Brattleboro Rotary sponsors SIT alumna for exchange program to Dominican Republic

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Rotary Club is sponsoring Bridget McMahon of Keene, N.H., for a Group Study Exchange program to the Dominican Republic from Sept. 21 to Oct. 20.

McMahon will be traveling as part of a five-member team including Mia Brown of Thetford, Jake Kingsbury and Kelley O'Hara, both of Keene, and Rotarian team leader Bob Couch of Bow, N.H.

McMahon, a customer service representative at Hannaford in Keene, is a former Spanish teacher who has studied at the School for International Training in Brattleboro and Bay Path College in Longmeadow, Mass.

Offered by Rotary International's Rotary Foundation, the Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for businesspeople and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, who have been employed in their profession for at least two years. The GSE team consists of one Rotarian group leader and four non-Rotarian team members who typically represent various professional fields.

Rotary International pays for travel expenses between the home and host countries. Rotarians in the host country provide individual homestays for each team member, as well as meals and group travel within their district. Each team member is responsible for health insurance coverage and for personal expenses and incidentals. Team members are welcome to extend their stay for individual travel at their own expense after the program ends.

During the four-week program, team members participate in approximately four to five full-day vocational visits, 15 to 20 club presentations, 10 to 15 formal visits and social events, two to three days at the district conference, three to four hours per day of cultural and site tours, and three to four hours per day of free time with host families. Each person on the team has interaction with others in their profession several times during the trip.

Before departing for the host country, team members participate in orientation and cultural training, develop a close working relationship with one another, and prepare a group presentation to be given at host clubs during the tour. The presentation will represent Rotary District 7870, which comprises central and southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

For more information, visit the club's website at

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates