MD19 Youth Exchange Program

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Here you will find all the information you need to know about MD19 Youth Exchange Program Opportunities

About Youth Exchange (YCE)


The Youth Camp and Exchange Program (YCE) brings the ideal of global citizenship to life. Each year this program gives thousands of young people the opportunity to experience life in other cultures and gain new understanding of the world through travel abroad. Unlike some youth exchange programs, YCE does not involve academic study or employment. Instead, participants are encouraged to use this travel opportunity to represent their home countries and share their own culture while learning about and embracing a new one, forging the way to becoming young ambassadors for peace and international understanding.  

YCE is composed of various Lions Youth Exchanges and/or Lions Youth Camps arranged by Lions clubs around the world.
  • A Lions Youth Exchange, or “host family stay,” can be arranged independent of a Lions youth camp in hundreds of countries where there are Lions clubs and typically lasts between four and six weeks.
  • Lions Youth Camps are one or two weeks long and usually include a host family stay before and/or after the camp.
Activities for both exchanges and camps can include visits to places of cultural or natural interest, sporting events, country presentations by participants, guided discussion, and even engagement in local service projects alongside Lions club members.

The success of the Lions YCE program is a result of effective communication between all Lions involved in program implementation whether they are sending youth abroad, receiving and hosting youth, or both!  The following are the Lions club members that make the YCE program a reality:
  • A sponsoring Lions club is required for every youth participating in YCE. The sponsoring club works closely with their regional YCE Chairperson to coordinate the application process for interested youth, including applicant screening, enforcement of insurance requirements, and procedures concerning passports, visas, immunizations, etc.  They are responsible for all travel arrangements to and from the youth’s home country to the camp or host family stay. They also host a program orientation for youth participants going abroad and their families.
  • A host Lions club receives youth participants into their country.  Host clubs work closely with their regional YCE Chairperson, local Lions youth camp organizers, and host families to coordinate placing accepted YCE youth participants.  Many of the members of this club will serve as host families for youth.  The host club is ultimately responsible for the youth participant while abroad and provides room and board.
YCE Chairpersons are Lions club members that have been appointed to run the various regional YCE programs throughout the world and are dedicated to making the program a success.  Sponsoring clubs and host clubs coordinate the sending and receiving of YCE youth participants through their respective YCE Chairperson.  The contact information for these individuals is listed in the YCE Directory.

To explore current camp and exchange opportunities, visit the online Youth Camp and Exchange Directory.
For information on becoming a host family, please review the information on the Host Family webpage.
For information on becoming a youth participant, please review the information on the YCE Participant webpage.
About Youth Exchange (YCE)

What is YCE? (Youth Exchange)


Is the YCE Program Right for Me?

YCE logo

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 Camp and Exchange Program (YCE) may be the opportunity you are seeking.

Youth Exchange Handbook

Benefits of Participation

As a YCE participant, you will:

  • Live with a family in another country
  • Meet people your age from around the world
  • Learn about your Lions hosts’ humanitarian work
  • Deepen your understanding of yourself and the world around you
  • Learn about the bonds we all share – and the differences we respect in each other no matter where we live

What to Expect

As a YCE participant you can expect to be immersed in a unique cultural experience with Lions clubs members supporting your learning.  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 and visit cultural places of interest as arranged by the host Lions club. You are expected to have familiarized yourself with the customs, expectations, and basic language of the host country prior to your visit and have a desire to learn more. Please note, extended or outside travel beyond what is planned through the host Lions is prohibited. Even so, you can expect to have an unforgettable experience that will open your mind and expand your world view.

Participant Eligibility

YCE participants must:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 21
  • 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 (including trip insurance, airport fees, customs duties, and layover or overnight fees) may be paid by the sponsoring Lions club, by the participant, the participant's family, or a combination of these sources.  Host Lions clubs cover the costs of room and board with a host family. Participants are typically responsible for:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Camp Fees
  • Health, travel, and accident insurance
  • Travel documents (such as passports and visas)
  • Spending money

How to Apply?

  1. Review the Youth Camp and Exchange Directory to see current camp listings and locations where youth exchanges are offered.  Note the camp application deadlines for locations of interest.
  2. Develop a wish list of a few host countries to inquire about.
  3. Contact your local Lions club to see if they participate in the program and may be willing to be your sponsoring Lions club.  The participation of a sponsoring Lions club is required.
  4. Contact the corresponding YCE Chairpersons in your wish list countries for additional eligibility and application requirements. YCE Chairperson contact information is listed in the Youth Camp and Exchange Directory.
  5. 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.
  6. Complete a Youth Camp and Exchange Application well in advance of any disclosed deadlines (including the endorsement and signature of your sponsoring Lions club) and submit it with your personal letter of introduction to the YCE Chairperson for the the location you are interested in.

Apply to become a Youth Exchange Student today by submitting your application listed directly above to Tammy Allan at allaninsurance@fairpoint.net.

Applicants selected to attend a Lions Youth Camp and/or Lions Youth Exchange will receive a confirmation letter and information packet. You should also attend an orientation meeting provided by the sponsoring Lions club. This orientation will help you prepare for one of the most exciting experience of your life, and answer any questions you may have about the program.

Topics may include:

  • Cultural adaptation and tolerance (including host family relations)
  • Rules and logistics, along with other pertinent information about Lions clubs
  • Role of sponsoring Lions club, host Lions club, host family and districts
  • Travel
  • Visas and passports
  • Immunizations
  • Insurance
  • Local currency and out-of-pocket expenses

Youth Exchange Application



If you would like to fill out the application by hand please print the pdf formats or if you would like to type your application please visit the xls format. 

