Rotary International


Rotary International, one of the oldest international service organizations, is a community of more than one million business, professional, and community leaders. The purpose of Rotary clubs is to offer and encourage humanitarian services, promote high moral standards in all fields, and to foster peace. With Rotary organizations in more than 200 countries, the options are endless.

The Rotary Youth Exchange programs are perfect for students and youth looking to volunteer abroad. This includes short-term and long-term programs for youth from ages 18-25. Other youth programs include Rotaract, Interact, and RYLA. Visit the Rotary International website to learn more about the numerous volunteering options available!


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Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

This was the best experience of my life. I lived with three different host families which gave me insight into three very different ways of living in Brazil and allowed me to experience the culture more fully than if I had been living with only foreigners. This made learning the local language much easier and encouraged me to become more engaged with the local community.
There was a group of about 30 exchange students in the area and we all had many chances to meet up and get to know each other quite well. This proved invaluable as we were all in the same position and could thus relate well despite our cultural differences. In addition, as we were all from different countries, it made us really become a family and connect to one another without creating sub-groups consisting only of those within our "comfort zone."
The exchange was for a full year and as such I can best explain it as a roller coaster. Some days were low, sad and homesick but other days were amazing and exhilarating. The biggest challenge in the beginning was of course the language but it was the most amazing feeling as we learned Portuguese and could feel ourselves getting better and more able to have conversation until one day we realized that we were fluent.
It was also very challenging to become accustomed to living under someone else's roof and rules after feeling like and being treated like an adult at home.

What would you improve about this program?
A lot of this program is what you make of it. You can choose to stay at home and be on the computer skyping home all the time if that is what you choose. As such, I think my only personal regret from the year is that I didn't leave with more Brazilian friends. I feel as though part of this is a result of the class that I was put in, the equivalent of grade 12. This resulted in many of my classmates being unable to socialize outside of class (and shouldn't in class either) due to their need to study for final exams. In addition, I had 3 other exchange students in my class so we made a group and that gave us a comfort zone that we didn't so much need to socialize with the Brazilians and we were intimidating to them to approach us.
The other regret I have was joining a month-long trip with Belo Brazil. It was a very expensive trip that was quite rushed and I wish that I had saved the money and stayed in my host city instead.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Life in Spain

I lived with a family in Spain for one month. It sounds scary, nerve-racking, overwhelming right? It was, but it was also so much more. Eating meals with the family, going to the mall with the family, watching movies with the family, traveling with the family, and even just conversing with the family not only improved my proficiency in Spanish, but but taught me so much about Spanish culture, society, politics, mindsets, and lifestyles as well. A simple activity like playing soccer with my host brother's friends in the park turned into hours of talking about how their lives teenage lives are in Spain: their girlfriends, school work, families, encounters with peer pressure, etc. Madrid is an incredible city with invaluable history, endless cultural richness and millions of welcoming, friendly people. Furthermore, the program allowed for the reverse to occur. After spending a month with my host brother's family, he came home to the US with me afterwards to spend a month here. Now it was his turn to become immersed in a foreign culture, and experience life in a different country. This is an amazing program with endless benefits. I HIGHLY recommend taking the opportunity if possible, because not only was it educational and eye-opening, but it was a blast!


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