International Exchange

Do you want to learn about the cultures if other countries, authentically?

Rotary offers its members something you can’t experience on a holiday: as a Rotarian, you can learn about other cultures from the perspective of locals.

The Rotary Friendship Exchange can also introduce you to new best friends from around the world. Rotary activities are a natural way of connecting people from different age groups, occupations and cultures – even when they are completely strangers when they meet the first time. The feeling of connection may become one of the best experiences in your life.

In the exchange programme, individuals Rotarians, Rotarians with family, or Rotarian couples visit Rotarian families abroad. The visitor programme may last a few days, or, in case of the group visits to a specific District, even a month.

Leaving for a friendship exchange period is easy as the host families provide you with accommodation, meals and visits. You only need to take care of your travel arrangements at your own cost, as well as any personal purchases.

Friendship exchange is reciprocal, meaning that the Finnish Clubs that visit others will in turn host those who want to learn about Finnish culture and make friends with Finnish Rotarians. The trips may also result to a spark and inspiration for starting inter-Club co-operation and shared projects.

You can find the Clubs signed up for Rotary Friendship Exchange in the international exchange database. You can ask your Club President about the exchange programme. Each District also has a Friendship Exchange Coordinator who has a list of all participating Districts and their contacts.

Use your skills to help or develop your skills abroad

Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back from your daily routine. Through Rotary, you can travel abroad with a group to learn more about your own area of expertise. Various types of experts are also needed all around the world. Rotarians may coach local operators in their area of expertise.

The groups travelling abroad are called Vocational Training Teams.

You may receive or offer training in companies, hospitals or universities. During the trip, the team will stay in homes, student accommodation or hotels. You can freely choose the length of the training.

A team travelling abroad always consists of a team leader (preferably a Rotarian) and two other members, at the minimum. There are no age restrictions for the participant, but they are required to have suitable professional skills and at least two years of work experience.

Past participants of Vocational Training Teams have described their trip as a highly rewarding and unique experience. For some, participating in a vocational training trip has been such a great experience that they have joined Rotary to express their gratitude and offer the same opportunity to others.

If you’re interested in participating in a Vocational Training Team, you may contact your own Rotary District or Club. The costs of the Team can be covered with the grants from the Rotary District or the Rotary Foundation. The same grant can also be used for the trip of several teams.

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