What is GSE and why are we going to Norway?

Our trip to Norway is part of an exchange program sponsored and organized by Rotary International.  This cultural and vocational exchange program is called Group Study Exchange, or GSE.  Teams of professionals between the ages of 25 to 40, along with a team leader, are selected to represent their home Rotary district.  Our district is 6290, which covers west Michigan from Grand Rapids north to Sault Ste Marie, and then parts of northern Ontario from the Sault all the way up to Wawa.  District 6290 is rare (or unique?) in that we are an international district representing two countries. We have been teamed up with Rotary District 2290 from southern Norway.  During this GSE program, our two teams will visit each other’s districts.  

For four weeks, team members will experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how our vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. In addition to helping participants gain a broadened cultural perspective, the program seeks to further international understanding, goodwill, and peace.

For each team member, the Foundation provides a round-trip airline ticket between the home and host countries. Rotarians in the host area provide for meals, lodging, and group travel within their district.  Each team member is responsible for all personal and incidental expenses incurred before, during, and after the study tour, including any personal travel arranged after the exchange.  Before the trip, GSE team members are required to participate in orientation sessions and group meetings, and obtain the necessary documents for traveling. During the trip, we will speak at Rotary gatherings in our host district, and we’re required to remain with the group throughout the study tour except when individual activities are planned.  We’re expected to maintain standards of behavior that will reflect positively on Rotary and our home countries.  When we return home, we’ll prepare and submit final reports of the tour as required by the sponsor district and The Rotary Foundation.  We’ll also speak about our GSE experience to Rotary clubs and other groups.

Rotary describes the program like this: “GSE is not a vacation!”  It has a “rigorous nature” and “is both physically and mentally demanding.”  In a typical four-week tour, applicants 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.

(written by Cindy Mom 4/27/10)




  Stein Knutsen wrote @

Hello, I`ve seen a photo of bridge in Teleamrk I`d like to use, for my selv. How to contact you to get permission to use the photo?

  gsenorway wrote @

You are welcome to use the photo Stein. Thank you for asking!

  Stein Knutsen wrote @

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate!!

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