Reaching out Beyond Rotary
March 2, 2012
Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2012
March 7, 2012

Claremont’s latest ambassadorial scholar is Dr Lindi van Niekerk, who recently returned after her stint in Amersham, UK.

TRAVEL scholarships are nothing new and world foundations, corporations and institutions are handing them out regularly to the lucky few.

What surprised me after joining Rotary was the fact that the Rotary Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities, is also one of the biggest sources of educational scholarships in the world.

Since 1947 a total of $ 532 million (R4008 billion) has been awarded to 41 000 men and women in overseas study grants.

Being awarded a scholarship to travel overseas, attend a school, college or university in places like Britain and the United States, has always been highly prized and the recipients are viewed with envy.

Smart people get in early with their applications; a degree or diploma from Oxford or Harvard is certain to give you or your child a head-start that could benefit you, him or her for life.

The best known is probably the Rotary Youth Exchange programme, though this is not funded by the Foundation but by the parents of the students and the partner clubs themselves – each sends and receives a student from the other, respectively.

This allows students at matric level to spend a year as guests of clubs overseas, living with Rotary families and attending a local high schools. Students’ parents share the costs involved.

More that 80 countries and more than 8 000 students each year take part in Rotary Youth Exchange.

The Rotary Foundation itself offers four types of scholarships:


1. Academic-year Ambassadorial Scholarships (academic and investigative)

US$25,000 (R186 320) for one academic year. Can be used for studies or investigative work.

2. Peace Scholarship

To pursue a two-year master’s degree or certificate in international relations, peace, and conflict resolution at one of the Rotary Centres for International Studies at universities in the US, Japan, France, Argentina, Britain and Australia

3. Faculty Scholarship

Open to university professors to teach in a developing country. $12,500 (R93 158) for three to five months or $22,500 (R167 685) for six to ten months

4. Group Study Exchange

A team of business and professional people (four members aged between 25 and 40 and one Rotarian leader) spends four to six weeks visiting places of interest to their occupations. Funds range from $1,000 (R7 452) to $11,000 (R81 979)

LATE FLASH: One of the best known Rotary scholarship programs, the Ambassadorial Scholarships, in its present form, is to end next year. After that the Rotary Foundation will channel Ambassadorial opportunities through district and global grants.

The Ambassadorial Scholarships program, open to undergraduate and graduate students, is aimed at promoting understanding and friendly relations among peoples in other countries. While abroad the scholars serve as goodwill amabassadors, speaking to individuals, clubs and other groups, and doing the same when they get back home.




George Muller
George Muller
George first  joined Rotary in 1972 in Durban. In 1995 he retired after 42 years of fulltime journalism in southern Africa and UK, most of it spent on the Daily News, Durban, where he was assistant to the editor and daily columnist. He was also a freelance cartoonist, best known for his syndicated pocket cartoon, By George,  which ran for 27 years. He is married to Moonyeen, a pre-primary teacher, and has two daughters and five grandchildren in Cape Town and Durban, where he and Moonyeen  spend up to six months, respectively. He joined Claremont club in 2005.


  1. Chris du Plessis says:

    Oh! I forgot to mention that the smiley fellow with Lindi is Dieter Shaw. He was her host Counsellor at the Amersham RC outside London and has also susequently been to visit us in Cape Town.

  2. Chris du Plessis says:

    I know this gal…was her counsellor for that period.

  3. Peter Trebble says:

    Proud of you Lindi ☺