The Rotary Club of Northfield has had a dynamic and healthy Youth Exchange program since 1969. We are proud of our students and in the way that this community has supported them. We are firm believers that we are changing lives and creating world peace through this wonderful program.

We look forward to sending more 15-19 year olds in the future and being hosts to students from around the world that come to live with us. 

Program Information 

Spending time abroad with Rotary Youth Exchange is a once in a lifetime experience. Your exchange will encompass different phases that will give you opportunities to grow in new ways and experience a new culture and ideas.

Here is a great story about how lives are changed through Rotary Youth Exchange, Your Passport to Adventure.

The purpose of the Rotary Youth Exchange program is to provide secondary school students with the opportunity to travel abroad, live with a host family, and experience life firsthand in a different country, school, and social environment. Exchange students will gain lifelong advantages through an expanded world view and greater appreciation of the world.

For more information, read A Primer for Exchange Students on the Central States Rotary Youth Exchange site.

Countries and Age Requirements

North Star District (Rotary District 5950/5960) Youth Exchange of Southern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin currently exchanges with many different countries around the world. No matter what your tastes or interests, we probably have a country that will work for you.

Listed on the North Star website are the countries (subject to change) with which we exchange. Some countries have age restrictions.. No candidate who will become 19 years of age on or prior to a country’s anticipated departure date will be considered. (Note: the receiving country has the option to determine the approximate departure date. Most students depart in July or August.)

Youth Exchange | Outbounds
 

The choice is yours

Becoming a Rotary Youth Exchange student is an important decision that will change your life forever. You will experience personal growth in ways that will direct your path forward, for education, vocation and more. Read about the experiences of some of Northfield's outbound students in the following excerpts.

 

Oscar, Japan, 2019-20, Outbound

In these past five months I have lived in Japan during my time as an exchange student I have learned and enjoyed so many different parts of Japanese culture. But the one thing that has impacted me the most was visiting the museum in Hiroshima. Walking through and hearing all these heartbreaking stories of family either watching their loved ones die in front of them or never knowing what happened to them. Each object collected held so much meaning from the person it belonged to. From a young boy who didn’t care what happened to him so long as his mother was taken care of, to the young girl who died upon the banks of the river with her friends while her mother tried to find them water. Each story has so much pain and meaning behind them. I never really understood the amount of pain and death the atomic bombs caused just reading and seeing pictures in textbooks. But seeing the effects of the bomb from the victims point of view really gave me a greater understanding of the horrendous destruction caused by these bombs. It is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.


Elsa, Spain, 2019-20, Outbound 

Blog: https://elsahoff.blogspot.com/?m=1

In October I went on a weekend Rotary orientation in Alicante, Spain.  I met all of the other exchange students from District 2203 (one of three districts in Spain) and loved absolutely all of them.  On the first day of the orientation, all of the inbounds had to turn in our phones to our small group leaders for the weekend.  Surprise- I didn't even miss it that much!  The only reason I wish I'd had it was so that I could've wished my older brother a happy 21st birthday.  Love you, B.  That weekend we spent time with Rotex, talking about how our exchange has been so far, about our host families, about school, and everything in between.  Oh how wonderful it felt to relate to others!!  Even though I only just met and spent maybe 48 hours with those people, I can't wait to see them again and feel lucky to have them as friends.  I've never connected with others so quickly in my life before.  I guess staying in close quarters with students going through the same stuff as you withOUT phones really pushes you together.