Love travel.  Love Rotary.

Rotary Friendship Exchange is when a group of Rotarians from one Rotary district in the world travel to another for fun and fellowship. It's a wonderful way to travel, but it's not like a regular holiday, it's an experience.  You'll learn about how the locals live, make lifelong friends and discover new cultures and communities.  Often you share Rotary projects and ideas. Exchanges are usually reciprocal.  

RFE is Rotary’s exchange program for single Rotarians or Rotarians and their spouses or family members. It allows Rotarians the opportunity to experience another culture or geographic area first hand in another country or a different part of the USA. The goals of the program are to advance human understanding, goodwill, and peace through person-to-person contact across national or regional boundaries. A Friendship Exchange differs from most tourist experiences in two notable ways: team members stay in the homes of Rotarians, and they are guided during their stay in a given locale by their hosts and other local Rotarians.

Exchanges are reciprocal, meaning that we send a team to another Rotary district (outbound) and that district, in return, sends a team to visit us here in District 5340 (inbound). Each visit to the other district lasts two to three weeks. District 5340 focuses solely on team exchanges and preference for participation on outbound teams is given to those who help organize and host inbound exchanges. Inbound teams usually visit three or four different parts of our district and stay with three or four different hosts, with each hosting experience lasting three or four days.

Normally, RFE teams, both in- and outbound, are composed of four to five couples, singles, or a combination for a total of ten people needing no more than six beds. And, given District 5340's interest in service, we strive to share and, where possible, involve inbound team members in the delivery of local services. We encourage our outbound teams to seek service opportunities in the districts they are visiting. Be a part of this unique program, both as a member of an outgoing team and by hosting an inbound team.

Who may apply?

The District 5340 RFE program is open to single Rotarians or Rotarian couples, including a Rotarian and a spouse, partner, adult child or parent.

What countries can be visited?

Any Rotary district in the world that is interested in RFE may participate, both within the USA and abroad.

How can get involved in RFE as a host?

If you would like to host a Rotarian or Rotarian couple, contact one of the RFE Committee Co-Chairs or a committee member. If a team is scheduled to visit your part of the district, you will be contacted. Hosts are chosen according to the number needed, locations, and availability.

What is expected of me if I host?

You will provide housing and some meals. (There is no reimbursement for hosting.) You will also transport your guests to scheduled activities. Finally, you will suggest and help them access local events, places, and activities that match their interests.

RFE Administrative Details

Rotary Friendship Exchange is a self-funded program. Outbound team members pay their round-trip travel expenses to the exchange country/location. They also are asked to purchase travel/medical insurance (or show proof of coverage), secure any needed visas, pay an outbound team participation fee, and cover some local travel expenses, venue admission fees, and meals. Their hosts will provide lodging and at-home meals. Finally, outbound team members may be asked to contribute money per person to a team “service” fund, enabling the team to help fund one or more service projects in the area being visited. Team members are also welcome to bring small thank you gifts for their hosts.

Benefits

  • Observe and experience Rotary at work in another country or district
  • Develop lifelong friendships with Rotarians from another part of the world
  • Experience different cultures and customs - live with the locals
  • Expand your Rotary knowledge
  • Find partners for grants
  • Travel as a Rotary team
  • See parts of the world you may otherwise never see