Rotary offers group study exchange in Japan
Rotary District 7720, which includes 41 clubs in Eastern North Carolina, recently announced applications are available for the Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program.
The program is a cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between 25 to 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries.
For four to six weeks, team members will experience Japan’s culture and institutions, observe how their own vocations are practiced, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.
Rotary District 2780 is located in Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan along with another Rotary District with 69 clubs and nearly 2,500 members. It has a mixed commercial base that includes steel mills, shipbuilding and auto manufacturing as well as agricultural.
GSE Teams are composed of four non-Rotarian team members, usually of various business and professional backgrounds and one Rotarian team leader. The GSE experience typically spans four to five weeks.
During the exchange, teams will visit local businesses, government offices and community organizations in the host district, tour historical and cultural sites, stay with Rotarian host families and make presentations about their home countries and professions.
Chip Chagnon, District 7720 GSE Team Leader in 2012, led his team (pictured) to District 1930, located in Baden-Wurttemberg Germany.
“When you think about the expression ‘Made in Germany’ you immediately think of a product that was produced with focused planning, excellent engineering, superb craftsmanship and superior quality. That is the best way to sum up our exchange with District 1930.
“The planning was very detailed and carefully engineered to be tailored to our team’s vocational and cultural requests and goals. The host District 1930, host city Rotary clubs, and host Rotarian families spared no expense in making our exchange experience superb with quality memories.”
Team members will receive orientation and cultural preparation from the sponsoring Rotary District 7720 before their departure. This may include language training, practice of oral presentations, visits to Rotary clubs and background about Rotary International’s mission and the programs of its Foundation.
Candidates must be fully employed with at least two years of work experience in their chosen field and be in the early stages of their careers. GSE can be an excellent way to recognize top-performing staff or provide exposure for potential young leaders with limited international experience.
Candidates must reside in or be employed in District 7720 and also be citizens of the United States. In addition, the candidates should be personable, articulate, cooperative, motivated team players and enthusiastic about their vocations. Rotarians and their families are ineligible.
The chosen team GSE team members will visit Kanagawa on or around March 15, 2013 to April 14, 2013. In turn, the GSE team from District 2780 Japan will be visiting District 7720
on or around April 20, 2013 to May 19, 2013.
If you would like to apply please contact Jim Wendling with the Rocky Mount Rotary Club, and GSE Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Rotary club today by visiting District 7720 Website at www.rotary7720.org and click on Club Information.
PHOTO: Rotary District 7720 2012 Group Study Exchange Team traveled to Baden-Wurttemberg Germany. Left to right: Team Members Katrina Bishop, Udeshi Hargett, Wanda Smith, Misty Rasmussen, Mary Hall and Team Leader Chip Chagnon.
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