Program Costs

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is considered to be the most cost effective youth exchange available – on average a Rotary Exchange is half the price of many commercial exchange providers. Where there are providers with similar costs, we encourage you to cross-check the level of support that is provided. For example, our long-term exchange includes 2 x two night orientation camps before the student departs, all orientation camps in the host country when the student arrives, and a two-night orientation camp on their return!

Why are our exchanges cheaper than most other exchanges? Because Rotarians are all volunteers, including host families, so there are no salaries, payments or commissions paid to the hard-working, passionate people who administer this program or generously host students in their homes.

It does cost money, though, to administer the program, present the orientations, provide student materials and supplies, etc. And, of course, there’s airfare, insurance, visas and other travel expenses.

Keep in mind that whilst you are living at home in Australia, it does cost money. Think of this cost being offset by you living in a host country.

Long term program costs:

The total cost of your exchange will depend on your personal budget and the cost of living in the country you go to on exchange (for your discretionary spending). Before you leave there will be a program fee payable to Rotary, and after that the costs are at your personal discretion depending on what you spend while you’re away.

Below is a broad outline of costs, to give you a general idea. A reminder that Rotary Youth Exchange is administered by volunteers and the following costs are all not-for-profit.

The student’s parents or guardian provide for all of the following costs:

  • The program administration fee for long term exchange.
    • For 2025 long-term outbounders, the program fee will be AUD$10,400 (updated Feb 2024).
      • Please first keep in mind that while on exchange the host Rotary Club will pay the student pocket money of approximately AUD$150 per month, which equates to approx. $1,800 for the year. Think of this as $1,800 you will be saving off your program fee as it is $1,800 less spending money you will need for your exchange.
    • The program fee pays for:
      • Return airfare, as arranged and booked by Rotary, to the country of exchange. This must be a flexible fare. All students pay the same amount regardless of what country they are going to – this is because while students can nominate their top five preferences for their destination country, the youth exchange committee makes the final decision on the exchange destination.
      • Important: if airfares are less than budgeted, parents will be refunded any excess program fees at the completion of the student’s exchange (i.e. in February following their return).
      • Personal travel insurance, arranged and booked by Rotary.
      • Attendance at two mandatory two-night orientation camps and a mandatory two-night debrief camp on your return. These camps are also attended by all current inbound students.
      • Attendance at inbound orientation camps in your host country at no cost, as arranged by your host district.
      • Provision of your Rotary Youth Exchange blazer, merchandise, badge and business cards.
      • Between $300-$500 contribution towards visa costs if applicable (either the visa fee and/or flight costs if you need to travel for a visa interview at the consulate in Sydney or Canberra). Exact amount will be based upon the number of students who have visa costs based on the final destination countries.
    • Administration costs for Rotary to administer the program.
  • For students travelling to Japan, please note that Rotary Youth Exchange Japan require all inbound students to take out Japanese travel insurance. We will assist parents to determine if their student will require both or if the Japanese insurance will be sufficient. In most cases both Australian and Japanese insurance will be require only if the student has pre-existing conditions. If only Japanese insurance is taken, this will be covered by your global fee. If both are taken, parents must pay the additional cost of the Japanese insurance separately.
  • An Emergency Fund of approximately $500 (AUD) that is available for the student to access at all times. This is placed into an account for you in your host country, and is returned at the end of your exchange if not used.
  • Internal travel in overseas country including Rotary organised tours or school camps (all tours are optional).
  • Day to day living expenses of the student such as postage, phone calls, personal items/toiletries, clothing, footwear and some school expenses such as a school uniform and school stationery if required.
  • Gifts for Rotarians and host families in the host country.
  • Passport costs, if a new passport is required.

Rotary provides:

  • A vibrant, supportive and welcoming global Rotary community for the student to become a part of.
  • Rotary approved host families who provide a family environment for the student including accommodation and meals.
  • Schooling and the payment of normal school fees (if required) and some school expenses at the discretion of the host club.
  • Attendance at inbound orientation camps.
  • A monthly allowance of approximately AUD$150 paid to the student by their host club (value is dependent on the country of exchange).
  • A student counsellor, both here and in the host country, to support the student on their exchange.

Naturally, you have to consider these amounts against what it normally costs to keep you for 12 months living at home.

Partial student scholarships are available for eligible long-term students to help fund their exchange. Please contact us on to enquire about financial assistance.

Short term program costs:

As with long term exchange, the cost of your exchange will vary depending on where you go, when you depart from, and your own personal spending money.

Note that the cost of a short term exchange is often not that much less than a long term exchange! That’s because the biggest costs of the exchange are the flights, insurance, visas, and orientation camps which are largely the same no matter whether you are going for three months or twelve months (except for travel insurance).

As a guide, here is a basic outline of costs. Unlike the long term program where the global fee includes airfares and insurance, in the short term program parents pay the fight costs directly. This is because students apply for a specific country program so they know exactly where they are going. There is also a program fee payable to Rotary to administer the program.

Here is an overview of the costs of the program:

  • The Program Administration Fee for Short Term Exchange:
    • For 2024 short term outbounders the program fee will be $2,250. This includes:
      • Personal travel Insurance, arranged and booked by Rotary.
      • Attendance at the August weekend orientation camp (including attendance by German and Indonesian exchange buddies). Argentinian outbound students have the option to also attend the February orientation camp with their exchange buddy but this is at an additional cost of $550. The February camp for the inbound Argentinians is mandatory.
      • Rotary Youth Exchange merchandise for you and your exchange buddy.
      • Administration costs for Rotary to administer the program.
  • Cost for airline tickets and travel insurance: this varies depending on the country but can be anything from $2,500 for Asia to $6,000 for South America. Flights are booked by Rotary but paid for by the parents, and must be flexible.
  • Your own spending money for discretionary items.
  • Passport costs, if a new passport is required.
  • Visa costs, if applicable.
  • Depending on the host country, there may also be some out of pocket expenses for any tours organised by the host club/district, but attendance at these is at the discretion of the student and their family.
  • Any school fees should be paid for by the host club, and the students own school uniform from home can be worn if a uniform is required (to be agreed with the host club/school)
  • There are also no accommodation or meal costs as the student is hosted by a local family. This hosting then needs to be reciprocated by the student’s family in their own country – short term exchanges are a family homestay swap. Please visit the Short Term Exchange page for more information.

For further information about the STEP program and it’s costs, please email our STEP Coordinator on

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