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How Youth Exchanges work

Please note that the Exchanges Canada Program website is currently transitioning to a new website for Fall 2013.

The Exchanges Canada Program and its Youth Exchanges and Youth Forums components remain operational.

Groups from across the country are paired according to the age and interest of their members. After several weeks of planning, research, fundraising and anticipation, matched participants exchange with their partner from another part of Canada.

All youth exchanges:

  • enhance knowledge and understanding of Canada among participants,
  • connect Canadians with one another, and
  • develop a sense of Canadian identity and attachment to Canada by helping youth appreciate the diversity and the shared aspects of the Canadian experience.

Are you up for an adventure? Or know someone who is? Discover the youth exchange opportunities available through Exchanges Canada’s delivery organizations. You can also search other opportunities, not funded by Exchanges Canada

Who is eligible to participate?

Eligible youth groups generally have between 10 and 30 members, and belong to a school or non-profit organization. Group members are usually between 12 and 17 years of age, and must be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.


Through its delivery organizations, Exchanges Canada generally reimburses approved organizers for return transportation for the youth and their chaperones.

Costs vary depending on the experience. As a general rule, participants should expect to pay registration or application fees as well as costs for local transportation and, in the case of youth exchanges, hosting activities. Please check with the exchange delivery organization for further details.

To help offset the costs of an exchange or forum, your teen may be required to participate in fundraising activities. For more information, follow the Fundraising link on our links page.

Delivery Organizations

Exchanges Canada offers a variety of youth exchanges through several delivery organizations:

Service Standards for Youth Exchanges Canada

Canadian Heritage has set service standards for the timely delivery of the acknowledgement of receipt, funding decision and payment processes.
The following service standards have been set for Youth Exchanges Canada.


Our goal is to acknowledge receipt of your application form within 15 calendar days.


Our goal is to issue official written notification of the funding decision within 24 weeks.


Our goal is to issue payments within 28 calendar days of the successful fulfillment of requirements outlined in the contribution agreement or the grant awards letter.

Our performance target is to meet these standards for the majority of files. The achievement of these service standards is a shared responsibility. You must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion.
Service standards vary by program.