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Picture of people's shoes in a circle. Everyone is wearing brown-coloured moccasins with a different animal or flower on each pair.


Staff in the YMCA Exchange office and your Regional Coordinator...

  • coordinate the exchange and assist your group in finding a twin.

  • support group leaders by answering questions and providing written materials.

  • link each exchange to the National network.

  • support the organizers by answering their questions, helping them solve problems, and providing documentation and an orientation session.

  • In a travel-based exchange, they help coordinate travel to and from the twin community.

The Group Leader... 

  • choose the group members and makes sure each is matched with a participant from the twin group 

  • promotes interaction among group members 

  • participates in and supervises the group while visiting the twin community or while participating in online activities  

  • works with members to resolve personal and group difficulties that arise 

...Organizes for the group 

  • leads members in planning and implementing the orientation, host program and follow-up phases 

  • helps group members develop leadership and interpersonal skills 

  • returns the required documents to their Regional Coordinator by the assigned due date 

  • raises awareness of the exchange with parents and throughout the community using information sessions, letters, local media, etc. 

...Makes arrangements 

  • completes all required forms, including the Group Leader evaluation form 

  • ensures that participants complete and return all evaluation forms to the address indicated 

  • encourages continued interaction between the groups to promote lasting links among participants 

  • encourages youth to share the experience with other groups 

 In a travel-based exchange, the Group Leader also...  

  • makes sure the host families are screened 

  • is aware of medical issues 

  • receives all travel documents from travel agent 

  • takes responsibility for the group at all times while staying in the host community 

  • has a plan to deal with medical or other emergencies 


  • participate in all phases of the exchange: pre-exchange, exchange, and post-exchange, and share ideas and suggestions. 

  • bring commitment and energy to the exchange process 

  • can contribute to building their own group: the level at which they participate will depend on their abilities 

  • share the experience with other youth, schools, and the community at large (meetings, articles in local newspapers, interviews, etc.) 

  • fill out the participant’s evaluation form

Our Youth Advisory Committee suggest that you: 

  • have the youth define goals, behavioral expectations and the ways in which they want to be involved, once they have permission to participate 

  • develop your own youth committee to help with the planning 

  • have youth assist at or run the meetings for parents/guardians.

Parents and Guardians   

Parents and Guardians of the participants, to whatever extent they can... 

  • encourage group members to take in all phases of the exchange. 

  • participate in fundraising and other exchange activities. 

  • In a travel-based exchange, they provide a safe, welcoming place and appropriate supervision for their twin group members when hosting. 

Travel Agent 

(in Travel based exchanges) 

The YMCA Youth Exchanges Program has been working with UNIGLOBE – The Premier Travel Group since 1993. 

UNIGLOBE handles all of our group bookings and your travel agent is the key contact in travel related questions and concerns. 


With that said, UNIGLOBE will check in with your Regional Coordinator should any of your requests, questions or concerns have a financial impact on your exchange. 


You will be given the name of your travel agent after your exchange has been confirmed.  Please check your Conditional Letter that you received from your Regional Coordinator. 

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