After graduating from Lawrence University, I was awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt during the 2010-2011 academic year. I was sponsored by the Madison Rotary Club and hosted by Alexandria El Nozha Rotary Club.
I loved living and studying in Alexandria. I studied Modern Standard and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic at Alexandria University, located behind the Library of Alexandria (above). Rotarians and Rotaract members quickly became my tour guides, Arabic language partners and friends in my daily life.
Alexandria is a stunningly beautiful city, but few visit it for more than a day trip. Much of its historical significance has been destroyed. As a place to live, I really enjoyed it and felt quite safe (well, until the Egyptian Revolution happened and we had to leave our house during the imposed curfew, but that's for a future blog post.)
The Ambassadorial Scholarship is just one of Rotary International's programs that gives back to the community. My specific grant sponsors a young person to study in another country, providing financial means in return for reports, a certain number of presentations about the sponsoring district and participation in a volunteer project. The scholarship enables positive exchange between people of different countries.
While I am in Australia, I am planning on reaching out the Rotary clubs there to share my story and hopefully get involved in one of their projects. If you would like to learn more about Rotary, please visit www.rotary.org or comment below and I can answer your questions.
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