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Best Cultural, Vocational, Volunteer Exchange Programs

World – a great word of dictionary. Just a word? Or a word of all words?

Life is an experience. Experience of what? Experience of own and different, foreign cultures. Generally, most of us do enjoy own culture at its best, as we are living with it. The culture means traditions, customs, people, festivals, civilization, art, values etc. But not all of us do get a chance to live in a different country, different place with different people and learn, experience their culture.

There are organizations world wide which do organize such exchange programs which may be subject to student exchange, foreign student exchange, cultural exchange, vocational exchange or a mixture of all or few. Below is a list of such programs/organizations which conduct interesting exchange programs world-over. Some are paid where as some are caliber/talent based.

Student Exchange Program

1. Youth Exchange Program of Rotary:

Rotary Youth Exchange is open to young people ages 15-25 worldwide. There are two basic types of exchanges: short-term(several days to weeks) and long-term(one year). For more details on how to apply, click here.

You may like to watch video interviews of three students who were in India for a long-term exchange, viz Haley Houseman, Stine Harder and Victoria Sisouphone.

2. Student exchange programs of AFS

AFS organizes various programs such as High School Study Abroad, Yes Program and Japan Year Program.

AFS has been exchanging students throughout the world for 60 years. Every year, 11,000 students in more than 50 countries study abroad with AFS. AFS will help you select a program from our 120 different year, semester, and summer programs.

You may like to watch video interview of AFS Students Ludovica Fois & Sophia Mersmann, staying at Rajkot.

3. Other than this, you may refer to other organizations such as ISEP, ASSE, CCI Centre for Cultural Interchange, InterExchange, Face The World etc.

Vocational, Professional Exchange Program

1. Group Study Exchange Program of Rotary

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

For each team member, the Foundation provides the most economical round-trip airline ticket between the home and host countries. Rotarians in the host area provide for meals, lodging, and group travel within their district.

For more details on this program such as team member responsibilities, application process etc. click here.

2. Work Abroad Program of CCI

Looking for a fun and inexpensive way to travel? Work in New Zealand or Australia for up to one year and earn money to pay for your adventures!New Zealand, Tongariro National Park Greenheart Travel’s Work Abroad program provides you with all the guidance and support you need for a successful start to your journey “Down Under.” Our program includes job placement assistance, support and guidance throughout your time abroad, plus perks like free internet access, social opportunities, housing assistance, help with opening a bank account and getting a tax number, and help with arranging travel.

For more details on this program, click here

Community Service and Volunteer Program

1. Volunteer Abroad Program of CCI – Age 16+

Greenheart Travel’s volunteer abroad programs offer you the opportunity to expand your personal growth, experience true cultural immersion and impact communities in need. Each of our volunteer programs has been hand-picked to reflect our mission to help build a more sustainable, more diverse and more peaceful world.

For more details on this program, click here.

2. AFS’s 18+ Community Service Program

AFS Community Service Programs are perfect for university and graduates who want to have an international experience. With these programs, you’ll make a significant contribution to the community while gaining marketable skills by volunteering with a local organization-all while you learn about a new country, language and culture. Your work may involve environmental conservation, education, management, health, technology, social issues, or community development. AFS also offers University Study in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Panama.

For more details on this program, Click here.

Miscellaneous Resources

  1. Student Exchange Program – Wikipedia.
  2. International Visitor Leadership Program.
  3. Indo-American Society.

Images courtesy: ipsa-net.blogspot.com & OpenIdeao.com


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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