What is an "Inbound" Exchange Student?

An "Inbound" is a high school student who has been selected by a sponsoring Rotary Club abroad to spend a year here. All Inbounds in Rotary District 5010 arrive on a pre-determined date during the first week of August and stay until July the following year.

Exchange Students reap many rewards from an exchange experience, including:

  • Serving as an ambassador for their country and community
  • Making lifelong friends, not only within the host country but also with other students from around the world
  • Learning about the practices and accomplishments of people in other countries
  • Returning home with a greater sense of the world and a deeper understanding of themselves and their culture
  • Assuming leadership roles shaped by lessons from the experience
  • Building memories that will be with them forever

Information for Current Inbounds


Because of our close proximity to Canada and the opportunity to cross the border with host families, school, or Rotary, we strongly encourage all Inbound students to obtain a visa for Canada in addition to the required multi-entry student visa for the United States. This will allow you to travel freely through Canada and the United States when attending various Rotary functions. Please contact our district if you run into difficulties or a delay when obtaining a visa.


All students will arrive into Anchorage, Alaska. You will be notified of the exact date and allowed arrival times. Other flight details regarding transport to your hosting community will be provided at the same time. You will be attending an Inbound Orientation immediately upon arrival so it is critical that you arrive when directed. We feel strongly that this sets up our exchange students for a successful start to their exchange year. We will not accept any students after the start of the school year.

You must make travel arrangements from your homeland to Anchorage, Alaska with the specified connections of required and have an unrestricted, open ticket allowing travel home at any time should that become necessary. IF you use a seasonal carrier or charter airline that does not travel to Alaska year-round, you MUST provide an additional $1000.00 emergency in case you need to return home unexpectedly during a time when your carrier may not be operating.

Arriving between these dates ensures that we have time to make the appropriate preparations for your entry into our schools. We feel strongly that this sets up our exchange students for a successful start to their exchange year. We will not accept any students after the start of the school year.

You must make travel arrangements from your homeland directly to your Host Club location and have an unrestricted, open ticket allowing travel home at any time should that become necessary . Your expected arrival airport is listed on your Guarantee Form. Be aware that some airline carriers fly to Alaska and to Whitehorse from May through September only and may not have flights to/from Alaska or Whitehorse during the winter months. DO NOT use a seasonal carrier or charter airline and be sure that your airline will travel year-round.


Because this is a cultural and educational exchange and you are acting as an ambassador from your country, we have found that visits by family during the exchange year disrupt the process. Therefore, visitation by parents or family will not be permitted. We have found that prior exchange students find it to be a more enjoyable and rewarding experience when they choose to travel back to their host country one to two years after their exchange year.


You are expected to participate in the following weekend events that are paid for by Rotary 5010:

  • Fall Orientation - An orientation is scheduled for early August immediately upon arrival into Alaska. This will be a time to learn about our rules, our culture, and meet other inbound students.
  • Winter Orientation - Held in early January, Winter Orientation is our largest Youth Exchange event. All Inbound students, and past and future outbound students, will attend.


District 5010 requires you purchase our insurance. The specifics of the policy as well as claim forms may be found on our website HERE. This insurance policy will be pre-arranged by District 5010 and will cover you from the time you leave home until you arrive back into your home after your exchange. Proof of insurance may be necessary in order to obtain your student visa. Insurance policy information will be provided prior to your departure. You will be expected to pay the cost of the insurance policy upon arrival to your host city. You may bring a check made payable to "District 5010 Youth Exchange" for the cost of this insurance. This is in addition to the required emergency fund. You may also arrange for wire transfer using the instructions attached in your introductory. Please note that wire transfer payments need to be made for additional funds cover applicable bank fees.


If English is not your native language, it is MOST IMPORTANT that you learn the English language as fast and as well as possible. The success of your stay here may well depend on your ability and willingness to learn our language. Everything will be more interesting when you know how to express yourself and understand what is said around you.


School is a very important part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. The understanding of English is achieved mainly by your work in class, together with the help of teachers and classmates. You must attend all school classes, unless excused for a "valid reason." A valid reason would be to participate in a Rotary activity. Together with the help of your teachers, make a goal for your studies and do your best to achieve it. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to participate in school and community activities such as sports, dance, theater, debate, or music.

