The Rotary Youth Exchange program is an important part of the Rotary, which is why our Club has enthusiastically supported the program since the Club’s charter in 1982.  

Exchanges for students 15 to 19 years old are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries. Long-term exchanges last a full academic year . Participating students attend local schools and live with multiple host families, usually for 3-4 months at a time. Short-term  summer or holiday exchanges are also available. 


This year, we hosted a young woman from South Korea, and sponsored young man to a year abroad in Belgium. Past exchanges have seen students from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Thailand,  and many other countries spending time here in the Chimacum area, and students from Chimacum and the area heading overseas to Belgium, Chile, Poland,  and Spain,  and many other countries around the world.  Many stay in touch with their host families - in fact, it is not at all unusual for exchange students and host families to stay in touch with each other and to exchange visits for the rest of their lives. 


It’s a wonderful program, and accomplishes all that can be hoped for it - the exchange students step outside their comfort zone to unlock their true potential, develop lifelong leadership skills, learn a new language while immersed in a different culture, and build lasting friendships with people from around the world. Each student returns home immeasurably enriched by the experience.