Why does Rotary offer a Student Exchange Programme?

The most powerful force in the promotion of international understanding and peace is exposure to different cultures. The world becomes a smaller, friendlier place when we learn that all people — regardless of nationality — desire the same basic things: a safe, comfortable environment that allows for a rich and satisfying life for our children and ourselves. Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures. This plants the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding

An exchange also offers a very unique experience whereby a student is immersed in another culture for 12 months in a way that is not possible as a tourist. The student will experience the daily challenges and rewards of this experience as they make friends and get to know their new culture. An exchange brings significant personal growth and development from which the student builds their self-confidence, independence and general communication and social skills. In 12 months and exchange brings experiences that develop life skills that otherwise would take years to accumulate.

Rotary stated objectives for the RYE programme are:

  • To enable students to advance their education by studying for a year in an environment entirely different from their own, and undertaking the study of courses and subjects not normally available to them in their own country.
  • To give students opportunities to broaden their outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, creeds, and colours and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment completely different from the one they have experienced at home. 
  • To have students act as ambassadors for their own country by addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations and youth groups in their host country; by imparting as much knowledge as they can of their own country, its attributes and its problems to the people they meet during their year abroad.

  • To provide sufficient time to study and observe another country's culture so that upon returning home students can pass on the knowledge they have gained by addressing Rotary clubs and other organizations and assimilate the positive aspects into their everyday living.