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Rotary Club of Bay City
GSE: Group Study Exchange
Promotes International Goodwill
"The measure of a nation's progress, as well as the measure of an individual's
progress, must ever be its readiness to learn from the experience of others."

Paul Harris, Message to 1921 Rotary Convention



GSE Thailand - April 2009
International Service is one of the four "Avenues of Service" every Rotary club is expected to promote. The Group Study Exchange [GSE] program is a great international service opportunity that Rotary International provides to every local club. The Rotary Club of Bay City has enthusiastically embraced the GSE program over the years.

Under the GSE program, four young non-Rotarian professionals, age 25 to 40, and one Rotarian team leader are sent from one part of the world to spend approximately one month visiting Rotary clubs and meeting individuals in a different culture who have similar professions. The country receiving the visitors then sends a similar group on a return visit to the first country for the same purpose. These are known as "inbound" and "outbound" GSE teams. Teams are made up of individuals from a single Rotary district. Our District 6310 is made up of about 30 clubs in the Saginaw Bay region and also includes the "Thumb" of Michigan and much of the northeastern Lower Peninsula.

In recent years, the Bay City club has hosted GSE teams from India, the North of England, the Philippines, South Korea, southern France, Denmark, Brazil, the Caribbean Islands, Japan, West Africa, and Australia. Four members of the Bay City club have acted as team leaders for recent GSE teams that went to India [Jerry Woodcock], the Caribbean [Chuck Cusick], France [Hratch Basmadjian], and West Africa [Connie Schweitzer]. Local Rotarians have discovered that those who host foreign visitors gain as much, and perhaps more, than our young visitors do while visiting our community. Not only do Rotarians get to introduce these individuals to the real America, Rotarians and their families get the chance to establish long-term friendships with future leaders from other parts of the world.

In 1940, Rotary's founder Paul Harris said: "There are no great differences between men and between nations. None are entirely good; none entirely bad. The great mischief-maker is misunderstanding." Bay City Rotary has been pleased to play an active role in promoting understanding in one little corner of the world by participating in the Group Study Exchange program.


Pizza Party at the Chadwick's