Exposure to different cultures ranks as one of the most powerful ways to promote international understanding and peace. The Rotary New Generations Service Exchange program provides university students and young employees with the opportunity to meet people from other countries and to experience new cultures and career opportunities through the lens of a different culture, planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.
The NGSE adds to Rotary’s programs to support young adults in their development. As other youth programs do, the NGSE radiates into other Avenues and Programs. The program offers numerous benefits to its young participants and their Rotarian hosts and mentors, as well as to the community at large. Through New Generations Service Exchange, participants learn firsthand about life in another country, its educational system and the world of work. As their concept of the world expands, they mature and develop a deeper understanding of themselves, others and the world.
Immersion in another country’s cultural system enhances their academic, vocational and personal growth. Host clubs and families and the entire community are enriched by extended, friendly contact with someone from a different culture.
The New Generations Service Exchange is part of the Fifth Avenue of Service: YOUTH SERVICE. It is an independent program, but since it is relatively new, it may use the network and experience of other programs – especially the Youth Exchange Program.
In 2012 the RI Board decided to implement the New Generations Service Exchange ‐ NGSE (see Code of Policies 8.060.). This new Program replaced the New Generations Exchange. The Program is part of the 5th Avenue of Service. The Council on Legislation in 2013 decided to name the Avenue “Youth Service”.
Youth Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
Adults up to the age of 30 may participate in New Generations Service Exchange for up to three months. Exchanges may be organized for individuals or groups. The minimum age of the participants shall be the age of majority in the host country, but not younger than age 18. New Generations Service Exchanges must have a strong humanitarian or vocational service component. The schedule of activities shall be developed by the host district, primarily comprised of people‐to‐ people interactions and service work supporting one or more of The Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus, vocational service (such as professional development and leadership training), and/or local activities involving New Generations activities. The host district shall arrange for the hosting of participants and provide local transportation. Districts shall utilize screening procedures to identify suitable hosting arrangements. Eligible candidates shall be sponsored by a local Rotary club near their place of residence, their district New Generations Service chair, and sponsoring District Governor. Current Rotaract members and former Interact, Rotaract, RYLA and Youth Exchange students are encouraged to apply.
Participants should demonstrate a strong commitment to service and the ideals of Rotary. Districts are encouraged to establish agreements with their exchange partners to set expectations concerning the logistics of the exchange, participant selection and orientation, funding and participant expenses, and the service activities in which the participants will participate.
New Generations Service Exchanges need not be reciprocal.
1) Non Paid, Non Academic Internships. These are normally exchanges for individuals. The duration of the exchange is regulated by local laws and visa requirements. The exchange shall not be longer than three months, which usually coincides with the limitations of most tourist visas. The participants stay in host families who provide appropriate room and board.
A workplace has to be arranged before the exchange begins.
There may be some internships which make living in private homes difficult or impossible (e.g. working in an orphanage or hospital). In these cases the hosting Rotary Club will arrange adequate housing. The assumption of additional costs has to be negotiated between the sponsoring and hosting Rotary Districts and participating Clubs.
2) Group Exchanges. These exchanges vary from four to six weeks. Groups normally includes six to ten participants. These may be from the same vocational or educational areas. The participants stay with host families who provide room and board at no cost. During their stay the participants get practical exposure to their educational or vocational field.
Flexibility in the New Generations Service Exchange program allows it to be adapted to fit the needs of any participant who qualifies.
Individual district and multidistrict programs may develop their own program rules and guidelines, provided they are consistent with those set by the RI Board.