What is

The Gap Year

A “gap year” is the academic school year immediately following graduation from high school and before enrolling in college or university studies. If you are currently a Senior in high school and will graduate next Spring, you can still participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange study abroad program if you will not exceed 19 years of age by the time of departure after graduation. Students who go abroad during their gap year travel extensively with other high school exchange students. They are still required to attend high school in the country of their exchange because these type student exchange programs require student visas. Gap year programs abroad are a lot less stressful for students because no academic credits are needed for graduation from their high school back home.

The gap year travel programs usually last one academic year. To gain a greater understanding of the culture, you will live with at 2 – 3 host families during your stay. To ensure your safety, the host Rotary club carefully screens and selects all host families. Additionally, the local host Rotary club pays you a monthly stipend and assigns a dedicated counselor to help you get the most out of your exchange.Gap year abroad as a high school foreign exchange student is an immersion into the culture of another country. You will become a global citizen whose perspective of people in countries around the world will be changed forever. The challenges are great, but so are the benefits.

If this sounds like it’s right for you, Contact Us to get more information about how to apply in your area.

Program Costs

We are the lowest cost student exchange program, period! The program is completely administered by volunteer Rotary club members, keeping program expenses low. Costs vary depending on the district and country where the exchange occurs, so contact your local club or district for specific information. Typically, students and their

Parents or guardians are expected to cover the following expenses:

Scholarship covers room, board, tuition, and a monthly stipend – valued over $24,000.


Rotary Youth Exchanges are administered locally and all applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and district. Rotary clubs exist in most countries and geographical areas, and Youth Exchanges take place in nearly all of them. Each Rotary district has its own application and selection process.