Our Global Scholar Reports from Scotland

Greetings from Edinburgh!

All is well here. This semester is flying by just as quickly as last semester did; we’ve just finished week 6 out of 11, and classes are still going well. We submitted our first round of papers, and are already starting on our final essays. One of my assignments was to write a blog post about a significant recent achievement in international development and one development institution that played a role. I chose the near-eradication of polio and…Rotary! If you’re interested in reading it, I can send a copy after I receive my marks and feedback.

In dissertation news, I am interviewing for a work-based placement with an organization in Glasgow to do my research and should have confirmation one way or another in the next two weeks.

One of the other scholars and I went to a Rotary club near Glasgow on Monday evening to give presentations about our hometowns, academic/”professional” backgrounds, studies, and future career plans. It was a wonderful evening; neither of us had delivered a presentation for a Rotary club before, and the members were so welcoming and engaged, it made for an easy, relaxed, and enjoyable experience. I’m delivering another presentation at a club east of Edinburgh next Tuesday.

Speaking of Rotary, the crocuses are blooming!

Some notable London/Edinburgh experiences:

  • Colstoun House, Edinburgh. It’s the oldest house in Scotland, on several acres of farmland, and the property also has a cookery school. I took part in a day-long Thai cooking course there, and had an absolute blast.
  • Portobello Beach. It’s still too chilly to go for a swim (although not for some Scots, apparently), but the beachfront is charming. The boardwalk is lined with crepe and ice cream stands, brunch places, beautiful Regency-style townhouses, and an arcade.
  • Panda and Sons. Some friends took my partner and me to an old-fashioned speakeasy in Edinburgh’s New Town. It looks like a barbershop on the outside, but once you go down the staircase and through the double-doors disguised as bookcases, you enter a dim, cozy, wood-paneled whisky and cocktail bar.
  • Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. This is an unusual museum next to Edinburgh Castle; it’s six floors of optical illusions, so probably not an ideal destination for anyone with vertigo…
  • National Gallery, National Museum of Scotland, Usher Hall. The first two are excellent museums, and Usher Hall is a beautiful concert venue.
  • Wallace Collection, London. The Wallace Collection is a museum in an historic London townhouse (read: mansion) full of art (porcelain, paintings, etc.) from the 15th-19th centuries, furniture, and a sizable armory.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum. The art and history museum is just south of Hyde Park and would take weeks to get through. My favorite exhibits were the jewelry/gemstone collection, ancient Islamic art exhibit, and the rooms of ceramics.

I hope all is well at home and that the basketball fans are gearing up for March Madness. I’m sending good thoughts for your brackets.

All the best,




Study abroad scholarships continue as The Rotary Foundation’s oldest and best known program since it was established in 1947. We are almost at the conclusion of the District’s first year participation in the revised Ambassadorial program. Based on our scholar’s reports from the University of Edinburgh, it has been a truly rewarding and exciting year for her.

We are quickly approaching the dates for this year’s selection process. Be reminded of the following deadlines:

April 21, 2017 – Application to Club Committees

May 12, 2017 –  Applications to District Committee

June 3, 2017 – District Interviews

Information to assist you in the selection process can be found on the District   webpage. Go to The Rotary Foundation, click on Global Scholarships and you will find copies of the Scholarship Manual, the Global Scholarship Flyer and the Scholarship Application.

Posted in International Projects.