The Groups Study Exchange Team in front of Blarney Castle.
One of the highlights of leading a Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) program to Ireland is the chance to work with non-Rotarians to foster international relations with job related visits throughout the emerald isle. Team Ireland consisted of four young Canadians from Surrey B.C. and Coquitlam, one American from Mt. Vernon as well as Debe Franz from Lake Stevens.
Franz, past President of the Rotary Club of Lake Stevens and the Team Leader for the GSE Team Ireland trip provided a unique overview of their 11 location trip throughout Ireland staying with 10 Irish families.
“An experience like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and experience another culture and country. The Irish people were extremely welcoming, fun and friendly. It is a country with a lot of history and geologic diversity, and has had a remarkable influence around the world, especially relative to its size,” Franz said.
Team Ireland had over 30 visits to businesses and organizations to learn about each GSE member’s profession. Throughout the 33 day period, the GSE group had countless interactions that fostered international understanding, friendships and goodwill. Plus the group shared over 90 meals together as a group.