Youth Travel and Exchanges

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New places, new people, new experiences!

Has your group ever thought about exploring other regions of Canada, initiating community service projects, living in another community, meeting new people, learning Canada's other official language, or exploring Canada's cultural diversity? If so, the YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program may be for you!

This group reciprocal 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, and they take turns staying in each other's communities for at least five days.

  • Contribute to improved knowledge and understanding of Canada among Canadian youth.
  • Help young Canadians connect to one another and create links throughout the country.
  • Develop Canadian identity and attachment to Canada among youth.
  • Contribute to the development of leadership skills in young Canadians.
  • Foster a stronger sense of community by providing opportunities for youth to become actively engaged.

The YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada Program is open to groups of young people who belong to a recognized community organization or school. To participate in the program, you must:

  • Be part of a group of 10 to 30 youth.
  • Be between the ages of 12 and 17, and have not previously participated in the program.
  • Be prepared to live away from home for at least five days (not including travel time).
  • Participate in activities before, during, and after the exchange to help you get ready for the experience.
  • Organize fundraising events to help cover the cost of hosting activities and local transportation.
  • Agree to pay a group participation fee ($70 per person).

Although this program is open to all Canadian youth, we do give priority to those who are engaging participants from traditionally under-represented groups:

  • Youth from low-income households
  • Aboriginal youth
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Visible minority youth
  • Youth from rural or isolated areas

If you work with youth (whether as an educator or worker with a community-based organization) and would like to lead a group exchange to another part of Canada, click here to learn how to register.