What is an "Outbound" Exchange Student?

An "Outbound" is a high school student selected by Rotary clubs in Rotary District 5010 to serve as ambassadors foreign countries around the world. These students are open-minded, flexible individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities and have high moral standards that will enable them to become excellent cultural ambassadors for their country and the Rotary club and district that supports them.

The District 5010 Alaska/Yukon Rotary Youth Exchange Program offers two different exchange experiences. The Long Term Exchange Program is a year-long program in which the student is hosted by 2 or 3 families and attends school in a partner foreign country. The Short Term Exchange Program is a six to eight week program, normally during the summer, where kids live with a family in another country and then host someone from that country in their own home.

Outbounds attend orientations and meet others in the program who help them prepare for their year abroad. After they are selected, they are expected to follow Rotary rules for exchange students and must understand that they are not exchange students until they actually leave the country on an airplane for their destination.

Students talk about the impact of Rotary Youth Exchange on their lives.

Long-Term Program

When a high school student is selected to be a Long Term Rotary Youth Exchange student by their local Rotary club, they become a Rotary Youth Exchange Student candidate. All candidates (along with at least one parent/guardian) are required to attend a local Briefing Meeting, normally held in late-October. At this meeting the student will learn how to fill out the Long Term Exchange Application, about the costs of the exchange, the countries that our District is partnered with, how they are assigned their country, how the travel process works and have a time to ask questions.

In mid-January all of the candidates will be interviewed in Anchorage by a Rotary District Interview Committee. Candidates are then notified if they have been selected to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student and where they will be during their exchange year.

To ensure that the students have an successful exchange experience, all of the outbound students will attend monthly local orientation sessions. A group orientation is normally held in Anchorage during mid-May for 2 days.

The orientations cover the following topics and others that are pertinent to Youth Exchange:

  • What is Rotary
  • Ethical behavior
  • Language learning
  • Cultural adjustment and home sickness
  • What is culture
  • Travel, health insurance, passports, visas
  • Money while on exchange, cell phones, computers/tablets
  • Visits by parents/guardians

At the orientations students will have the opportunity to meet former Rotary Youth Exchange students and current Inbound Students from other countries. After they are selected, Rotary Youth Exchange students are expected to follow Rotary rules for exchange students and must understand that they may be removed from the program before they leave on exchange if they miss orientation, do not make progress in learning their host country language, or are not deemed to be good ambassadors.

Our District has Youth Exchange agreements with many countries. In some of the countries, the exchange covers the whole country, and in others, a region of the country. Although there is an exchange agreement with these countries, we do not exchange students with every country every year.

The initial Application for our Year-long program is available HERE.

After your initial application has been accepted, you can start your Long Form Application HERE.

Short-Term Summer Program

About the Program

Rotary Short Term Exchange presents opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and world understanding by allowing them to live abroad for a brief time over the summer. Participants will live with one host family in the destination country for approximately one month in the summer, under the sponsorship of their local Rotary Club. This is a true exchange program because the host brother / sister from abroad will also spend a month with the participating student in his/her home in the USA during the same summer.


To foster world peace, international understanding and good will by extending international communication at the personal level through the exchange of students of high school age. It is our hope that these young people will be able to observe, first hand, the problems and accomplishments of other countries by living with and meeting people of cultures, creeds and colors other than their own.


Any student, age 15-19 of good character who possesses a warm personality and a desire to live abroad and host in return. Candidates should be adaptable and flexible, well mannered and want to experience life in other countries and cultures. Children of Rotarians and non-Rotarians are equally eligible.


Applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary Club. Contact any member of a local club who will put you in touch with its Youth Exchange Chairperson regarding details. Your High School Guidance Counselor usually cooperates with the Rotary Club and can help you make that contact.

Application and Documents