Brief Overview

The Short-Term programme is a reciprocal exchange. The student your family hosts, will be your host family on the outbound journey. This is not a school exchange, but rather a family to family exchange.

Period of Exchange

The Short-Term programme is a 4-6-week exchange. It is designed so that you will receive an exchange student within the months of June/July/August. We do our best to make sure that the period of exchange of the student you receive coincides as much as possible with our school holidays. However, this is not always possible, as school holidays vary from country to country, and also within the different districts of specific countries. In cases where the overlap is not ideal, we advise you to arrange that your inbound can attend school. This arrangement is entirely up to you and will depend on the local school being agreeable to this arrangement.

The outbound journey is arranged after schools finish in December, until a few days before you go back to school in January. Depending on when you finish examinations, you can arrange with the school to depart prior to the end of term. This will need to be subject to the school agreeing to this arrangement. However, please remember that European countries do not have lengthy holidays in December, and the corresponding (host) student may not be on holiday during this time.

Application, Selection, and Orientation Process

In order to be accepted for this programme each applicant will be required to participate in a selection and orientation process. Parents will be required to attend certain parts of this process.

APPLICATION: Submit your application via our website.

INTERVIEW: On receipt of the online application, you will be contacted for an interview, which will be held at your home. It is mandatory for parents to attend this interview, and the interview will last approximately one hour.

SELECTION CAMP: After completion of the interview, successful students will be invited to attend a compulsory camp in Feb/Mar. The cost for the camp is approximately R800.00. The venue and date will be advised via email.

ORIENTATION CAMPS: Students and parents must attend a mid-year orientation in June. This is a session where we will prepare you to host your incoming student, as well as the outbound student for the exchange programme itself. A Final Orientation Camp will be held in September, where you will be presented with your regalia. Both these orientation sessions are included in the cost of the programme.

Except in the case of an unforeseen emergency, students will be required to participate in the full programme. Failure to attend will disqualify you from the process.

Sponsoring Rotary Club

Once the student has been accepted, the Youth Exchange Committee will assist the student in finding a Sponsoring Rotary Club in the area in which you live.2.

Matching Process

This is the most challenging period of the programme for the committee. Once the selection camp has taken place and we have got to know the students, we attempt to find the best possible country match. This decision is based on your country placement preference and the countries wanting to send students to South Africa. Should we feel that your choice is not an ideal one for you, we will discuss alternatives with you.

Number of Students

There is no minimum or maximum number of students. Over the past 5 years we have averaged between 15 – 25 exchanges per year.

Countries Offered

This list changes from year to year. Please note that we do not guarantee your placement to a certain country. This is an exchange programme and the countries we exchange with depends on a student from that country wanting to come to South Africa. As we approach March, we will have a better idea of what countries there are and how many places there will be available in each. However, South Africa is a popular destination and we do not have difficulty in placing our students.


The cost for each student participating in 2024/2025 will be R30,000 which is payable as follows:

R 15,000 by end March 2024

R 15,000 by end May 2024

All fees payable to D9350.

The fee covers:

  1. Airfares (Return trip to Cape Town).
  2. Regalia – which includes the official Softshell jacket, official Backpack, name badge, Beanie, Flag, T-Shirt.

Please note that the amount quoted may change based on the destination countries with whom we exchange, currency fluctuations, length of stay and airline price increases. We have attempted to give you an indication of the cost so that you may budget, but this is an estimation only. We include an estimation of the cost within our pricing, but should the cost be more than estimated you will need to settle the difference.

However, there are other expenses not included in the above:

  • Pocket money.
  • Emergency medical Insurance.
  • Visas.
  • Tours.
  • Souvenirs, gifts and
  • All Risks Insurance.
  • The airfare is for a return trip to your destination country departing from Cape Town. If you are for example, living in George, or a student outside Cape Town, you will need to travel to Cape Town at your own cost.
  • The payment amount of R15 000 is due by 30 March 2024 and the balance – R15 000 by end of May 2024

All the students pay the same amount irrespective of the destination.

Age Requirements

Most of our students are in Grade 10 and 11.

The student must be between the age of 16 years 6 months and 18 years and 6 months old on the day they leave for their host country. Certain countries will accept students that are 19 years of age at the date of departure, so this will limit the choice of your destination.

Documentation required

On acceptance, we advise that you must immediately apply for an unabridged birth certificate at Home Affairs, together with a passport, should you not already have one.

Frequently asked Questions

  1. May I buy my own air ticket? Rotary does this on your behalf.2
  2. May I change my ticket? Under no circumstances will any changes be made to any travel booking without prior consultation with, and acceptance from Rotary.
  3. Can I use Voyager Miles or a free ticket? No, as we do the booking on your behalf. However, if a student is a holder of a Voyager Card, s/he may claim the miles travelled on their youth exchange ticket. The student must advise the travel agent before the ticket is issued.
  4. Must I travel there and back with the group? Yes. No exceptions will be made to this rule. The committee cannot and will not act as travel agents.
  5. Can I do my own thing whilst overseas? No. You will be the responsibility of your host family and Rotary and will therefore have to comply fully with their plans and arrangements. The host family and Rotary cannot be used as a base from which independently organized tours are made.
  6. Can I visit relatives whilst overseas on exchange? Depending on their location and circumstances a visit could be arranged, but only after prior consultation with and acceptance from Rotary.
  7. Will my family be expected to host a foreign student in return? Most definitely, one of the main features of the programme is that it is a family-to-family exchange. Your family will be expected to reciprocate the hospitality, and to treat your exchange partner in the same manner as they would like you treated whilst overseas.
  8. Can I purchase my own insurance? Rotary purchases Emergency Medical Insurance when paying for the air tickets. This is because this insurance must comply with Rotary International’s specifications. You will have to cover All Risks and Life Insurance only.
  9. Will I be expected to go to school whilst I am overseas? In our experience it is not normally the case. However, some students may be required to attend school for a short while to experience the school culture of their host country.
  10. Will this be a nice big holiday for me? No, not entirely. Students will be required to address Rotary Clubs, schools, etc. They will also be required to familiarise themselves with the current community service projects of both the sponsor and host clubs and to report on both.