Fellowships Office { Advising Center }

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Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships

Please consult the program website to confirm program details, including applicable deadlines.

Program Website

Program Purpose

The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. Rotary International seeks to encourage scholars to dedicate their personal and professional lives to improving the quality of life for the people of their home communities and countries, and to develop leaders who can address the humanitarian needs of the world community. Generous contributions from Rotarians worldwide represent a continued faith that today's Ambassadorial Scholars will be tomorrow's community and world leaders.

Program Description

The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, the Ambassadorial Scholarships program, is one of the world's largest privately funded international scholarships programs. In an average year, approximately 500-700 scholarships are awarded; recipients from about 70 countries study in more than 80 nations.

The program sponsors academic year scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups.

The Ambassadorial Scholarship is intended to promote study in a location that is new to the scholar. Scholars will not be assigned to a country where they have previously lived for more than 12 months. Each scholar is assigned a sponsor and host Rotarian counselor who provide orientation and advice in preparing for and completing a successful study period in another country.

Rotary countries and 'country groups' are: Africa, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia, Greece and Cyprus, Hong Kong and Singapore, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Central and South America, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Applicants requesting assignments to popular cities (including Buenos Aires, London, Oxford, and Paris) should provide a letter of admissions for study at an institution there. Such applicants should also understand, however, that they may be assigned to institutions located outside these areas.

Scholars should plan to begin studies at the start of the academic year of the assigned institution. If an institution located in the Southern Hemisphere, the academic year will begin in February or March.

Tenable Institutions

Scholars may not be assigned to an institution where they have previously attended.


The Academic-Year Scholarship provides a flat grant of $27,000. Funding is intended to defray costs associated with round-trip transportation, one month of intensive language training (if assigned by the Foundation), required fees for a normal course load, room and board, and educational supplies.

The Foundation will not pay additional costs resulting from personal living preferences. Applicants who request and are assigned to an institution where costs exceed the flat grant amount must pay all additional costs.

Applicant Profile

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

Applicants can contribute to the program goal of impacting all areas of the world by being flexible in their preferred study institutions. Scholars are encouraged to request study in countries that host relatively few scholars, such as Japan, Korea, Scandinavia, and developing nations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America.

Applicants are also encouraged to support program objectives by choosing a study field that addresses the humanitarian needs of the world community, such as disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, and economic and community development. In applying, keep in mind the Rotary ideal of 'Service Above Self' as embodied in service projects.

Application Process

Applicants must apply for Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships through a Rotary club in the area of their legal or permanent residence or place of full-time study or employment. Before completing the application, applicants should contact the appropriate local Rotary club to make sure the district participates in this program. Because timelines vary, only the local club can provide specific information about application deadlines. If the local district is not offering scholarships at this time, try inquiring next year.

If the applicant's hometown does not have a Rotary club, they should try to find a Rotary Club in a nearby city. Use the Club Locator to find contact information for Rotary clubs: http://www.rotary.org/EN/ABOUTUS/SITETOOLS/CLUBLOCATOR/Pages/ridefault.aspx.

Once an applicant has confirmed scholarship availability with an appropriate local Rotary club, an application may be obtained from the Rotary International website at http://www.rotary.org/RIdocuments/en_pdf/139en.pdf .

Club-endorsed candidates will compete at the district level, and district-endorsed applications will be forwarded to the Foundation for approval and study institution assignment. The Foundation directly notifies all candidates of approved scholarships and assignments. Applications sent directly to the Foundation without club and district endorsements will not be considered.

Applicants are asked to identify five institutions where they would like to study in at least three countries abroad that contain a Rotary club.

For information on the specific requirements of Rotary host countries, consult the "Important Information for Ambassadorial Scholars" link on the left navigation bar of the program website: http://www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/EducationalPrograms/AmbassadorialScholarships/Pages/About.aspx .

Application materials include a statement of intent which, among other things, outlines the applicant's reasoning for determining his or her preferred study countries and study institutions and how they support the applicant's goals for serving as an ambassador of goodwill. The statement will also outline a community service project or activity the applicant intends to carry out while abroad, possibly in conjunction with a Rotary club.

If the applicant intends to study at institutions in countries where the native language is different from the applicant's own, she or he must also provide documentation confirming study of the language for at least two years at the university level, and he or she must submit a language evaluator by a foreign language instructor.


It is the scholar's responsibility to apply directly and gain admission to the assigned study institution and be able to provide evidence of sufficient funding to meet any financial requirements beyond the scholarship amount. Upon returning home, scholars make 10-15 presentations, sharing with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country. Those who receive an endowed or named Ambassadorial Scholarship will have additional duties.


Applicants must have completed at least two years of university or college course work, or must have a secondary school education and have been employed in a recognized vocation for at least two years when the scholarship begins.

Most persons with a Rotary affiliation are ineligible to apply. An exception are members of Rotaract clubs, who are eligible and encouraged to apply.


Applicants must be citizens of a country in which there is a Rotary club. Applicants must initially apply through a Rotary club located in the area or country of their legal or permanent residence, or place of fulltime study or employment.


The national deadline is usually October 1, but applicants must apply by the deadline established by their local Rotary Club, which will be months in advance of the national deadline: usually from March to April.


The scholarship may not be used in conjunction with a"study abroad" program operated by an institution.

How To Apply



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