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.
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, 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 varies depending on the country of exchange, your departure location and your personal budget. Before you leave, there will be one global 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.
The student’s parents or guardian provide for all of the following costs:
- The global administration fee for long term exchange in 2024 will be between $9,000 and $9,900. This includes:
- Return airfare, as arranged 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.
- Personal insurance, as defined by Rotary International.
- Attendance at orientation and debrief days, orientation manuals, Rotary Youth Exchange blazer, merchandise, badge and business cards.
- A $500 contribution towards visa costs (either the visa fee and/or flight costs if you need to travel for a visa interview at the consulate in Sydney or Canberra).
- A small contribution to the scholarship fund levy for a student who requires financial assistance.
- 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.
- 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 if required.
- Gifts for Rotarians and host families in the host country.
- Rotary approved host families who provide a family environment for the student including meals.
- Schooling and the payment of normal school fees and some expenses.
- Attendance at inbound orientation camps.
- A monthly allowance of approximately AUD $150 paid to the student by their host club (value is dependant on the country of exchange).
- A student counsellor, both here and in the host country.
- Back up support and counselling for the family of the student
Naturally, you have to consider these amounts against what it normally costs to keep you for 12 months living at home.
Student scholarships are available for eligible long-term students to help either fully or partially fund their exchange. Please contact us on email@example.com for more information if you think you may be eligible.
Short term program costs:
As with long term exchange, the cost of your exchange will vary depending on where you go, where 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 in our global fees are the costs of flights, insurance and visas, 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 the parents pay the flights at cost directly. This is because students apply for a specific country program so they know exactly where they are going. There is also a global fee payable to Rotary to administer the program.
Here is an overview of the costs of the program:
- Rotary Global Short Term Fee in 2024 will be $1,350. This includes:
- Travel Insurance.
- Attendance at one weekend orientation camp.
- Administration fees.
- A small contribution to the YEP scholarship fund.
- D9640 YEP merchandise (hoodie and t-shirt) are funded by your sponsor Rotary club.
- 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 and must be flexible.
- Your own spending money.
- Passport cost additional if required.
- 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.
- There are no fees for schooling, and the students own school uniform from home can be worn (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 firstname.lastname@example.org