QUICK LINKS | Rotary Youth Exchange (Rotary International) | District 5100 Youth Exchange Website

For over 75 years, Rotary International has been organizing youth exchanges for young people in over 100 countries to promote peace and international understanding, one person at a time.

Every year, the Rotary Club of Forest Grove chooses one high school-aged student to participate in a long-term Rotary Youth Exchange. This student spends 10 months in a foreign country, lives with multiple families and attends school in the host community.  The club also hosts an international student in Forest Grove, who lives with local families and attends Forest Grove High School.

The Rotary Club of Forest Grove also periodically participates in short-term exchanges. These are generally four-week programs and are run as direct exchanges with a student and their family from a participating country.

The Rotary Club of Forest Grove was the first Rotary Club in our region (Northern Oregon and Southwest Washington) to become involved with Rotary Youth Exchange, with the first students exchanging in the early 1970s. Our club finances its involvement with the program through our annual Steak Feed event, which typically takes place in early June.

Who Can Apply For Youth Exchange?

The Rotary Club of Forest Grove seeks first-year high school students who are leaders in their school and community and who are open and curious about new cultures and people.

Rotary is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the exchange program, and we encourage any interested ninth grader, regardless of economic status, race, religion, sexual orientation or background, who is interested in spending a year abroad to apply.

What Are The Benefits?
Exchange students unlock their true potential to:

  • Develop lifelong leadership skills
  • Learn a new language and culture
  • Build lasting friendships with young people from around the world
  • Become a global citizen

What Countries Do Students Go To?

Some countries we exchange with are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czechia/Slovakia, Denmark, Finland/Estonia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

Students are placed in a country after they have been accepted into the program. Country placement is determined in consultation with the students, their families and the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

What Are The Costs Of A Long-Term Exchange?

Room, board and school fees are provided through the program. Students are also provided with a monthly stipend by their host country clubs.

Students and their families are generally required to pay for:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Health insurance
  • Travel documents (such as passports and visas)
  • Extra spending money and any additional travel or tours

Rotary is committed to ensuring that exchanges are available to all members of our community. Assistance may be available for some or all of the student’s expenses, depending on the student’s needs.

What Is The Timeline For A Long-Term Exchange?

  • Students apply during the spring semester of their freshman year of high school and are notified if they have been accepted into the program that spring.
  • Students engage in orientation activities conducted by Rotary throughout their sophomore year.
  • Country placements are made in February of the student’s sophomore year.
  • Students go on exchange in their junior year, generally leaving in late summer.
  • Students return after 10 months. Rotary provides orientations for returning students to help them reacclimate to their home country after they have arrived back in the United States.

How Can I Apply?
Students interested in participating in the long-term exchange program should apply during their ninth-grade year. Applications for the 2025-26 program must be received by June 1. If you are interested in applying, please contact the club’s Youth Exchange Chair (contact information below).

The Rotary Club of Forest Grove Youth Exchange Committee will review applications and invite a select number of those students for further interviews. Final decisions on candidates and runners-up will generally be made by mid-June.

The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is not currently participating in a short-term exchange. We will post information here if an exchange opportunity becomes available.

Can I Host An Exchange Student?
Every inbound exchange student that the Rotary Club of Forest Grove hosts stays with three different homes to provide the students with opportunities to experience different family cultures and traditions. The club encourages anyone in our community who is interested in hosting exchange students to contact our Youth Exchange Committee chair to learn more.

For More Information

Melinda Fischer, Rotary Club of Forest Grove Youth Exchange Chair
503-502-6523 or wreathmaker@icloud.com