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Group Study Exchange. An Educational Program of The Rotary Foundation. What is Group Study Exchange?.

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Group Study Exchange

An Educational Program of

The Rotary Foundation


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What is Group Study Exchange?

  • The Group Study Exchange (GSE) program of The Rotary Foundation is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women between the ages of 25 and 40 and in the early years of their professional lives.

  • The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits between paired areas in different countries.

  • For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country's institutions and ways of life, observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.


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GSE in District 7450

  • The District GSE committee plans a travel route for the visiting team, based on the team’s daily schedule of activities set up by each host Rotary club.

  • In 2007 District 7450 involved 9 host clubs; 3 of the weeks had 2 host clubs.

  • Each host family should plan to have the team member for the entire week to help them reduce travel fatigue and get to know their host families better.

    • Even when 2 clubs hosted for the week, the team members stayed with one family for the entire week


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  • A study tour does not have to cover the entire district. However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • We try to avoid scheduling too many Rotary functions or more than three Rotary club meetings per week. If clubs are located within a short distance from each other, we recommend organizing multiclub meetings whenever possible.


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Past GSE Teams However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • 2002-03 – Bangladesh

  • 2003-04 – Brazil

  • 2004-05 – Australia

  • 2005-06 – Israel/Mexico

  • 2006-07 - India


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Future GSE Teams However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • 2008 – Naples, Italy

    • Giancarlo Calise, DG

  • 2009 – Manila, Philippines

    • Edgardo Limon, DG, District 3830


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Advantages of Hosting However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • International exchange of ideas

  • Opportunities to connect with clubs from other countries

  • Learn about prospective international service projects

  • Person-to-person connections

  • Connect with other clubs in district

  • Promote global peace and understanding


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What does a Club need? However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • A person to coordinate week’s schedule

  • Host families (preferably 5)

  • Transportation for 5-7 people

  • Members to escort team to sites and events

  • Host team presentation at club meeting

  • Connections with local government and businesses that may host team members for vocational visits


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Timeline However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • At least 5 months prior to team arrival

    • Notify district committee of intention to host

  • At least 3 months prior to team arrival

    • Attend host club orientation with district committee

    • Identify host families

    • Identify potential vocational hosts

    • Select sites to visit


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Timeline However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County. (cont’d)

  • At least 2 months prior to team arrival

    • Confirm vocational visits

    • Confirm host family assignments

    • Attend host clubs meeting to coordinate schedules

    • Finalize schedule and forward to GSE chair

  • At least 1 month prior to team arrival

    • Identify team escorts

    • Confirm all appointments

    • Host families contact assigned team members


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Role of District Committee However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Define travel dates in collaboration with partner district

  • Communicate with GSE staff in Evanston

  • Coordinate host club assignments

  • Assist host clubs in developing itinerary

  • Hold a host club orientation meeting

  • Facilitate meetings to coordinate host club schedules

  • Forward schedule and host families information to Evanston and GSE chair in partner district at least six weeks prior to departure

  • Publish program booklet

  • Plan team arrival and orientation

  • Assist last week’s host in planning farewell event

  • Evaluate each step of planning process and hold a debriefing meeting with team prior to departure


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Preparing a Host Itinerary However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Itinerary is a location-by-location, day-by-day, hour-by-hour listing of the activities planned for the team’s visit.

  • In planning your week’s itinerary, be aware of the following:

    • Plan reasonable workdays — not 12- to 15-hour days. Limit the number of areas team members visit so they can absorb life in your area without rushing from place to place.

    • Check with the host coordinator for the other weeks to ensure that there is no duplication of activities and the program is well-balanced and organized.

    • If your club sponsors a Rotaract or Interact club, allow time for GSE team members to meet with them.


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Preparing Itinerary (cont’d) However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Include time to join in the day-to-day life of hosts, especially if they are involved with specific Rotary projects such as reading day at a local school.

  • Plan a meeting for the end of the visit to discuss the team’s views on the host program.

  • Maintain control of the program itinerary.Do not allow host families to add extra, unplanned activities. Any additions could force cancellation of some previously planned activities and/or reduce the time allotted for the visit­ing team’s rest and relaxation.

  • Checkthat Rotarians responsible for meeting, escorting, and/or transporting the team at various points along the route know exactly what is expected of them.


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Team Arrival However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Prepare an information sheet with the visiting team’s names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers and distribute to each host family.

  • Prepare an information sheet with the host Rotarian families’ names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers, as well as other key personnel (e.g., club officers) and distribute to the visiting team members. If possible, also provide a map of the host club’s area, with the host families’ location clearly marked.

  • Prepare a folder/binder with information about your area and your club. You may include brochures from local attractions, the latest newsletter from your local Chamber of Commerce, or information on the latest projects your club has coordinated.


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Vocational Study Days However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Vocational study days must match the professions of the individual team members.

  • Valuable vocational visits reinforce to employers the specific professional benefits that GSE can bring to both the company/ organization and the employee.

  • Arrange for vocational hosts to spend at least 3-4 hours with the team members.

  • The vocational visit should include at least a meeting with professional counterparts and a tour of the company’s facilities.

  • Whenever possible, recruit members from your club to accompany team members on their vocational visit.

  • Do not arrange group vocational visits unless the team members have the same profession.


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Team However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.Transportaion

  • All daily travel expenses are the host club’s responsibility.

  • Arrange well in advance for the team’s daily transportation as well as from one host club to another.

  • Each host club’s coordinator should contact the coordinator for the following week’s host club to arrange a mutually convenient location for the transfer of the team.

  • Do not include any transportation or pleasure/sightseeing flights on non-commercial airplanes.

  • Team members and leaders may not operate a motor vehicle during the exchange.

  • Teams must be accompanied by a host Rotarian while being transported throughout the host district.


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Selecting Host Families However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.

  • Host homes must have a room available for the team member. No sharing with family members is allowed.

  • Host families must be willing to transport the team member to and from the designated team meeting location.

  • Avoid selecting host families that live out of the way and will make transportation a problem for both hosts and escorts.

  • Whenever possible, place team members together with hosts of the same profession, hobbies, or interests.

  • Host families with small children are OK but note that the team member may have a few late nights, which may disturb the family routine.

  • Expose the team to people in the same age groups as the team members.

  • Host families should not have to spend a lot of money to entertain the team member.


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Questions? However, the committee strives to have representative clubs from the district as hosts, e.g., not all from the western suburban Philadelphia area or not all from Delaware County.


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