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Do you know a school or community organization interested in taking part in an unforgettable youth exchange program? The YMCA Youth Exchanges program provides groups of youth ages 12 to 17 years with the opportunity to explore and experience Canada while learning more about other communities across our country. Participants learn new skills, develop a stronger sense of community while experiencing Canada’s diversity firsthand.

This reciprocal exchange program is designed for groups of 10 to 30 participants. Participants are paired with same-age groups from another province or territory, and they take turns staying in each other’s communities for at least five days. Preparation, travel and hosting activities provide an excellent opportunity for exchange participants to develop interpersonal and group collaboration skills, while fostering a sense of belonging and connection.

The cost of travel is covered by the program through funding from Heritage Canada.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Contribute to improved knowledge and understanding of Canada among Canadian youth, enabling them to learn firsthand about the history, geography, economy, cultures, languages and other facets of their country.
  • Help young Canadians connect to one another and create links throughout the country, thereby helping to strengthen the fabric of Canadian society.
  • Develop Canadian identity and attachment to Canada among youth by enhancing appreciation of both the diversity and the shared aspects of the Canadian experience.
  • Foster a stronger sense of community by providing opportunities for youth to become actively engaged in their own and other communities in Canada.

Applications for travel between January and June 2017 are now being accepted until September 30th 2016. For more information and program eligibility, click here.