April 25, 2003

Ecuador Teacher Exchange

Local San Diego County Rotarians have announced that spaces are available on a Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) trip. Five fluent, Spanish speaking educators between the ages of twenty-five and forty will go on a four week trip without cost, to the South American country of Ecuador. It is an opportunity of a lifetime.

For more than thirty years, Rotary’s International Foundation has sponsored “GSE” programs, through which a educational experience is given in countries all over the world. Locally, Rotarys has sent candidates (and received the exchange groups from other countries) for past six years for unique hands-on, educational experiences.

Participants will, visit schools, work in classrooms with students and share ideas with their Ecuadorian counterparts. Participants will not only benefit in a professional sense, but that they also will be immersed in a rich cultural exchange with lasting value that will improve their talents as educators. The teachers may work at any level—elementary, secondary, or college level and they may work as teachers, counselors, or administrators.

Team member selection will be made following interviews on May 10, 2003 from selected applications submitted by April 30, 2003. Those who have questions, wish additional information about this program or would like to receive an application may apply on Rotary’s web site at: http://www.rotary.org/foundation/educational/gse/index.html

Frequently asked questions about group study exchange:

Must I be a member of Rotary in order to be selected as a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team member?

No, in fact Rotarians, spouses of Rotarians and their children are not eligible.

Do I need to know a foreign language?

Yes, Spanish is the language of instruction in Ecuadorian schools.

When will the trip be made?

Probably during November 2003, so that the Thanksgiving holidays will fall during the four week trip.

What expenses are covered by Rotary?

Rotary pays the RT airfare. The team is usually hosted by Rotarians who will provide meals, housing and travel within Ecuador. Personal expenses: lost salary, souvenirs, shots, and visas are not paid by Rotary. School districts typically pay for the substitute teachers.

Who will be selected as team members?

Team members must be educators with at least two years experience between the ages of 25 and 40. They will be judged on their abilities to be good ambassadors, fluency in Spanish, their commitment and enthusiasm for their vocation and willingness to grow.

What time commitments are involved besides the time of the travel?

We select the team well in advance so that they can meet on their own schedules to prepare for the trip. Before the trip and afterwards, team members are expected to attend Rotary meetings on occasion and some Rotary District events to discuss the trip.

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