This summer 3 NAU students got to travel to London, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Germany for a 3 week New Generations Service Exchange.  Initially we had planned to exchange earlier this year with Australia and New Zealand under District 5510.  Unfortunately, the Australia leg of the trip fell through early enough that we were able to accommodate the students with the Europe exchange.  Mike Casey, the program chair got to travel with them for the first week while in London and Wales.  The students represented themselves well and were proud ambassadors for Rotary.  This was the first time all three had been to Europe.  Since returning home the students have been involved with the Flagstaff Club’s Francis Pond project whilst also being involved with Rotaract. 
Following are the testimonials of the 3 students who experienced this amazing cultural opportunity. 
My name is Michael Angelo Mullen and I was lucky enough to participate in the 2017 New Generation Service Exchange. Covering a total of 5 countries in just three weeks, I was able to see and experience more than I could have ever imagined. Everyday held a new adventure, and the cultural and vocational aspect of the trip was what ultimately led me to participate in things that I never thought I would be a part of. The trip began with a stay in London, where museums and history filled our days while the night time gave a period for relaxation, as well as travel the city and find the locals “best in towns.” From London came Wales, where we spent the days traveling around with the Merthyr-Tydfil Rotary Club. We were able to sit in on a meeting, and was glad to see that the goals shared by our Flagstaff club are ultimately the goals of every club around the world: Service before Self. Never have I felt more at home in such an unfamiliar setting, as we were welcomed with open arms, beautiful landscape and architecture, and some very delicious food. From Wales we made the trek to Ireland where we spent a night indulging in the culture and taking in the serenity that the city had to offer. Not only did Ireland have some of the most mesmerizing sights, but the beer was pretty good too. After a short trip to Ireland, Scotland was next. We were greeted by an old couple at the airport that, once again, treated us like family. We were able to check out the local town of Lanark where our hosts resided, and were taken around to some major cities where the fast-paced tourism lifestyle was in full effect. We were able to spend time with the families and had a BBQ with the Lanark Rotary Club where we danced and sang, ate, and drank until we gave our own stories about our adventures abroad, how Rotary was in Flagstaff, and extended a large ‘Thank You” on behalf of Rotary International for allowing us to be a part of such a fabulous and life changing trip, and we weren’t even done yet. The last stop on our destination list was Germany, where we attended a soccer game and were able to check out some of the local businesses and history that surrounded Bielefeld, Germany. I was lucky enough to be hosted by a family who ran a couple of businesses, and was able to gain insight on how some of their business practices and economic conditions complemented and contradicted with ours. Being a Business Major in Flagstaff at NAU, I was thrilled to be able to learn some of the ways that business was conducted overseas and how some conditions differ. Ultimately, I came out of the trip with more knowledge and experience than I could have ever asked for, and some connections that will last a lifetime. Not only were we treated like family in every country and setting, we all came out with a better outlook on life as well as more self-confidence. I felt that after this trip, there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish.
My name James Irr, I am an Environmental Studies major at Northern Arizona University, and a recent Rotary New Generations Service Exchange student from August 2017. The destinations for the whole trip overseas comprised of London England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. The experience that I gained through the exchange was invaluable.  The exchange took place in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, Lanark Scotland, and Bielefeld Germany in North Rhine Westphalia. In Merthyr Tydfil we learned about the history of the town and villages around it like Aberfon, the history of both of the towns, and how connected the area is with coal mining, and the development of the steam engine, moving the beginning of the industrial age to the paleotechnic part of the industrial revolution. We also connected with the Rotary Club of Merthyr Tydfil by visiting the site of the tragic Aberfon disaster, which caused a great sense of loss in their community. Lanark Scotland we learned from the residents, and which was a source of great pride, was where Sir William Wallace made his final stand, we visited the historic city of Edinbraugh, and visited a technical marvel called the falkirk wheel, which replaces small scale panama canal style locks. Bielefeld Germany we made an excursion to Paderborn Germany where we toured the historic city and stood where emperor Charlemagne brutally conquered the Saxon tribes to the east of his empire, and the massive Paderborn Cathedral which has been restored after the bombings of North Rhine Westphalia and Germany during the mid 1940s. We walked around Bielefeld and visited the fortress that looks over the city, and viewed the architecture of a city modern, but in some cases adapted from bomb proof bunkers, and viewed plaques of buildings that were leveled during WWII. We also were able to get a firsthand tour of the Kidscamp that Roteract puts on for children regardless of ability to pay. The experience gained through this exchange was invaluable and I would like to thank Flagstaff Rotary, District 5495 (5510 just before this trip) and NGSE for this opportunity and giving me this experience.
My name is Matthew Adam.  I chose to apply for the NGSE program to grow myself professionally and culturally by creating relationships both domestically and internationally.  The opportunities the program opened up for networking are invaluable tools for experiencing another culture from those who truly live it.  The vocational experience provided avenues for career opportunities abroad, and deepened my understanding of the global marketplace.  Exposure to the program’s bank of alumni, who have experienced their own results and lessons, was also an important relationship on the domestic side.  Working alongside people who have gained the experience was a powerful tool for my self-development.             
I believe the NGSE program provided me with a cultural empathy that aided me in many aspects of my life, including leadership.  The exposure to different ways of thinking strengthened my ability to be open minded and considerate of a diversity of ideas.  This was invaluable in my leadership role, as it allowed me to realize, and accommodate to, the highest potential of the team.  Acting as an ambassador for not only the Rotary Club, but for my country and state, also provide invaluable experience in representing and portraying something larger than myself.   I loved the countries we visited and I especially fell in love with Germany.  This was my first time in Europe.  We had amazing club/district leaders and the best host families anyone could wish for.  I am honored that Rotary and our coordinator Mike Casey allowed me this opportunity.  It was certainly a life changing experience for me.