Monday, August 24, 2009

Rotary Offers Group Study in South Africa

From Laura Falt

Five successful candidates from this area will experience life in South Africa at almost no cost for 4 weeks this spring, 2010, as part of the Group Study Exchange, sponsored by Ct. Rotary District 7980. There are currently four slots as team members available to professionals who have been employed in their current professions for two or more years. Those accepted will travel with a team leader who is a Rotarian.

Selected participants will be abroad from April 10, 2010 – May 9, 2010. GSE team members must be non-Rotarians between 25-40 years of age with at least 2 years of work experience. They cannot be related to any Rotarian. A valid passport is required.

An application and interview are part of the selection process. Deadline for team leader application is September 15, 2009, and deadline for team member application is October 15, 2009

The team will explore Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, including the towns and villages between S.A. and Swaziland, private game preserves, and major national parks. Participants will spend at least one day each week observing and interacting within a business organization of one’s own profession in the greater Pretoria area. Team members stay in “Host Homes,” those of members of the local Rotary Club who provides room and board. The Rotary International Foundation finances the round trip transportation while internal transportation is provided by local Rotary clubs.

The purpose of this vocational and cultural exchange program is to foster International understanding through person-to-person contact. The concept of GSE began in 1955 when the Rotary Club of Auckland, NZ, created ROTA (Rotary Overseas Travel Award) to celebrate RI’s 50th Anniversary. In 1963 it became “Exchange of Study Group.” Past destinations for teams from Connecticut have included countries such as Chile, India, Sweden, and Philippines. The program is termed an “Exchange” as Connecticut District #7980 will host a similar team of South Africans from mid-April to mid-May, 2010 that will experience life here.

Those interested in this distinctive opportunity to South Africa in 2010

should contact Rupi Rupwani, outbound exchange chairperson: or 203-729-7458 before October 1, 2009. Additional information is available at

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