Information for Outbound Long-term Exchange Students

You’ve been accepted, here’s what’s next!

Congratulations! You are likely very excited about going abroad for the year as a Rotary Exchange student. Your sponsoring Rotary club and district, as well as the volunteers involved with ESSEX are here to help serve as a resource while you’re here and away.

To make your exchange experience as smooth as possible, here is what you will need to do to prepare:

Things to do after you’re accepted
  1. Check your email regularly. This will be the primary way you will receive communication.
  2. Look for notification from your local Rotary district on which country you will be traveling to on exchange.
Things to do after you receive notification from your District
  1. Once you receive notification from your district on which country you will be traveling to on exchange, you can make travel arrangements with Tzell, the designated travel agency for ESSEX. Tzell offers a full-time staff of youth exchange specialists who will serve as a resource before you leave to the time you return home. They provide:
    • Extended hours of operation during the summer months.
    • Online, fillable documents for visa and/or residency permit applications.
    • Samples of completed visa and/or residency permit forms
    • Information on electrical current and currency in your host country.
    • Information on baggage allowances.
  1. Register with Tzell and pay the registration fee here.
  2. Work with Tzell to make travel arrangements once you receive your paperwork for your visa.
  3. You are required to have healthcare insurance from the ESSEX designated insurance provider, CISI-Bolduc. ESSEX will send you an email with a personalized link to complete the application. Learn more about long-term insurance here.
  4. Begin to make financial arrangements for your trip as outlined below.
Things to do three months before departing for your exchange
  1. Once you receive contact information for your Rotary district, host Rotary club and host family correspond with them as soon as possible.
  2. Obtain required immunizations. You must show proof of proper immunization as required by your host country.
  3. Email your travel itinerary to your host district chair, host district Rotary club counselor, and host family once you have secured your airplane tickets.
  4. Ask your host district if there is other paperwork or items needed to complete prior to arrival.
  5. Begin to research your host country and where you’ll live. Look at cultural norms, values and traditions, in addition to understanding history and traditions.
  6. Study or refresh yourself on the local language.
  7. Attend the mandatory orientation offered from your district.
One month prior to departure
  1. You will receive an email with a personalized link from ESSEX to submit your flight information. Upon receipt, do this as soon as possible.
  2. Start planning what you’ll bring with you on your trip.
  3. Continue to research the country and study the local language.
  4. Reach out to your host family and host Rotary club contact to share your excitement about your upcoming experience and to reconfirm your itinerary.
  5. Pack! Don’t forget your transportation tickets, visa or passport, and spending money.
  6. Get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime.
Financial responsibilities
Mandatory CISI Bolduc Health Insurance Plan B
Learn more about insurance here 
Costs depend on plan
Travel expenses
Travel agency fee, Visa, passport, translation fees
$150-300 USD
Transportation expenses
Roundtrip airfare, ground transportation
$1,400-2,800 USD
District outbound fees
Please confirm with your sponsoring Rotary District what this fee covers
$200-1,800 USD
Extra spending money
You will receive funds from your host Rotary club each month, ranging from $50-125. However, we suggest you bring extra spending money with you to purchase treats, souvenirs and other money.
$500-1,000 USD
Emergency funds
This is a requirement of many districts. You will provide this to the district chair upon your arrival. At the end of your time as an exchange student, if you have not incurred any unusual or unexpected expenses, your full “emergency fund” will be returned to you prior to your departure.
$300-500 USD
Optional travel opportunities
Approved by your host district, there may be tours or other optional trips available to you.
$100-3,000 USD
Essex Student on Exchange

Long-term Insurance

Information and FAQs on Medical Insurance

Essex Student on Exchange

Questions to Ask Your Host Family

Conversation starters and questions to ask your host family after you arrive.