As is the case throughout the world, making friends is a new school or community can be very trying. Be as outgoing as possible, be patient and above all, keep trying. You are encouraged to take part in school activities. This will enable you to meet with your fellow classmates on a more social level, and friendships will develop.


You will be supplied with some "pocket money" of $100.00 each month from your Host Rotary Club to help cover your expenses. You are required to arrive with an emergency fund of $500.00, which must be replenished by your parents when it becomes low. This fund will be held in trust by your Host Club and made available to you as needs arise. Traveler's Checks may be cashed easily and ATM's are readily available. Usually, you will be living with "middle class" families, so you must refrain from having and spending excessive amounts of money.


While this is not a travel exchange, some opportunities for travel are available at an additional cost:

  • West Coast Tour - an optional travel experience at the end of your exchange year


The names, addresses, email, and telephone numbers of your Host Rotary Club's Youth Exchange Officer (YEO) and your first Host Family are included with this packet. You are encouraged to write to them. This could help with questions you may have about your new family, school, and the area you will be living in.

Most students will live with two or three Host Families during their stay here. Try to become a member of the Hosting family and take on a fair share of the responsibilities as a family member. Remember, these are people who agreed to open their homes to you and are willing to help you in any reasonable way possible.


Alaska covers a large geographic area and have a wide range of climates. The most extreme temperatures occur in Interior Alaska. There you will find the hottest summer days and the coldest winter nights, while along the coast more moderate temperatures prevail.

On a typical March day it is 37 F (3 C) in Juneau, 33 F (1 C) in Anchorage and 22 F (-6 C) in Fairbanks.

Wintertime visitors often are pleasantly surprised to find such warm temperatures and, in fact, many other cities in the United States have far colder weather. Generally, temperatures in Anchorage and other lowland areas of South-central Alaska are similar to those found in the Rocky Mountain States. The winter cold is crisp and dry, and Barrow has far less precipitation than New York City. Like Alaska's residents, you may find the winter climate invigorating.

So you see, if you are very anxious about the cold and wilds of Alaska, you need not be so concerned, especially in Ketchikan, Juneau, Kodiak, and Anchorage.

Most cities, except Anchorage, are rather small but the hospitality of the people and the spectacular scenery more than make up for anything else. Anchorage is a cosmopolitan city of almost 300,000 people and offers all of the cultural advantages of most U.S. cities of that size.


Contrary to popular belief, Alaskan's do not live in igloos or use dog sleds to get around town!

Follow this link for lots of information about travel to Alaska.

Southeast Alaska, encompassing the Rotary Clubs of Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka, has a climate similar to Seattle, Washington. Southeast Alaska lies on approximately the same latitude as Scotland and Denmark and has a mild, maritime climate. July temperatures average 60 degrees F, while winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Heavy rainfall contributes to the area's extensive glaciation and lush rainforests. About one-fifth of the people who live in Southeast Alaska are Tlingit, Haida or Tsimshian Indians. In several communities, you can see examples of their carving, handcrafted jewelry and traditional Native dances.

South-central Alaska, encompassing the Rotary Clubs of Anchorage, Kodiak, the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska Valley, is sometimes referred to as the "banana belt" because it enjoys a moderate climate typical of coastal regions. Summer weather is much like that experienced in San Francisco, and summer days are long with up to 20 hours of daylight. In winter the weather is comparable to that of Innsbruck, Austria.

Interior Alaska, encompassing the Rotary Clubs of Fairbanks, Alaska have a climate that is extremely dry. Many areas receive less precipitation than a desert. Fairbanks and other Interior towns enjoy long, hot summer days, with temperatures ranging in the high 90's (35C). The Far North seacoast towns are cooler, with summertime temperatures in the 60's (15C). While summer days are long, in winter the periods of daylight are proportionally short. The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, is particularly vivid against the dark winter sky. This phenomenon is an unforgettable sight commonly seen in the Far North and Interior Alaska.


Inbound Travel Opportunities

Rotary Youth Exchange in Alaska encourages travel to see our Great State. The District looks at various Alaska experiences each year. Questions? Contact our Inbound Coordinator at Inbound@RYE5010.org.

Policy for Inbound Student Travel Download

This document provides the procedure and information necessary for travel by Inbound Students. Travel is permitted for Educational Purposes and independent travel, with alone or with other Exchange Students is not allowed.