Posted by Alida Campbell

On January 9th, 2020, twenty-eight Rotary Youth Exchange students from all four Atlantic Provinces descended on Halifax in a flurry of excitement and jittery expectation.

For the Outbounds – Canadian students going ‘out’ on exchange next year – it was their first orientation meeting, where they connect with one another, ask questions of the Inbounds about their hopeful host countries, and attend a day long training session focused on culture and culture shock – helping them prepare for when they step off the plane and set foot in their new home in a short 8 months. For the Inbounds – students from other countries ‘in’ Canada this year – it is a weekend to explore the city of Halifax, deepen those connections amongst themselves that will last a lifetime, and share their knowledge and experiences with the outbounds.


After a full weekend of fun and learning, the students said good-bye and are already looking forward to the next time they all meet, which is in April for the final Outbound training weekend.

The group benefited from the generosity of  individuals and organizations to make the weekend amazing. The Westin Nova Scotian hotel provided discounted rooms, the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre ran a workshop free of charge, Stephen Beaufoy of the Rotary Club of Halifax Harbourside gave his condo party room for a potluck dinner, and many other Rotarians helped to chaperone the group, make lunches and organize the weekend as a whole. The group rates for the Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Thunderbirds meant all the students were able to see high-level teams playing Canada’s national winter and summer sports. The free skating at the Emera Oval was superb. And Boston Pizza was a great choice for our ‘team’ to have our last supper together.

The students themselves were considerate, mature and respectful the entire weekend, and impressed everyone they engaged with. The future of Rotary and the Rotary Youth Exchange program is in good hands with these amazing students. If you wish to get involved with the program, as a host/sponsor club or chaperone for these weekends, contact Michael Craig at