Service and International Exchange through Canada World Youth’s Youth Leaders in Action

This post has been contributed by my summer intern Ceyhun Arslan, who is researching service opportunities around the world for non-U.S. citizens.

Canada World Youth (CWY)’s Youth Leaders in Action offers youth from Canada and partner countries a chance to participate in a six-month exchange and service opportunity.

Canadians and citizens of select partner countries, aged 17 to 24, join this six-month bilateral program — spending three months in Canada and three months in the partner/host country.

Volunteer work varies from farm work in a village to teaching English to elementary school students.

Partner countries have included Indonesia and Ukraine, as well as countries in the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America. Volunteers cannot choose their destination, but CWY considers their preferences. The participants stay with host families away from their homes both at their Canadian placement site and overseas.

To contribute to the team’s diversity, the program favors applications from indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities, women, and persons of minority sexual orientations.

After a candidate applies online, CWY carries out a weighted draw based on socio-demographic criteria. Then applicants submit their health records and CWY does another selection process. The program chooses a team of nine Canadians and nine people from a partner country, then pairs each Canadian with a participant from the exchange country.

The participants pay $250 and raise $2500 to participate the program, for which they receive support from the organization. After the fundraising goal is met, CWY covers the expenses for travel, insurance, housing, and food. If you are a student from Marie-Victorin, Dalhousie or Capilano University, you can also earn academic credit by joining the program.

Interested in learning more? CWY makes it easy to connect with past participants to let you ask questions of people who know.

Watch a video about the CWY program at Indonesia:

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