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Link to YMCA of Greater Toronto www.ymcatoronto.org

YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada gives Canadian youth a change to expand their vision of themselves and their country.

YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada is an exchange between tow groups of equal size in different communities. Each group hosts the other Members of the group are twinned and stay in each other's homes.

Exchange activities - preparing to travel, traveling and hosting, doing follow-up events - are opportunities for participants to work with their community, develop their interpersonal and group skills and learn about the diversity of Canada's people.

YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada is open to groups from all regions, cultures, religions, ethnic groups and economic circumstances.

The average length of an exchange is seven to ten days with a minimum of five days in the host community."

(YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada, Handbook for Exchange Leaders, 2000)

Application to YMCA Youth Exchanges Program (formally known as Visions) gave us a chance for our students to travel. Without the sponsorship of this program, students at Netsilik School would never be able to complete such an exchange. The YMCA Youth Exchanges Program provides funding for all the travel costs that result from our exchange. Taking ten students from the central arctic to the mountains of British Columbia can be particularly expensive and we are very happy to have had support and encouragement from YMCA.

The benefits of this program are widespread. Students gain friendships across cultures, experience life in another part of Canada, learn first hand about the history, geography, economy, institution,s cultures, communities, languages and other facets of their country. It is a fantastic program!