Posted by Peter Roaf on Dec 01, 2018
Of the 538 Districts worldwide in Rotary, our Rotary District 5040 is one of only nine which is not only among the 260 actively engaged in the Rotary Friendship Exchange program but has a full web presence to support it. 
Rotary Friendship Exchange supports Rotary members and their friends hosting one another in their homes and clubs. The program provides a more practical way for participants to travel so they can broaden their international understanding, explore a profession or job in a different context, build enduring friendships and establish a foundation for peace and service. 
The current District 5040 Rotary Friendship Exchange to the Philippines is a two-week or three-week option from January 28 to February 10 or 17, 2019. Previous exchanges have included the United States and club-to-club, New Zealand and Chile.
The Rotary Friendship Exchange Finder Map allows Rotarians to view current exchange locations and the districts that serve them and then connect with the district’s Rotary Friendship Exchange chair for help finding potential international hosts and planning their itinerary. District 5040 shows up as a green marker because it is among the 4% which also have and RFE web page.
Rotarians from Latvia visited historic sites and enjoyed
traditional food and dancing in Mexico.
When Rotarians from Malaysia visited the United Kingdom
they broadened their international understanding through
cultural immersion and meetings with leaders.
In Lhuwhawha, Uganda, Rotarians from England
helped at a medical clinic and delivered clothes, medicine,
mosquito nets, boots, and latex gloves.
When Rotarians from Romania and Moldova visited the
United States, they experienced the strength of working
with a community while building homes for low-income families.
Each Exchange is organized around one or more of the following themes.
  • Cultural: Experiences highlighting a region’s ethnicity, food, language, history, places and symbols of significance, and more.
  • Service: Opportunities for hands-on project involvement and support.
  • Vocational: Exploring specific professions or jobs in a different cultural context.
Districts are now encouraged to support Group Cultural Immersion in their Friendship Exchanges to include non-Rotarian young professionals, or those in traditional stages of their career, to foster awareness, international understanding, deeper connections, and a broader global mindset.