A 12-month stay with a host family in a different country.

The most powerful force in the promotion of international understanding and peace is exposure to different cultures.

Rotary Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures. This plants the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.

An exchange also offers a unique experience whereby a student is immersed in another culture for 12 months in a way that is not possible as a tourist. Students experience the daily challenges and rewards of this experience as they make friends and get to know their new cultures.

An exchange brings significant personal growth and development from which the student builds their self-confidence, independence and general communication and social skills. In 12 months and exchange brings experiences that develop life skills that otherwise would take years to accumulate.

Rotary’s objectives for the RYE programme are:

To enable students to advance their education by studying for a year in an environment entirely different from their own, and undertaking the study of courses and subjects not normally available to them in their own country.

To give students opportunities to broaden their outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, creeds, and colours and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment completely different from the one they have experienced at home.

To have students act as ambassadors for their own country by addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations and youth groups in their host country; by imparting as much knowledge as they can of their own country, its attributes and its problems to the people they meet during their year abroad.

To provide sufficient time to study and observe another country’s culture so that upon returning home students can pass on the knowledge they have gained by addressing Rotary clubs and other organizations and assimilate the positive aspects into their everyday living.

Learn more here.


Are you a Mid North youngster interested in taking part in a Rotary Youth Exchange? If so, please contact us and we will be in touch as soon as we can.


Julie Gronlund

Julie joins us for the 2015-2016 year from Strandby in Denmark. She is in Year 13 and attending Okaihau College’s as that school’s first international exchange student. She will attend Kerikeri High School for the second six months of her exchange. Very much an outdoors girl, Julie is looking forward to experiencing all that New Zealand has to offer. With her outgoing personality and excellent English, making friends will not be difficult.


Monita Skipworth

Monita Skipworth is the Mid North RYE student we are currently sponsoring. She hails from Okaihau and is living with her Rotary host family in Nantes, France. France is proving an amazing cultural experience for Monita – a world away from her rural upbringing in the Mid North. She has thrown herself wholeheartedly into the exchange, becoming fluent in French and travelling to several different European countries. We’ve had a chance to chat with her on Skype during some of our meetings, something that has enabled us to share just a taste of her experience. Monita is an amazing young woman and a worthy ambassador of both our club and New Zealand.