Empire State Youth Exchange, Inc. joins together Rotary International Youth Exchange programs from Rotary Districts 7120, 7150 and 7170. Empire State Youth Exchange, Inc. is an educational and charitable organization the purpose of which is to further international understanding and goodwill through the exchange of high school students by providing opportunities for studying and living in a different culture. The corporation provides broadening, enlightening and worthwhile experiences for participating students, host families and Rotary Clubs. This program continues to be an excellent experience for high school students and an opportunity for them to spend a year abroad, living in another culture as part of a “family” and in everyday situations.
The students must apply, be interviewed and deemed to be acceptable for our program, and properly orientated, including training in identifying and reporting sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation before leaving. The students live with two to four host families, and are expected to take part in family activities.
They participate in their host school; are expected to do their class work and encouraged to join extra-curricular activities and make friends. Throughout the year, each member district has activities for the inbound students that give them the opportunity to review rules, exchange ideas on how to succeed, and just get together to have fun. The district sponsors cultural activities and bus trips.
As a true exchange program, we host an equal number of students from 20-25 countries who come to our member districts to study in the USA.
As our participating Rotary International district send a student to another country for an academic year, a Rotary Youth Exchange program from that country will send a student to our districts who has been selected and trained in the same manner. The students learn the language of their host country, and teach their hosts whatever they can about their own country’s language and customs.
Empire State Youth Exchange, Inc. requires each inbound and outbound student to purchase an insurance policy designated for Rotary International Youth Exchange program.
The program is administered and run by volunteers from Rotary clubs in our Central New York Rotary International districts. None of our volunteers are paid. Each inbound student has a counselor at the local club level who helps the student adjust and keeps in close contact with the student throughout the year. All volunteers and all members of the host family are screened with criminal background checks and personal reference checks. Our host families are not paid to host inbound students, nor are they required to host if their son or daughter is chosen as an outbound exchange student. Scholarships are available to qualifying students to cover a portion of the costs. Rotary also provides a monthly stipend to every exchange student. Cost of the program through ESYE, Inc. are $4,000 to $5,000 which includes round trip airfare, insurance, language camps if required by your host district, orientation training, blazer, all materials and identification items.