Group Study Exchange (GSE)

Israel  –  Our Outbound Team Has Been Selected!

May 6 – 24, 2019

District 2490 – Israel

District 2490 is comprised of 61 Rotary Clubs in Israel, from Elat on the Red Sea to Kiryat
Shmoneh at the foot of Mount Hermon. The team can expect both vocational and many
cultural and historical site visits. 
The Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange
opportunity for men and women in their initial years of professional life. GSE participants
follow an extensive and rigorous program of international travel and team activities that
allow participants to fully immerse in local culture. Launched in 1965, this dynamic
program has built a successful track record at the personal, community, and international

Group Leader

Ellen Johnson
Rotary Club of Grants Pass

Kathy Padgett – Team Member

Kathy is a non Rotarian from Eugene who is employed as the Tasting Room Manager at LaVelle Vineyards, where she is learning the art and skills of winemaking from growing to marketing. “The chance to experience the wine industry in a place as culturally rich and historically important as Israel is an incredible opportunity. Wine has existed since Biblical times…[and] I plan to gain a deeper insight into the international view of wine.” 

Fluent in Spanish she volunteers as a translator for Bags of Love in Eugene..

Though the youngest team member, her international travel is most extensive, having already visited 20 countries.

Ryan Stillwater

Ryan Stillwater is a member of  the Rotary Club of Greater Bend. He is the development director for Saving Grace, a local non profit that provides support to victims of domestic violence. Ryan is married with three children. As a result of his upcoming experience, Ryan says, “I can only expect to bring a new appreciation for different paradigms and life experiences.”

Megan Spencer

Megan is a member and President- elect of the Rotary Club of Florence. She is the Library Director of the Siuslaw  Public Library District, where she sees her role as a disseminator of knowledge, be that via books, technology, or other means. “From beautiful state-of-the-art research libraries in Jerusalem to the small bookmobiles serving the poorest Bedouins in remote Israel, I know Israel has much to teach me about providing library service…I would welcome an opportunity to build an international partnership with a library in Israel.”


District 5110 is sending an outbound team – comprised of one (1) team leader and four (4)
team members – departing May 6 to District 2490 in Israel, returning to Oregon on May
24, 2019. Each team member, excepting the team leader, will be expected to pay $700 to
help defray training and materials expenses – the team will meet approximately five (5)
times prior to departure.

While District 5110 continues to operate a traditional GSE model, Rotary International has
moved to a Group “Cultural” Exchange, with less emphasis on vocational visits. With good
planning, a goal-driven itinerary, and active participation of dedicated Rotarians, a Group
Study/Cultural Exchange can be an exceptional educational experience for both the visiting
GSE team and Rotarians in the host country.
The program focuses on two main elements:

• Opportunity for team members to observe vocations as practiced in another country
• Ability to ask questions, share ideas, and develop professionally
• Exchange of potential project opportunities

• Participants study another country, its people, language, and institutions through
experiences in an organized and safe program
• Develop appreciation for diversity worldwide
• Meet and communicate with host families, and live with each other in the spirit of
friendship and goodwill

Team MEMBER Requirements
• Be currently employed for at least two years in any recognized business or profession
on a full time basis
• Be 23 to 40 years of age
• Must work or live in Rotary District 5110
• Must be a citizen of the US
• Language training recommended, but not required
• Can be either Rotarian or non-Rotarian

Team LEADER Requirements
• Active Rotarian in one of District’s 5110’s amazing clubs
• Good physical health
• International travel experience
• Well organized and ability to be flexible if changes arise
• No age requirement
• Desire to work with fabulous young adults

District 5110 does an amazing job of providing for our GSE program. This is a priceless
experience for the GSE Teams. For each team member, District 5110 provides the most
economical round-trip ticket between the home and host country, while generous local
Rotarians in the host area provide meals, lodging, entrance fees, and group travel in their
district. Team members are responsible for all personal and incidental expenses incurred
before (including gas to team meetings, purchase of host family gifts), during (souvenirs),
and after the study tour. A $700 participation fee is required.

For questions regarding GSE, contact GSE Chair Rae LaMarche