Exposure to different cultures ranks as one of the most powerful ways to promote international understanding and peace. The Rotary Youth Exchange program provides thousands of young students with the opportunity to meet people from other countries and to experience new cultures, planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.

The program offers numerous benefits to its young participants and their Rotarian hosts and mentors, as well as to the community at large. Through Youth Exchange, students learn firsthand about all aspects of life in another country. As their concept of the world expands, they mature and develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Immersion in another country’s educational system enhances their academic and personal growth. Host clubs and families and the entire community are enriched by extended, friendly contact with someone from a different culture.


Youth Exchange began during the 1920s as an effort between a handful of clubs in Europe. These European exchanges continued until World War II and resumed in 1946. The reciprocal long-term academic exchange grew in popularity during the 1950s and became the primary type of Rotary Youth Exchange. In 1972, the RI Board of Directors agreed to recommendYouth Exchange to clubs worldwide as a worthwhile international activity. Today, more than 8,000 Youth Exchange students travel abroad each year to live and study in about 80 countries.

Rotary Club of Ukiah

Every year the Rotary Club of Ukiah joins with thousands of other Rotary Clubs around the world in the Rotary Youth Exchange program that provides a life-changing experience for the high-school-age kids we sponsor and brings us closer to a world at peace. We send an outbound student from Ukiah to a foreign country for a year, and we receive a foreign student into Ukiah for a year. We encourage local families to host the exchange students (typically for 2-4 months).

If you would consider taking part in this exciting program and becoming a host family, we'd like to chat with you, at your convenience, about what's involved. No obligation is presumed!

Contact Colin Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

"A Fabulous Experience" from Rotary International on Vimeo.