Exchange Ideas - Discover new cultures - EN
Explore the world through our global network.
For youth, participating in an international exchange will help you learn about another culture—and yourself—while promoting global understanding. Many clubs sponsor youth exchanges in which you can spend up to a year in another country, staying with a host family and attending school.
For adult professionals, Rotary clubs often sponsor groups of people with similar occupations to share their expertise and make an impact in countries around the world.
“When I am in certain places for a long enough time I feel like I am part of that place and part of the people.”
Sarita Jarmack is only 25 but her passport is filled with stamps from more than two dozen countries—Honduras, Ireland, Panama, Sri Lanka, China—and the list goes on. But her very first stamp is from Sweden, where she spent a year as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in high school. Youth Exchange fueled her love of meeting new people in new countries. "When I am in certain places for a long enough time I feel like I am part of that place and part of the people," she says. "I learn the languages, I learn the customs, I embrace the love from the mothers, and I play with the little kids."
Jarmack credits Rotary member Michelle Frechette with helping fulfill her quest for adventure, including the chance to earn a master's degree in international relations in Denmark thanks to a Rotary scholarship. "Michelle has led me to opportunities that quite frankly were unimaginable," she says. Frechette sees a similar enthusiasm for learning in all of the students her club has helped sponsor. "I look at the kids we select for Youth Exchange as being able to solve long-term global problems."