Apply to become a Youth Exchange Student today by submitting your application listed directly above to Tammy Allan at allaninsurance@fairpoint.net  or drop it by Allan Insurance Agency 312 S 1st Street, Selah WA 98942

Youth Exchange Scholarship Oppertunity


Scholarship Application is due by: January 1, 2020 

Youth Exchange Scholarship Application.pdf

Applicant must:

1.    Meet all the age requirements for an exchange. Youth who will be at least 16 but not over 21 by July 1, 2020. 

2.    Live in MD19.  (Washington, Idaho, & British Columbia{BC Canada})

3.    Be sponsored by a Lions Club within MD19. (Your local Lions Club, example: Selah Valley Lions Club, in Selah WA)

4.    A scholarship will not pay the full cost. Cost is usually limited to transportation and insurance for the trip, plus money for incidentals and souvenirs. A committee of the MD19 Youth Exchange Foundation will set the exact amount of a scholarship based on need and other criteria. Remaining program costs may be paid by the sponsoring Lions club, by the participant, the participant's family, or a combination of these sources.

5.    Complete an MD19 Youth Exchange Travel Application Form, together with a photo of yourself and a photo of your family. Include two letters of reference from persons other than family members and a letter of introduction to a potential host family, written by yourself. 

6.    Submit the MD19 Youth Exchange Foundation scholarship application. Applications are due on January 1 of the year intended for travel. Awards are valid for travel in the year awarded.

7.    The family of a youth who receives a scholarship will be urged to host a youth at a future date, preferably within 2 years. A host family need not have membership in a Lions Club.

8.    A scholarship recipient must make an oral presentation upon return, at the sponsoring Lions Club and possibly at a Zone or District meeting.

9.    A Scholarship Committee, appointed by the MD19 Youth Exchange Committee, shall review all applications, select recipients and set the amount of each award. Committee review may need supplemental financial information or need to meet with the applicant and family. 

10.   Scholarship recipients and amounts shall be announced by January 31st of the travel year. Decisions are final.


Be A Host Parent


Is Hosting Right for Me?

YCE logo

Are you interested in learning about other cultures and ways of life while sharing your own customs and experiences? Are open-mindedness, tolerance and cultural competence of high importance to you? Do you have a desire to contribute towards peace, international understanding, and the creation of young global citizens? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may enjoy being a host family for the Youth Camp and Exchange Program (YCE)!

Host Family Handbook

Benefits of Hosting

Hosting a young person from another country is a fulfilling experience and has many benefits:

  • You experience the joy of sharing your culture and daily customs
  • You learn about your visitor's customs and culture
  • You open a new world of possibilities and thinking to a young person
  • You make a new friend - maybe a friend for life

What to Expect

Youth participants are usually between the ages of 15 and 22, and come from any of the more than 200 countries and geographic locations where there are Lions clubs. He/she will have completed an admissions process before being accepted to participate in the program. He/she may or may not know the language of your country but will have a desire to learn. Host families should include the participant in their daily routine, including family meals, as YCE is intended to be an immersive learning experience. Local excursions are not required of host families, but the host Lions club often arranges for participants to visit local points of interest and engage in social activities, like picnics and get-togethers.

Host Family Eligibility

The host Lions club must approve all host families. To be eligible to become a host family you must:

  • Have regular contact with youth of the approximate age of the participant
  • Be familiar with Lions clubs and the goals of YCE
  • Be able to provide a bed and meals for your guest
  • Follow all local laws related to youth protection

How to Apply

Apply to become a host family today by submitting your MD19 Lions Youth Exchange Host Family Application.pdf to Tammy Allan at allaninsurance@fairpoint.net.

Once an exchange is confirmed, you and your guest will correspond via e-mail, mail or telephone. You should also attend an orientation provided by the host Lions club. This orientation will help prepare you for one of the most exciting experiences of your life, and answer any questions you may have about the exchange program.

Topics may include:

  • Cultural tolerance
  • Cultural adaptation (including host family relations)
  • Host family role
  • Rules and logistics, along with other pertinent information about Lions clubs
  • Role of sponsor Lions club and host Lions club and districts
  • Travel
  • Visas and passports
  • Immunizations
  • Insurance
  • Local currency and suggested out-of-pocket expenses

Student's Needing a Host Family/ Students on exchange


Jonah K - Germany (Age 16)

Testimonials


Lions Youth Exchange Foundation Director & Chairmen


Tammy Allan

MD19 Lions Youth Exchange Director and Foundation Treasurer

George Sim

Youth Exchange Chairperson for District 19A

Ashley Burmaster

Youth Exchange Chairperson for District 19F & Foundation Secretary

Sue Semke-Fox

Youth Exchange Chairperson for District 19G

Sue Watjen

Youth Exchange Chairperson for District 19H

George Robinson

Foundation President

Rob Shumer

Foundation Vice President

MD19 District Governors


Multiple District 19

Robert (Bob) Nordlund

District 19A

Michael Lally

District 19-B

Patrick (Pat) Burch

District 19-C

Debbie Bostock

District 19-D

Frank Bega

District 19-E

Ken Allan

District 19-F

Stephen Staudinger

District 19-G

Patty Allen

District 19-H

Cec Specht

District 19-I