Section 4: Where & what?

This is an extract from the CYEC Youth Exchange Starter Pack. You can download a full copy of the pack here and you can download the section you are currently viewing from the bottom of this page.

The Commonwealth Family of Nations

There are 53 countries which are members of the Commonwealth Association. Some countries you may never have heard of before, never mind thinking about doing an exchange with young people there!

It's a world of possibilities - so why not explore a different view of the world?

Examples of a youth exchange

It could be that...

you’re a member of a youth club from County Down and your project is based on exchanging conflict resolution skills with young South Africans and exploring citizenship

your community group has just hosted a Ghanaian drumming and dance group and together you’ve helped run a summer play-scheme in North London and looked at services for young people

you’re a member of a black young women’s group from Leeds and you’ve looked at health issues with young women from Jamaica and created health materials for peer education

you’re a member of a school-based group from Surrey linked with a Tanzanian village school and you’ve used sustainable development as the theme and helped to build a bio-gas converter on the school farm

you live in Sheffield and drama, dance and music are your passion; you’ve just done a youth theatre exchange with young Sri Lankans - you jointly developed a performance piece on identity and diversity and ran theatre workshops for local young people

you live in Devon and you’re working for your Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award – your Award group has undertaken an environmental service project and Rift Valley exploration with Kenyan award participants

you’re a member of a young engineers and technologists club at a school in Glasgow and you’re doing an exchange with young Australians based on sustainability and an alternative energy solution

as an active member of a venture scout unit in Avon, you’ve jumped at the chance to get involved in an environmental and clean drinking water project with scouts in Swaziland

your YMCA has a link with India and your exchange is looking at youth training, employment and sharing IT and enterprise skills

These are all real examples - youth exchange programmes are enormously diverse and creative. But what’s important is that you agree a theme and create purposeful activities at the heart of the programme. Young hosts and visitors should participate together as an integrated group.

Exchanges include...

Exchange programmes usually include some of the following activities:

  • joint project work and hands-on activities which explore a theme or issue of relevance to young people eg health, education, employment, environment, rights, citizenship, participation, IT etc – so you can acquire new skills and increase your knowledge by undertaking interesting tasks together
  • cultural activities and skill-sharing workshops – so you have an enriching experience of each others culture eg dance, music, art, drama, video, photography, craft, textiles etc
  • community involvement – so you get an in-depth immersion into the local community and culture and how it works
  • informal socialising – so you can form friendships outside the ‘formal’ programme and get to know each other well
  • sharing accommodation and family visits or homestays – so you learn about family life
  • review and evaluation time – so you’ve time to digest all that’s new and unusual
  • fun – really important

Attached files

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