Karen Mothersill photo

Karen Mothersill - Northern Europe Country Coordinator 

On behalf of Rotary Youth Exchange Florida/Georgia, we want to encourage you to apply today to become a foreign exchange student. Make your dreams of spending a year abroad learning a new culture, new language, trying new food and experiencing new traditions come true.  You can do this...apply today!   

Northern Europe Countries 

Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden

FROM PREVIOUS OUTBOUND ROTARY YOUTH EXCHANGE STUDENTS

My Swedish friends... omg. Just thinking about them makes me smile. They have literally been the best. I think the most interesting thing about them is that they push me to be the very best I can be. They are also super nice and I feel they will always have my back. I really cannot compare them to U.S. friendships because they are that awesome.     Zachary Davis- Sweden

I went on a Rotary trip to Lapland, where I skied for my first time, walked across the Finnish-Swedish border, fed a reindeer, met (the very, very real) Santa in Santa’s Village, and went on both husky and reindeer sleigh rides! So far everything has been so much better than I could have ever imagined and I’m grateful for this opportunity. Leaving home sounded terrifying at first and it was harder than I expected but as soon as I left it didn’t feel so hard anymore.    Amanda Phillips- Finland

It feels like just yesterday when I hugged and kissed my friends and family goodbye and left the comfort of home for strangers, awkward moments, no English, and a lot of strange food. Little did I know that those strangers would become friends and family, those awkward moments would become memories of a life time, no English would become a language I find beautiful and frustrating at the same time, and those strange foods would become cravings.  Hannah Nelson – Lithuania

Slovakia is not a popular choice for any exchange student to put on their top five, and I must admit at first I was a little skeptical, but after being here for a month it would have knocked out all the clique tourist countries I wrote down and been my number one choice. This small country has so much to offer and a lot of hidden beauty. Fun Fact: Slovakia is the “heart” of Europe, it’s in the exact center.                               Mikayla Omlie- Slovakia

Below is a list of jof the things I have learned so far: Everything is ridiculously expensive (a tall Starbucks drink costs almost $10), no one wears flip-flops… EVER, people here love to eat lutefisk and their favorite cheese is brown. Hugging people you don’t know really well is freaky (I’ve scared multiple people by forgetting this), and an apples and cinnamon pastry called Lefsa is mind-blowingly good!                               Mia Mothersill- Norway

The start of my adventure began with my first plane ride. Being on 2 planes for 14 hours, I was scared and didn’t know what go do at first. I thought I was going to get lost, miss my plane or get on the wrong plane, but here I am in Czech, so I did just fine. This is my first time out of the country, my first time out on my own and my first time having a taste of independence.  Kayla Alexander- Czech Republic

I cannot thank Rotary enough for sending me on exchange to Poland. Poland overall is beautiful, filled with history and I cannot imagine spending my exchange anywhere else. Poland has become my new home and I have only been here for a little over a month. I look forward to what is in store for my new adventure here in Poland. If you are a thinking about going on exchange at all even a little bit, my best advice for you is: go for it. Being a future outbound might be a lot of work but believe me it is worth it.  Gina Perez - Poland

So now, here I am: in love with a country, and a life, that I have to say goodbye to in just 80 short days. And already, I am torn between two places. I love my friends and family back in America and I completely understand the language and culture. Yet I also love my friends and family here, and while I don't always understand the culture or language, I've just fallen in love with the history and the people here. I just know for a fact that I am not ready to let it go. Yet I am excited to go back home and eat the food and see the people and feel the familiar sun on my face. I'm already torn between two places, and I'm not even back yet. Rose Gonzales – Netherlands

I had some doubts before going on exchange, so here is what I would tell a student who is also deciding whether they want to become an exchange student or not. One of the reasons that I was hesitant about going on exchange was because I thought that I would miss out on a lot at home. I can tell anyone who is also experiencing this doubt that the experiences you will gain while on exchange and what you will discover about yourself is worth so much more than anything you will miss at home (which won't be much, by the way).  Sierra Tagman – Denmark

I think the best change that has happened since I've been in Greenland is that I have become happier with myself. Being enthralled in this new culture and language and all the rest of it is breathtaking. I still wake up in the morning and think holy crap I'm in Greenland. To all of the people considering participating in this program next year, do it! Whatever your concern is, be it from you becoming homesick, to the country not having peanut butter (most don't by the way) do it! Take your concerns and throw them out the window because I promise you won't regret it.  Gabe Fox – Greenland

Tjena!! I’m now almost 3 months into my exchange, which is crazy to say. To think a year ago I was applying, second guessing myself, spending countless nights dreaming out what it would be like to live in a foreign country, stressing about getting my TB results and getting prepped for what would turn out to be the biggest interview of my life, is really really crazy. Now I’m here, sitting in my school’s cafe, in Sweden, a country one year ago I knew nothing about other than it was cold.  Mia Cleary – Sweden

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Czechia 

The Czechia Rotary Youth Exchange Program has a single district 2240 and works with neighboring country Slovakia. AGE REQUIREMENTS: Students must be between the ages of 15 and 18.5 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: None. VISA COSTS: TBT. A consent of parents both in your native language and Czech language notarized by a Notary Public. National Police Certificate and Czech translation supported by Apostille. Visa issued in the US prior to departure at student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: 350 USD paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Czech upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. mid-August. NOTES: A limited number of graduated students accepted with prior approval. 

