Youth Exchanges Canada – Exchanges Canada

Youth Exchanges Canada offers reciprocal exchanges for individual youth or groups of youth, between the ages of 12 and 17.

Youth from different parts of the country are paired according to their ages and interests. Each participant takes a turn hosting their “twin” in their home. Participants play an active role in planning the exchange by communicating regularly with their “twin,” doing research on the community that they will visit and participating in fundraising activities.

Who can apply

To be eligible for an exchange, youth must be:

  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • between the ages of 12 and 17.

How to apply

Canadian Heritage supports a number of youth exchange projects each year, which are administered by various delivery organizations. You may apply for a youth exchange as an individual or as part of a group:

  • Individuals may apply through the YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange. This six-week, summer work program for students (ages 16 to 17) finds jobs for participants in communities in another province. Communities are paired so that students work in their second official language and live with the family of the student with whom they have been paired. Coordinators (post-secondary students) supervise participants and run various activities.
  • Groups have 10 to 30 members that belong to a school or non-profit organization. Groups may apply by contacting one or more of the delivery organizations below:
    • Experiences Canada (formerly SEVEC): This exchange program provides the opportunity for youth – ages 12 to 17 – to learn a second language, develop cultural awareness, break down social barriers and develop leadership skills.
    • The YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada: This reciprocal home-stay exchange program is designed for groups of 10 to 30 participants between the ages of 12 and 17. Participants are “twinned” with same-age groups from another province or territory, then take turns staying in each other’s homes for at least five days. Groups involved in outdoor activities can arrange camp-stay exchanges.
    • The Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Program: This reciprocal cultural exchange program involves Francophone and Anglophone youth across Canada, to promote friendship, respect and understanding of language and culture. Exchanges are open to youth ages 12 to 17, from sports and non-sports groups.
    • The Canadian 4-H Council (Club to Club Exchanges): This reciprocal exchange program between 4-H clubs across Canada enables participants to travel within the country and experience a different culture and language, making lasting friendships and developing a better understanding and appreciation of Canada’s diversity.

While groups may apply to more than one organization, they can only accept an exchange opportunity from one of them.

Costs

Through its delivery organizations, the Exchanges Canada program reimburses approved organizers for return transportation for the youth.

Costs vary depending on the youth exchange experience. As a general rule, participants should expect to pay registration or application fees, as well as costs for local transportation and hosting activities. Please check with the exchange delivery organization for further details.

To help offset the costs of an exchange, youth may be required to participate in fundraising activities.

The Exchanges Canada program does not provide funding to be a host family.

Application deadline

Please contact the delivery organizations listed above for deadline details.

Contact us

Contact us
Department of Canadian Heritage
Exchanges Canada Program
15 Eddy Street, 8th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M5
Email
PCH.echanges-exchanges.PCH@canada.ca
Telephone
819-997-0055
1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)
TTY
1-888-997-3123 (toll-free)

Agents are available to answer your questions, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST).

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