Rotary District 7090, which stretches from Brantford, Ontario, to Jamestown, and its 72 clubs is offering a cultural and vocational exchange for young business and professional men and women with Rotary District 3800 in the Philippines from Feb. 15 to March 15, 2013.
Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club member Dan Smith, who serves the Group Study Exchange as District 7090 co-chair, explained The Rotary Foundation covers most of the costs involved, including airfare, accommodation and meals for four team members and a Rotarian team leader. The hosts, Philippine Rotarians, and their clubs plan the itinerary.
District Governor Rick Sterne noted the benefits of the GSE program for the young people who participate and their employers.
"The personal and professional growth from being part of a team, being immersed in a different culture and seeing one's profession from a new perspective is remarkable," Sterne said.
The criteria for GSE candidates is any person in good health, age 25 to 40, who, for two years, has been fully employed and living in Rotary District 7090, is not a Rotarian or related to a Rotarian, can be free from personal and work responsibilities for a month and can devote time to the team in the weeks leading up to the exchange.
"The best candidates are enthusiastic about their professions, exemplary in their work, are open-minded, personable, articulate and demonstrate leadership as well as cooperation and flexibility in working and traveling with a team," Sterne said.
"The Rotary GSE program is invaluable for its organized and intense immersion into the cultural and vocational aspects of the host country," GSE team member Steve Davis from Buffalo, said about his GSE experience to Brazil in 2012. "One would never get this experience or opportunity otherwise."
Chautauqua County Rotarians recently welcomed back five Group Study Team members after their opportunity to experience a cultural and vocational exchange for a month in Brazil.
The deadline for candidates to apply for the Philippines trip is Friday, Nov. 2, and applications can be obtained from the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club. Successful candidates will be called for an interview in November. If chosen, team members are responsible for passports, visas if required, inoculations, gifts for their host families and spending money for personal items.
Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service.