Information for Outbound Short-term Exchange Students

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

Congratulations on being accepted to the short-term exchange program. 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.

Here is what you’ll need to do to make your exchange experience as smooth as possible:

Things to do after you’re accepted
  1. Check your email regularly. This will be the primary way you will receive communication.
  2. Once a match has been achieved you will hear from ESSEX. It is not unusual that you could hear directly from your match before you hear from ESSEX.
Things to do after you receive notification of your match
  1. Upon hearing from or contacting your match, you should start making plans. If you hear from your match prior to hearing from ESSEX, please let ESSEX know immediately.
  2. Apply for your passport as soon as possible.
  3. Your families should agree on the dates of your exchange and make travel arrangements. Note: you are required to purchase roundtrip tickets.
  4. As part of ESSEX, you have the option to make travel arrangements with Tzell, our designated travel provider. They have a full-time staff of youth exchange specialists who will serve as a resource before you leave to the time you return home. Tzell can provide:
    • Extended hours of operation during the summer months
    • Information on electrical current and currency in your host country
    • Information on baggage allowances
    • Tzell can be reached at 800-888-5275 or at
  5. 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 short-term insurance.
Things to do three months before departing for your exchange
  1. You will receive an email with contact information on your host Rotary District, host Rotary club and host family. Correspond with each of them as soon as you receive this information.
  2. 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.
  3. Attend the mandatory orientation offered from your district.
One month prior to departure
  1. Start planning what you’ll bring with you on your trip.
  2. Continue to research the country.
  3. Reach out to your host family and host Rotary club contact to share your excitement about your upcoming experience and to reconfirm your itinerary.
  4. Pack! Don’t forget your transportation tickets, visa or passport, and spending money.
  5. Get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime.
Essex Student on Exchange

Short-term Insurance

Find what you need to do about insurance.

Essex Student on Exchange

Host Family Questions

Sample questions to ask your host family.