Group Study Exchange

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