Denmark/Faroe Islands/Greenland

   

The Danish Rotary Youth Exchange Program is a national multi-district that covers all of Denmark, plus the Faroe Islands and Greenland. AGE REQUIREMENTS: Students must be between the ages of 15.5 - 18.5 upon arrival. RESTRICTIONS: Students with past history of mental health or currently taking medication for mental health will not be accepted. VISA COSTS: Requires a trip with parents to the Danish embassy in Washington,D.C.for visa application. All costs associated with visa and travel to obtain visa is at student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: 300 Euro paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Dutch upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. the first of August. NOTES: Denmark is a multi-district so a student may be hosted by the Faroe Islands or Greenland. 

Finland/Estonia

Rotary Youth Exchange in Finland is operated by a national multi-district which includes all of Finland and Estonia. AGE REQUIREMENTS: Students must be between the ages of 16 - 17.5 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: No smokers allowed. Vegetarians may be considered. VISA COSTS: requires a trip with both parents to Finnish Embassy in NY for visa application. All costs associated with visa and travel to obtain visa is at student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: 300 euro paid in cash upon arrival. Students taking any medications for mental health issues will not be accepted. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Finnish upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. first week of August. NOTES: Finland is a multi-district so a student may be hosted in Estonia.

  Lithuania 

AGE REQUIREMENTS: Students must be between the ages of 15 - 18.5 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: Students must be fluent in English. VISA COSTS: Students enter on a 90 day visa free permit and apply for student visa after arrival. All costs associated with obtaining and processing the visa are at the student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: 500 Euro paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Lithuanian upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Appprox. the end of August. NOTES: students must provide bank letter on official letterhead stating a minimum of 3000 Euro is in bank at time of departure. An official police background check must be submitted along with an official Apostille, at student's cost. Students over 18 may incur additional fees for visas. 

Netherlands

Rotary Youth Exchange in the Netherlands offers an excellent exchange for students. They are operated by a national multi-district than manages exchanges for seven districts. AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Students must be between the ages of 16 - 18.5 upon arrival. RESTRICTIONS: None.  VISA COSTS: Upon arrival students pay the residence permit of approx. 625 Euro. EMERGENCY MONEY: 100 Euro paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Dutch upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required.  DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. the end of August. NOTES: Students must pay program fee of approx 100 Euro which is due prior to departure.

Norway 

 

Rotary Youth Exchange in Norway is operated by a national multi-district than manages exchanges for seven districts, covering all of Norway. AGE REQUIREMENTS: Students must be between the ages of 16 - 18 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: No graduated students accepted. VISA COSTS: Students obtain their visa upon arrival to Norway at no cost to the student. EMERGENCY MONEY: 3000 NOK paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Norwegian upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. mid-August.

Poland

Rotary Youth Exchange in Poland operates as a single district.  AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Students must be between the ages of 15.5 - 17 upon arrival. RESTRICTIONS: None VISA COSTS: requires a trip with both parents to Polish embassy in Washington, D.C. for visa application. All costs associated with visa and travel to obtain visa is at student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: 500 USD paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Polish upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. mid August.

Slovakia

The Slovakia Rotary Youth Exchange Program has a single district 2240 and works with neighboring country Czechia.  AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Students must be between the ages of 15 - 18.5 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: None. VISA COSTS: Visa issued after arrival at cost of approx.10 Euro. A medical check is required for visa which costs approx.100 Euro. EMERGENCY MONEY: 600 Euro paid in cash upon arrival. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Slovak upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. mid-August. NOTES: Prefer older students but not graduated.

Sweden 

The Swedish multi-district includes ten districts, covering all of Sweden. AGE REQUIREMENTS:  students must be between the ages of 15.6 - 18 upon arrival.  RESTRICTIONS: Students with history of serious psychological conditions such as depression, anorexia or bulimia will not be accepted. Students currently taking medications for mental health issues will not be accepted. Graduated students will not be accepted. VISA COSTS: Students apply for their visa upon arrival to Sweden at the student's expense. EMERGENCY MONEY: No emergency money is required. LANGUAGE: It is expected that you will have a basic understanding of Swedish upon arrival. Language courses, at your expense, may be required. DEPARTURE DATE: Approx. the last week in July. NOTES: In some districts, students may need to take TBE immunization shot upon arrival.

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