Eastern States Student Exchange (ESSEX) was founded in 1966 by a number of Rotary Districts in New England and the Middle Atlantic States. ESSEX organizes both long-term and short-term Rotary student exchanges for 36 Rotary International Districts. ESSEX works with districts in 16 states in the eastern United States, Bermuda and Quebec, Canada, and exchanges with over 30 countries worldwide.

Rotary District Youth Exchange Committee



Rotary Youth Exchange is, more specifically, an exchange of students between two Rotary Districts in different countries.  District 7950 is excited about the possibilities of expanding our Youth Exchange program, involving more and more countries and more and more students. Conduct and administration of the Exchange program is the responsibility of each participating Rotary district under the authority of the respective District Governor, a Rotarian elected for a one-year term to provide leadership to the clubs and Rotarians in that District.  All Rotary districts participating in the Youth Exchange Program agree to comply with Rotary International guidelines, but retain autonomy in conduct of the program.  This responsibility is delegated in District 7950 to the District Youth Exchange Committee (or YEC). 

 For example, the selection, screening and preparation of  “outbound” exchange student candidates is the responsibility of  each sending or  sponsoring Rotary District, although a uniform application form has been developed for this purpose by Rotary International.  On the other hand, once our District YEC has agreed to accept an “inbound” exchange student, and one of our 67 Rotary clubs has agreed to host and support that student, that student agrees to comply with this District’s rules, regulations, and guidelines as a condition of the exchange. 

 To assure a complete understanding of those conditions, the District 7950 YEC provides a comprehensive orientation to our inbound students shortly after their arrival. Even before the student’s arrival, the Youth Exchange Committee establishes and maintains communications with its counterparts in the exchanging district, the inbound students both before their arrival and during their year here, and the outbound students we are sending overseas. 

Local Rotary club 

The local club sponsors the exchange.  It names an individual Rotarian as the Youth Exchange Officer (or YEO) to administer the club’s Exchange program, including recruiting Outbound candidates and Host families. 

Another member of the Rotary club will be designated as the Inbound Exchange student’s Club Counselor for the duration of the exchange. The Club Counselor serves primarily as an advisor and advocate for the student, and also be in contact with the host family on a monthly basis, and be available to answer questions or direct host parents to the appropriate resource when needed.

 The YEO or Club Counselor will assist the student in selecting a course of study that should be neither overly-challenging nor boring for the student.