GSE Team Presentation

Rotary’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) programme is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers.

The programme is designed to develop professional and leadership skills amongst young adults so that they can address the needs of their communities in an increasingly global workplace.

Rotary provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

Rotarians in the host area provide meals, lodging, and group travel within their district, participants in the programme live with Rotary families during the exchange, thus learning at first hand all about living in the visited country.

In a typical four-week tour, team members participate in five full days of vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families.

Following a successful visit from a GSE team from Rotary District 5550 which spans Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada a team from our own District visited the prairies of Canada in May and June of this year

The team included Jayne Lawrence, a member sponsored by the Tettenhall Club and this evening she was joined by fellow team member Victoria Talbot and team leader Lorraine Boothman to tell us all about their experiences.

You can read a full account on the team’s blog but for a flavour of what they got up to here is a poem which Jayne penned at the end of the journey:

We landed in Winnipeg after a mammoth journey
It was night time in Canada but in England it was early!
Flying Manchester-Washington-Toronto-Winnipeg
We were absolutely shattered and ready for bed
A tour of Manitoba province was the place to begin
Brandon, then Neepawa and onto Dauphin
We crossed the border to Melfort along the way
And experienced rain, snow and sunshine all in one day!
That’s because we’ve toured Seskachewan too
As far north as Prince Albert and stunning Waskasieu
Saskatoon was the next place on our list
Where we stayed in a B&B for our time of rest
Next was on to Regina for lunch
Then Watrous and Weyburn – we’ve done SO much!
We finally came to our journeys last leg
A 6 hour trip back to Winnipeg
Staying for five days for District Conference
Presenting to a big audience to further boost our confidence
Never did I imagine we’d do so many wonderful things
We even tried shooting a shotgun at metal tins!
We saw museums, farms, and watched Ice Hockey games
In addition to our informative vocational days
We had lots of pot luck suppers and BBQs too
Trying waffles, maple syrup, Bison burgers and Ukrainian food
Never before have we eaten so much
Three course meals for breakfast, supper AND lunch
We’ve met mayors, MLAs and the provincial minister of health
Who all epitomise the Rotary saying “service above self”
We saw the venue of the brilliant country fest
Crikey – when we get home we’ll be glad of the rest!
We visited Wasagaming and found out it was just a name
Unlike our District Governor who thought it was a game
Dancing at a polka fest and visiting Hutterite colonies as well
Amazed at the things they manufacture, grow and sell
Whilst here we celebrated the Queens diamond jubilee
Wearing British flags, hats and feather boas for the world to see
Drinking coffee in Tim Hortons and shopping in Walmart
Our cases ending up even heavier than the start!
We saw bison, elk, deer, coyote but not the elusive Moose
We’ve been on radio, in the paper and on TV – yes, we’re famous!
What a wonderful trip, it sad it’s coming to an end
but what a fab experience and we’ve made so many Canadian friends
All of this thanks to Rotary members far and wide
All the individuals who wear their pins and badges with pride
People who help individuals and communities get a good start
All through the goodness of their own hearts
We’ve had a bearilliant time here in the Canadian Prairies
And are going home with such wonderful memories
Thank you to our hosts and especially Rotary
We’re heading home soon to have a cup of tea!

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