What is Group Study Exchange all about?
Depending on your point of view, life experiences, philosophy, etc., the answer to this question could be rather obvious, or it could seem more vague. To be sure, it is many things to many people. Its purpose can be more or less clearly stated, but its effect on, or its value to, an individual is determined by the participant. For most of those who take part, however, the experience is a life-altering one.
Over the past 50 years, knowledge of other cultures has increased at a rapid pace, and perhaps we are more knowledgeable and open-minded than previous generations. But no nation or culture is immune to misconceptions and prejudices, nor to the debilitating and sometimes tragic consequences that often result. And maybe now more than before, as the world grows ever smaller, do we need to increase our knowledge about people from other countries. Likewise, obviously, we need to share our own cultures. But a Group Study Exchange is much more than simply comparing notes on religion, politics, vocations, recreation, philosophy, etc. It is a tool to help us raise ourselves and the world community to a higher level of international understanding, goodwill, and friendly relations.
From its beginning in 1965, this unique program has been a success. It has provided inspiring vocational, educational, and cultural experiences for professional men and women. With good planning, goal-driven design, and active participation of dedicated Rotarians, a GSE can be an exceptional educational experience for both the visiting GSE team and the local Rotarians. Moreover, a GSE can serve as an excellent tool for fulfilling a district's International Service goals by integrating it with other Foundation programs.
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