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Rotary Corner: Rotary’s Educational Programs

Scholarships, fellowships and Group Study Exchange promote peace through education

Rotary strives to promote peace through education by bringing together people from different countries and cultures to foster international understanding.

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Since 1947, the Rotary Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian and educational grants and is the world’s largest privately funded source of international scholarships. Grants are administered by local Rotary clubs.

Ambassadorial Scholarships, an international program for university-level studies, sends about 500 students to another country from three months to two years. The students serve as ambassadors of goodwill while abroad.

Since 1947, the Rotary Foundation has sponsored more than 39,000 scholars from more than 115 countries. Three local Rotary clubs recently awarded $25,000 to a student to study in Brazil for a year; her interest is water purification.

Group Study Exchange enables a group of young professionals ages 25 to 40 to participate in four- to six-week cultural and vocational exchanges between two countries.

Since 1965, about 65,000 individuals (13,541 teams) from 106 countries have participated. The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise recently hosted several professionals from Australia.

Peace Fellowships are awarded to individuals to gain a master’s degree in peace studies, conflict resolution or international relations, or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of the six Rotary Centers for International Studies.

Since 2002, 339 fellows from more than 75 countries have participated at a cost of more than $23 million.

— Betsy Munroe is public relations chairwoman for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise, which meets at 7 a.m. Wednesdays at the Santa Barbara Club, 1105 Chapala St.

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