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YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange Program

Robert Lee YMCA, 955 Burrad Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y2
Phone : (604_ 865-1025)


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School year/Age

16 to 17 years old

Language level

French as a First Language
French immersion
French as a Second Language

School subject (primary)

Knowledge and Employability

School subject (secondary)

Career and Technology Studies

Links with the curriculum

This program is an excellent opportunity for students to grow, build new skills, and learn more about themselves, their community, their country and others. Our general program objectives are:

  • To contribute to increased knowledge and understanding of Canada among Canadian youth, by enabling them to learn first-hand about the history, geography, industry, institutions, cultures, communities, languages and other facets of Canada.
  • To help young Canadians connect to one another and create lasting linkages, across the country and between groups, thereby helping to strengthen the fabric of Canadian society.
  • To develop Canadian identity and a sense of belonging to Canada among Canadian youth by enhancing their appreciation of both the diversity and the shared aspects of the Canadian experience.

The program will also achieve the following specific program objectives:

  • To better prepare participants for the workforce through job experience, employer mentorship and industry awareness.
  • To provide an opportunity for the participants to learn about and appreciate another culture.
  • To allow students the opportunity to practice their 2nd official language skills through homestay and work immersion.
  • To enable youth to give back to the community through a group community project.
  • To empower youth to take on new challenges and gain confidence and general preparedness for their future!


Participants must be at least 16 years of age by July 1 and no more than 17 years of age by August 10.
Ideally, participants would fit the following profile:

  • Enthusiastic about having a Canadian experience, understanding that this may involve being in a different cultural context than they are familiar with
  • Agree to live in a homestay context throughout the program duration
  • Provide a homestay environment (most likely their own home) for their twin exchange student to live in during the program
  • Be ready to work full time at an assigned work placement for 6 weeks
  • Be respectful to their local coordinator, host / host family, employer, other exchange participants and their new community
  • Willingness to participate in group activities agreed upon by their participant group and their local coordinator
  • Interest in giving back to their new community through participation in a group community project that will be agreed upon by the participant group and their local coordinator
  • Basic knowledge of their second official language
  • Desire to practice their second official language at work and at home
  • Desire to get the most out of this fantastic opportunity!


The program runs for six weeks in the summer, beginning in early July and ending mid August.


There is a $75 non-refundable participant fee to secure your space once you have been selected. Your travel to your host community and home again is paid for by the Summer Work Student Exchange Program. You will stay with a host / host family and a student will stay in your home and work in your community. You are responsible, however, for your own expenses, just as you would be at home. Your group will take part in a range of activities throughout the program. The activities vary from one community to the next. Although all planned activities will be covered, a few optional activities may require participants' financial contribution. If you are unable to pay the $75 fee, please let us know. We do our best to ensure that every youth who wants to participate has the chance to do so.


The YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange is a unique national exchange program that brings together youth from various communities across the country. Participating youth, aged 16 and 17, have the opportunity to improve their second official language skills, and gain important employment experience through a work placement while on their exchange.

Within local participating communities, other community partners such as exchange hosts, employers, our summer staff and the community at large also both contribute to the program and benefit from participation.

In 6 short weeks over the summer, participants go on a journey that will forever impact their life. Learning more about themselves, discovering another part of Canada and the people that make up our great nation, taking on new challenges, making new friends and, having so much fun, participants agree this experience is THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME!





Alberta Education