Would you like to learn about cultures in other countries from inside?
Rotary offers its members something that you cannot experience on holiday trips: as a Rotarian you can get acquainted with other cultures from the local people’s perspective.
This Friendship Exchange can bring you real new friends from other parts of the world. Rotary brings people of different ages, occupations and cultures together in a natural way, even if they were complete strangers to each other at the first encounter. The feeling of togetherness might prove to be one of your finest experiences.
Through this exchange program individual Rotarians, Rotarians with families or Rotary couples visit Rotary families in another country. The visit can last for a few days and group visits to a Rotary district can last up to one month.
The fact that the host families offer the visitors board and lodgings and all the visits free of charge can make the decision to join this exchange program easier for you. In practice, you only have to pay for the trip and your personal expenditure yourself.
Friendship Exchange is mutual, in other words the visiting Rotary Clubs will in turn act as hosts for those who want to learn about our culture and want make friends with Finnish Rotarians. As a result of these visits you might finds ideas for cooperation and mutual projects.
You can find clubs willing to take part in the Rotary Friendship Exchange in a worldwide database. Your club president can give you information of how to apply for the program. In every Rotary district there is a friendship exchange coordinator who has a list of districts in the program and their contact information.
Help with your skills or develop your skills abroad
It is sometimes rewarding to get some distance to your everyday circles. Through Rotary you can travel abroad in groups to get extra kick for your professional career. Experts in many different areas are needed out there, too. Rotarians can train local people in their own specific fields of expertise.
Teams of experts travelling abroad are called Vocational Training Teams.
You can get or give training in companies, hospitals or universities. During the trip team members stay in families, dormitories or hotels. The length of the stay is up to you.
The team travelling abroad consists of at least the team leader (preferably a Rotarian) and two other members. The age of the participants is unlimited, but the participants must have appropriate professional skills and at least two years of work experience.
Vocational Training Team members have described theirs trip as rewarding and unique experiences. For some participants the trip has been such a fine experience that they have decided to become Rotarians to show their gratitude and to give the same opportunity to others, too.
If you are interested in becoming a Vocational Training Team member, you should contact your own Rotary Club or Rotary district. The Rotary district or The Rotary Foundation can give scholarships to cover the costs of the team. The same scholarship can also cover the costs of several teams.