the cultural, social and economic aspects of the region while simultaneously allowing more families to participate in the program.
May I travel while on exchange?
While this is not a tourist program, travel is frequently available with the host families and members of Rotary Clubs. Some countries have group tours arranged by Rotary which are usually at the student’s expense. You may not travel alone or without the permission of your host District.
How much should I expect to pay?
Many other exchange programs cost $10,000 or more. In comparison, the year-long exchange program through Rotary should be viewed as a scholarship covering the costs of living and studying abroad for an academic year. Room and board for the student are provided by the host family, but the student does have certain financial obligations. See the Rotary district website for more specifics:
How can I host an exchange student?
Hosting an exchange student can be incredibly rewarding for your family, bringing an international experience directly into your home. Host families provide room and board as well as involving them in family, community, and cultural activities.
If you’re interested in learning more about being a host family, go to: