Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Egypt and Spain
In 2010 I went to Alexandria, Egypt to study Arabic thanks to a $24,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation. Keep reading to find out how I got my scholarship and how YOU can get sponsored to go abroad.
How I Got my scholarship
After completing the 25 page application and first round of interviews, I made it to the final round of interviews for the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, twice. Originally, I applied to study Dance in Central America. This topic wasn't "competitive enough" so I was encouraged to apply again through my hometown Rotary club (I had applied through my university's club ). This time I applied for 6 months of Arabic language study in Egypt. The interview went really well and I was informed of my award the following day! A few months later, I received news that my scholarship had been changed. I was now headed to Egypt for an entire year on an Ambassadorial Scholarship (my original plan!) While in Egypt, I studied Arabic at Alexandria University, taught dance at a local studio called Rezodanse, visited Rotary and Rotaract clubs in Alexandria and Cairo and participated in volunteering projects. Suddenly, I found myself caught up in the Egyptian Revolution and was evacuated to France via Kuwait and Germany. After a few weeks spent regrouping, I finished my scholarship year in Granada, Spain. I believe I'm one of few Ambassadorial Scholars who have been able to spend their year on two different continents!
How to find your own scholarship
Unfortunately, the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship is no longer offered. However, I've written up a list of the 6 best grant opportunities for getting funded to go abroad.
1. Peace Corps - get sponsored to volunteer to make a difference in 60 available countries. Volunteering lasts for 2 years.
2. Rotary Peace Fellowship - compete for a spot in 7 different peace centers worldwide where you can study conflict resolution, peace studies and more for one year.
3. Fulbright Scholarship - with a few different varieties, this scholarship is aimed at getting artists, teachers, researchers and scholars abroad for one year, completing a proposed project and attending a host institution
4. Watson Fellowship - $25,000 towards an independent, year-long project. Your project can take place in multiple countries if you wish.
5. Critical Language Scholarships - grants to study and improve critical languages abroad, usually over the summer.
For further opportunities, clickHERE.
1. Do your research! Make sure you understand exactly what the program entails and who their ideal candidate is. If you have the chance to go to a meeting about the scholarship, do it. I went to meetings at my university, as well as in Chicago.
2. Talk to people who have won the grant. Not only will you get a better understanding of the experience, but also an idea of how to apply for the scholarship.
3. Start early and don't give up. I applied for the Fulbright two times and the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship twice. There are a lot of candidates, so don't be discouraged if you don't get it on your first try. Improve your application each time and keep looking for more opportunities!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Best of luck on your scholarship applications!
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