YCE Exchange Youth
Is the YCE Program Right for Me?
Are you ready to embark on a life changing adventure that will open your mind and heart? Are you curious about other cultures and ways of life? Do you want to develop your skills in a second language? Would you like to cultivate new friendships with individuals that have different backgrounds, beliefs, and customs than you? The Youth Camps and Exchange (YCE) Program may be the opportunity you are seeking.
Benefits of Participation
As a YCE exchange youth, you will:
- Live with a family in another country
- Meet people your age from around the world
- Learn about what it means to be a Lion or Leo in another country
- Deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you
- Learn how to foster peace and understanding among peoples of the world
What to Expect
As a YCE exchange youth you can expect to be immersed in a unique cultural experience with Lions and Leo club members supporting your YCE journey. Your host family will treat you as a member of the family, expecting your engagement in typical daily routines and family meals. You will participate in social activities, possibly service projects and visit cultural places of interest. You are expected to familiarize yourself with the customs, expectations and basic language of the host country prior to your visit and have a desire to learn more.
You can learn more about the roles and expectations of a YCE Exchange Youth by checking out the YCE Exchange Youth Handbook!
YCE Exchange Youth must:
- Be between the ages of 15 and 22
- Be sponsored by a Lions club
- Be ready to represent your community, country and the sponsoring Lions club
- Welcome the opportunity to explore the customs of another culture
- Provide proof of insurance (health, medical, travel) and a liability release agreement
- Take initiative to learn the language of the host country (i.e. basic greetings and phrases)
What are the Costs?
Local program costs vary from country to country. Financial arrangements for transportation may be paid by the Sponsor Lions Club, by the Exchange Youth, the Exchange Youth’s family or a combination of these sources. Host Lions clubs cover the costs of room and board with a host family. Exchange Youth are typically responsible for:
- Round-trip airfare
- Camp Fees
- Health, medical and travel insurance
- Travel documents (such as passports and visas)
- Spending money
How to Apply?
- Review the Youth Camp and Exchange Directory to see where current camp and exchange programs are offered. Note the camp application deadlines and YCE Chairperson contact information for each location of interest.
- Develop a wish list of a few host countries to inquire about.
- Contact your local Lions club to see if they participate in the program and may be willing to be your sponsoring Lions club. A sponsoring Lions club is required to participate in the YCE Program.
- Contact the corresponding YCE Chairpersons in your wish list countries for additional eligibility and application requirements.
- Write a personal letter of introduction to your prospective host family that contains information on the following: interests, studies, hobbies, family, home community, previous travel experience, expectations for the program and any dietary, health or religious requirements.
- Complete the required YCE Youth Participant Application well in advance of any disclosed deadlines (including the endorsement and signature of your sponsoring Lions club). Submit it with your personal letter of introduction to the YCE Chairperson for the location you are interested in. The following application templates are examples of the types of application information you may have to fill out: