Children & Youth Committee at Rotary Club of Guelph
The first documented Rotary student exchanges date back to 1927, when the Rotary Club of Nice, France, initiated exchanges with European students. Exchanges between clubs in California, USA, and Latin American countries began in 1939, and exchange activities spread to the eastern United States in 1958. 
In 1972, the Rotary International Board of Directors agreed to recommend the Youth Exchange Program to clubs worldwide as a worthwhile international activity promoting global peace and understanding. 
Today, Rotary clubs host exchanges for students ages 15-19 in more than 100 countries. Long-term exchanges last a full academic year, and students attend local schools and live with multiple host families. Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months and are often structured as camps, tours, or homestays that take place when school is not in session.
The primary goal of Rotary Youth Exchange is providing young people with opportunities to experience a cultural exchange and to develop as leaders who promote peace and justice around the world.  
The Rotary Club of Guelph was active with Rotary International’s Youth Exchange program in the 1970’s and 1980’s, hosting students from Mexico, Japan and Brazil,  and then again briefly in the 2000’s, with students from Australia and Ecuador.  But due to other priorities, a concern over the international selection process,  and a lack of Rotary host families, the club chose not to continue with the program.
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