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a group of Rotary Global Grant scholars posing for a photo in front of a building

Why I am honoured to be a Rotary ​Global Grant scholar in London

American Ashlyn Anderson is a Rotary Global Grant scholar studying for a ​Master’s in Nutrition for Global Health with the London School of Hygiene ​and Tropical Medicine. She previously studied at the University of ​Tennessee in Knoxville. Here, in an extract from a university article, she ​shares her plans to pave the way for future scholars.

“Have you thought about the Rotary Global Grant?” I was 17 and participating at ​the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) when I first heard of the opportunity ​to study for a Master's internationally.

Long before I had entered university, this simple conversation planted seeds for ​continued education and international engagement, made possible through a ​funding opportunity I am keen to share with others.

The Rotary Global Grant Scholarship is funded by Rotary International which is a ​global service organisation with a mission to provide service and advance world ​understanding and peace through fellowship of community members and global ​leaders.

While some may only know Rotary by local level club meetings, the breadth and ​depth of Rotary includes a diverse array of actions such as humanitarian aid, ​grants for service projects, and most notably theGlobal Polio Eradication ​Initiative, which has reduced polio cases by 99.9% around the world.

While my Rotary story has deep and personal roots, I recognise that researching ​funding opportunities for graduate programmes internationally is quite arduous.

Ashlyn Anderson in an orange jacket standing in front of a door

Ashlyn Anderson is a Rotary Global Grant scholar studying for a Master’s in Nutrition for Global ​Health with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

It is well acknowledged that financial barriers are often students’ greatest ​inhibitors to global education, but I strongly encourage students to continue to ​seek out opportunities and go beyond the websites, as many come about ​through conversations and connections.

While perhaps lesser known than other postgraduate programs like the Marshall, ​Rhodes, and Chevening, the Rotary Global Grant is an invaluable scholarship ​available to students across the world.

The specifications for eligibility vary by country of origin, but the mission, ​vision, and competitive selection of scholars are largely the same. The ​commonality is that all Global Grant Scholars are supported by their home ​country Rotary District and connected with a host District in the country of study.

After finishing my time as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico, I circled back to my 17-​year-old self and desire to pursue postgraduate education. I distinctly remember ​when I found out about the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine ​(LSHTM). It was a perfect fit as the Global Grant scholarship considers not only ​academic passions, but alignment with one of Rotary’s 7 Areas of Focus.

LSHTM marked all the requirements on my list as it was in the network-oriented ​London, offered a Master's that combined my passions for nutrition and public ​health, and has a worldwide prestige with a ranking of number three school of ​public health in the world.

a group Rotary Global Grant scholars posing for a photo in front of a Rotary banner

As​hlyn with her fellow Rotary Global Grant scholars

I seek to fulfil Rotary’s area of focus of disease prevention and treatment to ​develop comprehensive knowledge in global public health nutrition and become ​a change-maker through careers in food policy NGOs and equitable nutrition ​advocacy.

My favourite part of being a Rotary Global Grant Scholar in London is that the ​community does not end when you arrive. The sense of family and camaraderie ​only flourishes once in-country as the Rotary community, conferences, and ​connections are abundant.

The statistics are convincing for postgraduate students from around the world to ​want to study in London: 11 scholars at LSHTM, 38 scholars in London, and ​around 140 scholars in the UK.

The strong presence of Global Grant Scholars at LSHTM speaks to its high calibre ​which allows us to pursue our dreams in global health, all while being supported ​by our host clubs at home and in London.

Not only have I met some of my dearest friends through this means of Rotary ​gatherings, but I have also been involved with other aspects of Rotary ​including Rotaract, which is an action-oriented, international group of young ​professionals who do service and cultivate community in London.

My story with Rotary and LSHTM is long from over, and I continue to share it with ​the hope that others will take advantage of scholarship opportunities that could ​make the vision of international education at a world-class institution a reality.

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