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Ambassadorial Scholarships, The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, was founded in 1947. Since then, nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. Nearly 800 scholarships were awarded for study in 2005-06. Through grants totaling approximately US$500 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 70 nations.

"The Rotary Foundation does some terrific things, not the least of which is the Ambassadorial Scholarships program." - Michael R. Whiteman, international programs director, University of Idaho The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of 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. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

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