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FAQ Page

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ’s will help you with any questions you may have.

What does the registration fee cover?

Your registration fee covers our services regarding visa requirements, all related printed materials as well as links to documents or forms that may be available online. Detailed step-by-step instructions are provided to assist students and parents in completing the visa application and all necessary attachments that need to be included.

Once a student registers with Tzell at www.tzellyouthexchange.com the student will receive an email confirmation and have access to the student portal that provides instructions on how to obtain a student visa and a list of required documents that needs to be included with the application.

This will be posted into the student’s Tzell account between April-May at the earliest.

The Consulates do not update us on visa requirements for summer departures until then. Do not expect to receive any information from Tzell until mid-April, however, you are more than welcome to email us if you have any questions, or if you need to update your contact information.

The registration fee is $249 per student.

Our Registration Process opens March 11, 2024

When will my Rotary Guarantee Form (RGF) arrive?

The honest answer is that we don’t know! Once you have been accepted into the Rotary program and have been given a country assignment, you and your parents will sign this form and your Rotary Chair or Country Contact will send it to your host country. This document must pass over MANY desks before it is sent back to the US, so it is a time-consuming process. BE PATIENT! Once this form is received by Rotary here in the U.S., an original will be sent to us and a photocopy sent to you. If you receive an original, please contact Tzell Youth Exchange and let us know!

When are my documents due?

Check your deadline date on your requirement sheets for the due date for your documents.

Where are the documents from my host country?

Tzell does not know the status of these. They come from Rotary in the host country and have a lot of steps to go through before being sent to the student/District country contact. They can arrive anytime between June-mid August. Some Consulates require the student submit the original, and some only require a copy.

How long will it take for me to get my visa?

The length of time it takes to receive a visa will depend on the country you are going to and what consulate you will apply for your visa through. Consulates are “jurisdictional”, which means that certain offices will accept applications from residents of certain states only. Some visas will be issued in a matter of 3 or 4 days, and others can take up to 3 whole months to be issued. There is nothing Tzell Youth Exchange can do to rush the visa in most cases, so please adhere to the document deadline date set so that you have a better chance of departing on time.

Can the required documents for my visa be written by hand, or do I have to type them?

All documents for your visa MUST be typed unless you are specifically told otherwise by your agent at Tzell Youth Exchange.

What is a personal appearance? Do I have to make one?

Some Consulates ask that applicants appear in person before them at their office. PERSONAL APPEARANCES ARE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONSULATE, NOT OF Tzell Youth Exchange. If it is necessary for you to make a personal appearance, there is nothing we can do to waive this for you. Your requirement sheets will tell you if a visit to the Consulate is necessary, although you should keep in mind that requirements change constantly and the Consulates always have the right to request a personal visit at any time.

*Student cannot get an appointment with the Consulate

If the Consulate requires the student to submit their via application and documents in person, they will need to make an appointment with the consulate nearest their home. Appointments are made online. Per the Consulates, student/parents need to check multiple times daily for appointments to be available or to open up due to cancellations.

When will I receive my visa?

The processing time is different for each county and Consulate. Applications are not accepted more than 90 days prior to departure. Some visas take 5-7 days to get approved, some can take 60 days.  Visa applications cannot be expedited.

*Status of the visa

Typically, the Consulate does not advise on the visa status. They advise how long the processing time is. Emails to most Consulates about the status of the visa are not received kindly by the Consulate for some countries unfortunately. (Spain, Belgium)

*Consulate asking for additional documents.

All consulates have a disclaimer stating that they can ask for additional documents at any time during the process, without initially listing them as required.

*If the Consulate will substitute one document for another.

That is up to the Consulate. Tzell cannot advise on what the Consulate will accept. Agents at Tzell can only advise on what they tell us is required.

When will I depart for my host country?

Tzell Youth Exchange does not set departure dates, your Rotary district in your host country determines this. Most of you will be asked to arrive approximately 2 weeks prior to the start date of school. In some cases, the date Tzell Youth Exchange is given for your departure differs from the date you are given when your host family or host District Chair gets in touch with you for the first time. If this is the case, please contact your agent at Tzell Youth Exchange immediately so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for you.

When will I receive my itinerary?

You will only be sent an itinerary for your air tickets once we have received your visa approval or when we have confirmation that a visa will be received in time to travel on your intended date.  Issuing tickets prior to receiving visa approval can result in additional charges by the airlines.

After receiving your TICKETED ITINERARY, you will have 24 hours to review and approve the flight dates, times and departure and arrival cities.  After tickets are issued, you need to review and verify all the ticketed information and notify us within 24 hours of any errors.

