International Youth Exchange Program
The Lions Youth Exchange Programme was launched to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about people and cultures other than their own, in an effort to promote world peace. Since 1961, Lions Clubs around the world have been sending and hosting young people with the purpose of providing a better understanding of people and leading to more peaceful relations worldwide.
For many young people, participating in the Lions International Camp and Youth Exchange Programme is a life-changing experience. Traveling to another country, living with a host family, participating in a camp and experiencing another culture are milestone events.
The objectives of this programme:-
- To create and foster a spirit of understanding and peace among young people of the world.
- To bring and build relationships between young people from other countries and cultures.
- To share and exchange ideas and culture.
- To promote international understanding, respect and goodwill.
- To develop young people’s leadership potential.
Unlike other exchange programmes, the Lions International Youth Camp and Exchange Programme is not conducted for tourism, education or employment. Instead, it is a unique cultural learning opportunity. Participants need to accept the rules of both the host families and the camps.
The Lions Youth Exchange Programme caters for both incoming and outgoing youth exchanges:
Youth Exchange Outward
Are you ready to embark on a life changing adventure that will open your mind and heart? Are you curious about other cultures and ways of life? Do you want to develop your skills in a second language? Would you like to cultivate new friendships with individuals that have different backgrounds, beliefs, and customs than you? The Youth Camp and Exchange Programme (YCE) may be the opportunity you are seeking.
What can you expect ?
As a YCE participant, you can expect to be immersed in a unique cultural experience with Lions clubs members supporting your learning. Your host family will treat you as a member of the family, expecting your engagement in typical daily routines and family meals. You will participate in social activities and visit cultural places of interest as arranged by the host Lions club.
You are expected to have familiarized yourself with the customs, expectations, and basic language of the host country prior to your visit and have a desire to learn more. You can expect to have an unforgettable experience that will open your mind and expand your world view. We encourage young people from around Ireland to participate and the program is open to all young people between the ages of 16 to 22.
How to Apply?
- 1. Review the Youth Camp and Exchange Directory to see current camp listings and locations where youth exchanges are offered. Note the camp application deadlines for locations of interest. (see web links below)
- 2. Develop a wish list of a few host countries to inquire about.
- 3. Contact your local Lions club to see if they would be willing to be your sponsoring Lions club. (The participation of a sponsoring Lions club is a requirement).
- 4. Obtain and complete the application form (Lions Club members can download this from the District Website).
- 5. Participants also need to write a personal letter of introduction for the prospective host family that contains information on the following: interests, studies, hobbies, family, home community, previous travel experience, expectations for the program, and any dietary, health or religious requirements.
- 6. The sponsoring Lions Club then forwards the completed application and personal letter of introduction to the YCE Chairperson Outwards (Sean O’ Neill).
- 7. The YCE Chairperson then sends the application and introduction letter out to the countries on the wish list (with availability) to see if the person will be accepted.
- 8. Applicants selected to attend a Lions Youth Camp and/or Lions Youth Exchange will receive a confirmation and information letter.
- 9. Applicants accepted will need to understand that they are representing their local Lions Club and District. Each Country and Camp will have their own rules and guidelines to follow.
- 10. The YCE Chairperson will give assistance to clubs in making applications.
For further information and to view the directory of youth exchanges and camps see:
Youth Camps and exchange page:
Details of existing youth camps:
Youth Exchange Chairperson - Outward:
Sean O’ Neill
Chairperson of Youth Camps and Exchange Outwards, Lions Ireland - District 133,
Cahergal, Union Hall, Cork,
Post Code: P81 CC89
Mobile: +353 (87) 903 4333
Youth Exchange Inward: - Discover Ireland Youth Exchange Programme
Lions Club Ireland - District 133 invite young people aged 16 – 20 years to participate in the Youth Exchange (YE) programme in the summer 2020. The Discover Ireland Youth Exchange will take place from Sunday 21 st June to Sunday 5 th July 2020 and there are 20 places available. The programme will consist of nine nights in Waterford and five nights in Dublin, both in student accommodation.
During the stay participants will have the opportunity to participate in range of activities: - art, drama, cycling, walking, cooking, community projects, social activities and cultural visits to different areas of Ireland.
All applications from young people wishing to apply for Ireland must be dealt by local Lions Clubs. Applications shall be sent by a nominated District YCE.
The European format of the application is available from:
The applications should be sent be E-mail separately to Eoin O Neill - firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Application in Excel (editable),
2. The scanned last side with signatures.
3. 1 or two photos of the applicant and family
4. Letter to the host family
5. Copy of passport/ID-card
6. Copy of European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or similar
The applications can be sent by e-mail for pre-acceptance.
Eoin O Neill
Chairperson of Youth Camps and Exchange, Lions Ireland - District 133
Church Road, Faithlegg, Waterford,
Post Code: X91 Y561
Mobile: +353 (87) 227 0803