Group Vocational Service Exchange

What is Group Vocational Service Exchange?

  1. Group Vocational Service Exchange evolved from District 7390’s involvement in The Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange (GSE). It includes many of the same elements but places an emphasis on importance of the vocational interaction and provides opportunity for the team to participate in service projects.
  2. A four-week program for a team of young professionals to exchange visits with a paired country. There is an outbound team and an inbound team. 
  3. A unique cultural/vocational opportunity to develop professional and leadership skills. ​
  4. A once-in-a-lifetime journey involving vocational activities, cultural experiences, service experiences and fellowship opportunities. 
 

History:

Since 1973, D7390 has participated in The Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange. The Program provides a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women to observe their own vocations as practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and develop international understanding and good will. Participants return home with a broadened cultural perspective and a new understanding of a nation’s history, language, commerce, and government. A GSE offers a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, work on team building, and increase self-confidence.  Additionally, D7390 places emphases on the importance of the vocational interaction and provides opportunity for the team to participate in service projects. As a result, within our District, the name of the program was changed to Group Vocational Service Exchange.
 
 

I thought Rotary ended GSE?

Rotary International (RI) stopped providing grants for the GSE program in 2013.  However, it is still a recognized RI program and Rotarians around the globe still participate with alternative funding.
 
 

Why participate in a Group Vocational Service Exchange?

A Group Vocational Service Exchange offers the most unique and rewarding skill-building opportunity and personal growth experience available to young professionals as humanity steps forward to face the challenges of the 21st century. Individuals who participate will return home, not only with new perspectives and an enlarged vision, but also with valuable fresh ideas and an understanding of a nation’s culture, commerce and government.
   
During the rigorous travel, team members will experience spectacular and unique cultural tours, along with individualized vocational visits. Vocational visits include opportunities to observe, to share your thoughts, and to learn new best practices with peer professionals from the visited country. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
 
There is an experiential benefit to the local Rotarians to build goodwill and better friendships with visitors from another country through social and vocational interactions.
 
District 7390 has experienced a 42% retention rate of the participants joining Clubs in District 7390.
 
Our District offers a wide variety of vocational and cultural activities for your team’s participation. Located within driving distance to many major U.S. cities, including New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, Central Pennsylvania boasts a high quality of life. Our District is home to our state capital, Harrisburg, as well as major tourist attractions such as HersheyPark. We’re also proud of our innovative companies, such as motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson and live-entertainment production company Rock Lititz, but we haven’t forgotten our industrial and agricultural heritage. Your team will experience cultural activities, a visit to Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, and have opportunities to take part in outdoor recreation. Learn more about our region here.
 
 

What is involved in a GSE trip?

For 3-4 weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. In a typical 4-week tour, team members participate in vocational visits, club presentations, formal visits and social events, attendance at your District Conference, cultural and site tours, and free time with host families.
 
 

What do Rotarians interested in exchanging with District 7390 need to do?

  • First, talk with your District Governor to gauge interest and garner support.
  • The biggest monetary expense is travel for the team. This can be provided solely by your district, by the team member, or shared by both.
  • The next steps are to plan and coordinate with District 7390 to find your team to send and plan for our team to visit.
  • District 7390 has been participating in GSE since 1973 and will assist your Rotarians in the planning and preparation required to create a successful GSE experience for everyone.
 

Interested in partnering with Rotary District 7390?

Please submit inquiries to GVSE Chair Peg Sennett (pegsennett@hotmail.com
 
 
 
2016-17 Group Vocational Service Exchange Team with D3460 Taiwan
Team Leader Kent Wiedemann (Lititz), Team Members Claire O'Brien (York), Hillary Henson (Harrisburg), Lisa Howald (Mechanicsburg), Duke Adams (Harrisburg Keystone)
 
 
2015-16 Group Vocational Service Exchange Team with D9640 Australia

Zachary Zimmerman (York), Natalee Colon (York), Christina Fultz (Carlisle), Jaime Arroyo (Lancaster) and PDG Hector Ortiz, Team Leader (Harrisburg)

Click here to view their Facebook page

 

 
2014-15 Group Vocational Service Exchange Team with D2240 Czech Republic/Slovakia
(L-R) Team Leader Patti Stirk (York), Kim O'Brien (Lancaster), Sarah Thomas (Harrisburg-Keystone, Theresa Cullen (Lancaster-Hempfield)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  2013-14 Group Vocational Service Exchange with D4855 Argentina
Team Members L-R: Amy Lau (York-East), Jessica Reape (York-North), Theresa Clark (Harrisburg-Keystone), Rotarian Patrick Rooney (Team Leader) (York), Laura O'Grady (York)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
History of Group Vocational Service Exchange
(Previously Group Study Exchange) in District 7390 
YEAR(S)
DISTRICT
COUNTRY
TEAM LEADER
CLUB
1973-75
3210
India
John Morefield
Harrisburg
1976-78
9920
New Zealand
Kirby Burkholder
Carlisle
1979-80
9790
Australia
Robert Sterling
Manheim
1981-83
3060
India
Pieter Kooistra
Harrisburg
1983-85
1440
Denmark
Dave Halliwell
York
1984-86
9250
South Africa
PDG George Biemesderfer
Lititz
1986-87
3280
Bangladesh
George Trout
York
1987-88
4590
Brazil
Dick Julian
York
1988-89
2430
Turkey
Ted Kalb
Lebanon
1989-90
3850
Philippines
Leonard Washington
Lebanon
1990-91
4340
Chile
PDG Alden Cunningham
Carlisle
1991-92
4800
Argentina
Peter Strategos
Harrisburg East
1992-93
3160
India
PDG Dave Witmer
West Shore
1993-94
9650
Australia
Bruce Dietrich
Lancaster South
1994-95
1440
Denmark
Rebecca Tortorici
York East
1995-96
1760
France
Fred Fay
York
1996-97
3730
Korea
John Hankle
York
1997-98
1800
Germany
Carolyn Peters
Lebanon
1998-99
4530
Brazil
Lynn Dolan
Lancaster Northeast
1999-00
2070
Italy
Connie Spark
York-East
2000-01
2470
Greece
PDG Pete Strategos
Harrisburg-East
2001-02
3040
India
David Newcomer
York-East
2002-03
2520
Japan
Bob Minney
Lancaster
2003-04
1110
England
Patty Johnson
Middletown
2004-05
1440
Denmark
Peg Sennett
Hanover
2005-06
4170
Mexico
Samuel Bower
Harrisburg-Keystone
2006-07
3210
India
Jim Nelson
Harrisburg-East
2007-08
4580
Brazil
Tom Houf
Carlisle
2008-09
1950
Germany
PDG Will Kirkpatrick
Southern York County
2009-10
1460
Denmark/Lithuania
Warren Risk
Hanover
2011-12
3310
Singapore/Malaysia
Kathleen Stoup
Carlisle
2012 3272 Pakistan Inbound Exchange Only  
2012-13
1010
Scotland
Bob McClenathan
Lancaster
2013-14 4855 Argentina Paddy Rooney York
2014-15 2240 Czech Republic/Slovakia Patti Stirk York
2015-16 9640 Australia PDG Hector Ortiz Harrisburg-Keystone
2016-17 3460 Taiwan Kent Weidermann Lititz