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Rotary Club seeksto award monies

Feb. 16, 2001

Group looking for students wishing to study abroad



Rotary Club International is looking for Waco-area residents and students who want a chance to study abroad during the 2002-2003 school year. Applications are due on March 30 before 4 p.m.

In this program, students will be asked to go to school, as well as speak to the Rotary Club in the country that they are studying in. They will also act in positions of ambassadorship to show good will to the people in their host countries.

Students can study in one of 163 countries. The requirements for the scholarship are that the resident must be willing to spend a full school year in another country that he or she has never studied in before. The recipients must be able to satisfy a few more requirements; they must have completed at least two years of university work. Also, residents who are pursuing vocational studies must have been employed for at least two years in a recognized vocation. The recipient must also have completed secondary school.

This program began in 1947 when the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris, died. That year, 18 students went abroad to study and promote goodwill. Rotarians as well as non-members pay for the trips through donations. Some even contribute to the Paul Harris Fellowship, which requires a donation of at least $1,000.

Robert Darden, assistant professor of English, who publishes a religious satire magazine called The Door, was sent by the local Rotary club in 1986 to study at the University of Bristol in Bristol, England.

'The reason I chose the University of Bristol was because I knew that my chances of being accepted in the program were greater if I went to a small school that I hadn't heard of,' Darden said. 'I decided to go do some research at the Baylor library on the university and I found that the university offered courses that I was interested in.'

Darden applied for the Rotary scholarship under the vocational program three times before he was accepted. Each time he got closer and closer to being accepted. He was interested in the program due to his love of travel.

'This was like someone paying for me to spend a year traveling,' Darden said.

If the student is selected, and they decide to go to a country where a foreign language is spoken. Then Rotary International will pay for one month of intensive training in the dominant language of the country of the students choice to help him or her communicate in the country that the student is visiting. Also, Rotary will pay for round trip transportation, tuition and fees, and some living expenses.

For more information, call the Rotary Club at 776-2115.