Although the cost of a visa is covered by the flat fee, some countries require the student to appear in person at their consulate, typically in New York City. The cost of the trip to NYC is not included in the flat fee.
Your medical insurance covers medical emergencies. Costs to treat the occasional cold, sore throat, aches/pain and dental problems are not covered and vary in cost by country; host family circumstances, club, & community, & general health of the student; etc. Every Outbound Class has 2 or 3 students who have to pay medical bills. It is suggested that parents budget $200-300 for unexpected medical expenses.
All students upon arrival in their Host District must give the Rotary YE representative $400 to $600 to be held in escrow to cover emergency costs during their exchange year. The cost will vary by country and their exchange rate. Any funds used during the year must be replaced by your parents/guardians. Funds not used will be returned at the end of your exchange year by your host Rotary Club Youth Exchange Officer.
All students are expected to have studied the basics of their host country’s language. Some countries require students to attend a language camp upon arrival. Others provide tutoring if your language skills are poor. Students who do not meet the minimum standards may be required to have language tutoring. These decisions are made by the hosting district. Language camps or tutoring costs will vary depending on the host country. Language camps cost typically $200 to $700. Personal tutoring may cost up to $25 per hour with several weeks of training required. An estimate of 20 hours of training is typical for a cost of $500. These costs are the responsibility of the student and his/her parents.
Depending on your host country you may want to purchase some clothes appropriate to their climate. We recommend you do that after you have arrived in your country. Prices will vary but you should expect cost to be between $100 and $200. Obviously, a new wardrobe will be much costlier.
Communicating with home and friends
You will want to talk with your family, friends back home and new friends in your host District while you are there. Although we want you to limit this contact to only a couple times a month, overseas and local calls can be very expensive and vary greatly by country. In some countries there is a charge for local calls. There are several methods you should check on and choose what is best for you and your host family. These include international calling cards, SKYPE computer based calls, and regular long distance telephone service. Also, calls to other students in your district or elsewhere can be local or long distance and result in additional costs. You are expected to pay for these calls and reimburse your host family each month when you use their telephone. Internet access and costs vary by country. You may be expected to pay for internet access and should discuss this with your host family.
Most US cell phones do not work abroad. Check with your service provider before taking your phone abroad. Many Outbound students purchase cell phone service. You should be sure you understand the limits, the service and costs that you purchase. Sometimes a host family or Rotary Club may add a phone to their personal service during your exchange year for your use. You are expected to develop a plan to reimburse them for this service.
Entertainment & other expenses
While you are there you will want to go to movies, shopping, parties, go out to eat, buy postage, purchase gifts, etc. Although your Rotary club will give you about $75 equivalent US purchasing power in your host country’s currency each month for 10 months that you are there for spending money, it may not cover all that you purchase. You are responsible for any expenses not covered by the Rotary stipend.
You will not have to pay any school tuition or school textbook costs. Some schools require uniforms which you may have to purchase. Check with your host family and Rotary Club abroad as you may be able to borrow a uniform. Some students decide to purchase school memorabilia which cost extra. There are also school dances or school trips that may be offered for you to attend. You will be responsible for those costs.
Several of our foreign partner districts offer optional Rotary sponsored trips you may want to go on. These include a European trip in the fall, several trips in Brasil, and other trips to pick from. Your host district will inform you about what is available. Costs vary from several hundred dollars to over $4,000. You are expected to pay for these trips.
Host family vacations
You may be offered the opportunity to go on vacation with your family. If the planned vacation is a trip that is expensive, such as a ski trip in the Swiss Alps, you and the family should discuss your possible financial contribution. This may or may not occur, but you and your parents should be aware of such a possibility.