Lions Clubs International Youth Exchange Program
Open to all students between the ages of 15 ½ -19.
Since 1961 Lions Clubs have been sending as many students as possible around the world. In so doing, we hope that to experience another culture will bring about a better understanding of people and lead to more peaceful relations worldwide. Our thousands of “ambassadors of goodwill,” who do not have to come from Lions family members, are picked, not for their scholastic ability, but for their desire to learn about another culture.
We encourage all students from around the United States to participate in our largest escorted program to Japan. We also exchange for a 3-5 week summer program to countries in Europe and elsewhere around the world.
The Lions Youth Exchange Program was launched to provide today’s youth, our leaders of tomorrow, an opportunity to learn about people and cultures other than their own in an effort to promote world peace. Young people are given the opportunity of living with a family or families in a foreign country for a few weeks to experience first-hand a new culture, history and a different way of life. The ultimate goal is to have each participant upon returning home share his or her experiences in promoting international understanding. Lions Clubs International Youth Exchange Program was officially adopted in 1961 as a unique cultural learning opportunity for our youth and not conducted for tourism, formal education or employment.
Who are the Lions?
Started in 1917, we are the largest and youngest international non-profit organization in the world. Our primary objective is eyesight conservation as implored by Helen Keller who asked us to become her “Knights of the Blind.” Since then we have expanded our endeavors to include humanitarian service to all those with all needs.
As a non-profit organization we came in 4th in monetary contributions to the victims of the tsunami that hit Asia in December 2004. Only the United States, England and Japan were bigger contributors than Lions Clubs International.
We have our own Drug Awareness program and an international teaching aid program called Quest. We are joined by UNICEF to help abused and abandoned children around the world. We also support the City Of Hope cancer research hospital in Duarte, California.