International Service

International Service - International Service Chair:  Eric Kaler


  In this area, Rotarians strive for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.  International Service Projects are designed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in many lands, with particular emphasis on the most underprivileged children and families in developing countries.

The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. While we serve in countless ways, we’ve focused our efforts in six key areas to maximize our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs, and we have a proven record of success in addressing them:

• Peace and conflict prevention/resolution

• Disease prevention and treatment

• Water and sanitation

• Maternal and child health

• Basic education and literacy

• Economic and community development

A) Ro
tary Friendship Exchange is a program in which Rotarians and their families carry out reciprocal visits and homestays in other countries to advance international understanding,  oodwill, and peace through people-to-people contacts. There are two types of Friendship Exchanges:

1) Visitor exchange, in which individual Rotarians, who may be accompanied by family members, spend a few days in the home of a Rotarian in another country

2) Team exchange, in which four to six Rotarian couples visit several communities in the host district for up to one month

Both are coordinated by a district Friendship Exchange committee and carried out at no expense to RI. Districts are encouraged to arrange univocational exchanges, in which the host and guest Rotarians have the same occupation. Rotarians are encouraged to arrange Friendship Exchanges in conjunction with the RI Convention. Detailed program information can be found in the Rotary Friendship Exchange Handbook at

B) Global Networking Groups: Global Networking Groups are groups of individual Rotarians organized internationally to focus on shared topics of interest. Global Networking Groups include Rotary Fellowships and Rotarian Action Groups. All Global Networking Groups are governed by these conditions:

1) Activities must be conducted independently of RI but in harmony with RI policy, including the use of the Rotary Marks. 2) No group may be used to promote religious beliefs, political issues, or other organizations. 3) RI recognition of a group in no way implies legal, financial, or other obligation or responsibility on the part of either RI or any district or club. 4) A group may not act on RI’s behalf, represent or imply that it has the authority to do so, or act as an agency of RI. 5) All groups must be self-sustaining financially, administratively, and otherwise. 6) No group may exist or function in any country in violation of its laws. 

​C) Rotarian Action Groups : A Rotarian Action Group is an association of Rotarians who unite themselves to conduct international service projects that advance the Object of Rotary. A list of all Rotarian Action Groups is posted at Interested Rotarians are encouraged to contact these groups as resources in conducting service projects.

D) Rotary Peace Fellowships: Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 individuals from around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships at one of our peace centers. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses. 

In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 900 fellows for careers in peace building. Many of them go on to serve as leaders in national governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and World Bank. to see where our alumni are creating positive change.

There are two types of peace fellowships are available. 1) Master's degree: We offer master’s degree fellowships at premier universities in fields related to peace and conflict prevention and resolution. Programs last 15 to 24 months and require a practical internship of two to three months during the academic break. Each year, we award up to 50 master’s degree fellowships at selected institutions.  2) Professional development certificate.