The Rotary Club of Ingleburn has supported a number of young people under the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.  In December 2012 we supported a local young lady, Jessica Briggs on her exchange visit to Sweden. From July 2013 we hosted Marlin Eriksson, a Swedish young lady who has experienced a wonderful twelve months in Australia, attending Hurlstone Agricultural College and staying with Rotarian families in the local area. 

The Youth Exchange Program is an international program which provides young people with the opportunity to experience life in a different country, culture and environment for up to one year.

The program is an extremely rewarding experience for all who participate whether they are a student, club members, host families, district personnel or the wider host community. Most youth exchange students participate in the year-long program, spending their year abroad studying at a host school and living with 3-4 host families. A smaller number participate in short term exchanges of up to three months. These programs are for students ages 15 to 18 whilst new generations provides a similar opportunity for 18 to 25 year olds. The major objective is to further international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to study first hand some of the problems and accomplishments if people in lands other than their own. There is an ambassadorial role implied in the exchange with students being expected to impart as much knowledge as they can about their own country as well as sharing knowledge of their host country on their return.

Applicants can be children of Rotarians as well as non-Rotarians and are accepted by a sponsoring Rotary club after interview and club selection. Final selection and nomination resides with the district youth exchange committee. All students and their parents take part in a thorough orientation and briefing program.

Outbound students are responsible for the provision of round trip airfares, clothing, comprehensive health and travel insurance and incidental expenses. The host Rotary club accepts responsibility for food and lodging with arrangements made for a regular monthly living allowance and school requirements.

As an exchange program, Rotary clubs wishing to nominate & sponsor a student should be prepared to arrange reciprocal hosting for an inbound student. It is usual for the hosting over the twelve-month period to be shared by several families with the Rotary club offering support and guidance throughout. Host families can come from within the Rotary club or from non-Rotarian families. A Rotarian counsellor is appointed to co-ordinate activities as well as providing advisory support to the student.

The district Youth Exchange Program committee provides an overall support structure to assist club exchanges. It initiates international contacts, selects and briefs outbound students, welcomes and orientates inbound students, provides district counsellors to monitor the program.

In today's society all persons who have contact with students or young people under the age of 18 are required to have background checks carried out. Rotary districts world wide participating in youth exchange are required to be certified with Rotary International whilst participating clubs are required to be certified with their Distrct Youth Exchange Committee. In NSW adults that have any interaction with minors under the age of 18 must be registered with the appropriate authorities.