How will my hosts know when I’m arriving?

Once your tickets have been purchased, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to send your FULL itinerary to your host Rotary Club Counselor, District Chair and first host family. It would also be wise for you to send this info to your local Rotary Chair and / or Country Contact.

Am I flying with any other students?

Whether you travel alone, with another student or with a group of students will largely depend on what country you are going to. There are some countries that require that all students, no matter what country they are from, arrive on one day or within a specific time-frame, in which case you will most likely be traveling with other students. Other countries leave it up to the student, their family and the first host family to decide on a date of arrival, in which case you more then likely will be traveling alone. We call this an “independent departure”. Please check your country’s specific document requirement sheets for your target departure date.

What is the cost of my airfare?

The exact cost of your airfare will depend on what country you are traveling to and from where in the US your trip will originate. Once your visa is received your Tzell Youth Exchange agent will email you with an itinerary and airfare quote, unless your District has already collected this from you.

Transaction fees for original ticket issuance and one exchange ticket to modify the return travel date are included in the airfare quote.

What other cost may be associated with my airfare?

Your return travel date is an estimated date, and it will very likely be changed.

Some airlines have fees associated with making a change to your return date.  That fee can range from $100 to $400.

Most if not all airlines have a fare differential cost associated with changing any flight or date whereas the fare is recalculated at the current market price for the return portion of the trip.

What forms of payment does Tzell Youth Exchange accept?

We accept MASTERCARD, VISA or AMERICAN EXPRESS credit cards, personal checks, money orders or cashier’s checks.

Can my parents use frequent flyer miles to pay for my ticket?

No. Frequent flyer mile tickets typically do not meet Rotary requirements. Usually the airlines allot for only a few seats on each plane for frequent flier tickets, and these seats sell out quickly. If it became necessary for you to come home in an emergency, you may not be able to find space on a plane which would cause you to purchase a (very expensive) one-way ticket home.

I just saw a really inexpensive flight to my host country online. Why can’t I use this ticket?

Typically, tickets found on the internet do not meet Rotary requirements. They usually are only valid one year from the date of purchase, not from the date of travel and you would need to purchase them very far in advance to take advantage of the low fares offered.

We use an airline selection process that, when possible, the selected airline has other flight options in the event of delays or cancellations.  This can help avoid changes of departure date or reducing the risk of having students being stranded in connecting cities.

How much luggage can I take? How heavy can each bag be?

The general rule is that you will be able to check in two bags that weigh no more than 50 pounds each, with dimensions no higher than 64 linear inches (a total of 64 inches when you add the height, length and width of the bag). However, some smaller U.S. and foreign carriers and planes may allow less than that. Tzell Youth Exchange will provide you with packing tips in your departure packet which will help you learn how to avoid packing too much to eliminate the worry of having to pay for extra bags and excess weight.

Click HERE to access baggage Fees by Airline:

Each airline has their own rules and fees.  Baggage fees are not included in the ticket. All baggage fees are paid directly to the airline at check-in by the student/parent.

What date is the student leaving?

That is told to the student by the host family. The students will need to work that date out with their parents/host parents. It is also contingent upon the arrival of the visa (if applicable). Tzell does not set the departure date.

What are Tzell’s hours of operation?

Our normal hours of operation are from 9:00AM to 5:00PM EST, Monday through

After-hour/weekend calls or zoom presentations can be made by appointment.

We maintain a 24-hour emergency call center.  This call center is contacted only when your trip has started and you have issues due to flight delays, cancellations or missed flights,  However the best resource to resolve most issues or get protected on different flights is the airline ticket counter agent who has the ability to book you on another flight.

Do not call this service center for any other issues as they can only provide support for in travel air situations.  Calling on non-air issues as stated above may result in a $20.00 service charge.

I was unable to attend the orientation. Is there any way to view your powerpoint that was presented at the orientation?
What is an Apostille and where do I get this done?

Click Here to see a sample Apostille

*Sending an email to agent over the weekend.

Most emails sent to us on the weekend will receive a reply Monday/Tuesday.  We do sometimes check emails over the weekend but that is not guaranteed.  Our busiest time is July, whereas it can take up to 3-4 days to receive an email reply.  The visa process and access to the consulates is a Monday to Friday process during normal business hours.

Consulate response to our inquiries can take up to 72 hours.

Please be patient, as we do receive many emails from students/parents with questions.

Emails deemed urgent will be responded to at the earliest opportunity.

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