Since its inception in 1965, the Group Study Exchange program has provided grants for countless teams of men and women in the early stages of their business and professional careers to travel abroad and share vocational information with the representatives of their respective professions in another country.
Team members spend four weeks studying the host country’s institutions, economy, and culture, while observing how their own professions are practiced abroad. Many exchanges between paired Rotary districts occur each year, advancing the program’s ultimate goal of promoting international understanding and goodwill.
Rotary districts select teams comprising four non-Rotarians and one Rotarian leader, engaged in different businesses and professions. Each of two paired districts sends and receives a team for a four week study program. Pairings used to be determined by The Rotary Foundation’s trustees to ensure wide geographical distribution, but exchanges are now arranged by the participating districts.
While visiting abroad, GSE team members follow a carefully planned itinerary, including visits to government and cultural institutions, schools, religious and historic sites and other points of interest. In addition, each member spends at least five days studying and observing the practice of his or her profession in the host district.
The Foundation grant funds round-trip air transportation for each team member. Rotarians provide lodging in their homes, meals, and group travel, allowing the opportunity for participants to become acquainted with the customs and culture of the people in their host district.
Team Members must be between the ages of 25 and 40 and employed full-time, with a minimum of two-years experience, in a recognized business or profession. In addition, candidates should have some proficiency in the language of the country to which they intend to travel, must be exemplary in their business or professional conduct, enthusiastic about their vocations, and capable of deriving maximum educational value from the program. After their study abroad, participants are expected to speak about their experiences at Rotary meetings and other civic functions.
Interested applicants should contact their local Rotary club for application materials and information regarding deadlines.
GSE Team Member Application
GSE Team Leader Application
GSE Team Handbook
GSE Brochure for Employers
For more information, email Group Study Exchange
Chairman Dr. Susan Cobb
Information for Rotary Clubs:
Rotary Clubs that sponsor a Team Leader or Team Member are expected to reimburse their sponsored team member up to $400 in expenses incurred in preparation for the exchange. It is certainly acceptable for two or more clubs to share a sponsorship of a Group Study Exchange Team Member. These expenses include team uniform clothing items, required immunizations, medical exams, passport costs, international travel/health insurance, and small gifts for their host families. Receipts should be submitted to the District Group Study Exchange Chair, who will coordinate reimbursement with the sponsoring club.