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The Cultural Exchange
Best Practice Working Group

The Cultural Exchange Working Group was established in August 2020 with the aim of facilitating dialogue and enhancing collaboration between WYSE. This group is committed to delivering best practice recommendations in order that businesses within the sector are in the best possible shape to withstand and effectively respond to potential challenges.

From 2020 to 2022, the topic around crisis management was discussed and shared. More recently, the topic around improving participant return rates has been discussed and is broadly agreed with WYSE members and representatives of the Cultural Exchange Sector.

Improving Return Rates

As we have seen in several countries over the last 6 months, visa issuance rates appear to be closely tied to return rates. Overstays, or even legal changes of status, can lead to increased rejections in key sending countries. This adversely affects both sponsors and partners and limits the impact and effectiveness of our exchange programs.

This group continues to meet several times a year and their latest focus is to create a best practice guideline aimed at improving participant return rates, covering the topics:

  • Best practices for overseas partners (conducting welcome home sessions, building relationships with local embassy staff, including orientation sessions, etc.)
  • Best practices for sponsors (include messages to participants before and during the programme, request return rate data from overseas partners, etc.)

Members of the working group

Robyn Walker

Chair of the Working Group

Marina Seet


Iza Gyuricza

Smaller Earth

Mariapia Inurritegui

Universal Student Echange
Latin America

Rafael Espinoza

Universal Student Exchange
Latin America

Alexis Blackburn-Rose


Laura Sukgen

Troy International

Darya Modestova

Global Friends

Watch the previous webinar from the working group

Watch the previous webinar where members of the working group discuss whether youth travel organisations are prepared for crisis management: Stronger together: Best practice for crisis management