Since 1946, Rotarians in Georgia have promoted world peace through understanding by offering scholarships to international students for one year of study in Georgia colleges and universities.
Georgia Rotary Clubs sponsor students who are recommended by a Rotary Club in their home country. The students become adopted members of a Georgia "host family," but live on-campus at the school they attend.
This is a scholarship program, not an exchange. Each year, about 80 students from all over the world make friends in the United States and other nations and learn about differing cultures and life styles.
Georgia Rotarians believe "Peace is Possible" and through the Georgia Rotary Scholarship Program (GRSP) promote international goodwill through the bonds of friendship and understanding.
This past year, Peachtree Corners Rotarian Mike Sweigart and his wife Meg hosted Stephano Ghiselli, a 21-year-old student from Italy. Ghiselli has been living in the community since last year and will be returning shortly to his home town of Viareggio, Italy after a year of attending Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta.
Ghiselli took primarily core courses including calculus, French, and Spanish. He also made the Dean’s list both semesters.
As well as the academia, a big part of the program is for students to become familiar with the American way of life. In pursuit of this goal he had trips to New York City in the fall, a spring break trip to Miami, as well as going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
He also attended Rotary GRSP conclaves in Clayton County, Savannah, Sandy Springs, and the Rotary District conference in Ashville, NC. His parents were able to travel to Georgia and spend New Year’s here while visiting various cities in Georgia.
This is not the first time the Sweigarts have been the host family for one of the Rotary Club scholarship program students. They have been the host family for five other students, and through his GRSP trustee status Sweigart has been involved with 18 students over the years.
When he returns to Italy, Ghiselli will begin the third year of his major in Nautical Engineering at the University of Genoa. This major will qualify him to design and supervise all the different phases of the construction of sailing yachts, motor yachts and other different kinds of pleasure boats.
Ghiselli's home town, Viareggio, is a relatively small resort town in Tuscany with just about 65,000 inhabitants. It’s just an hour from Florence and 20 minutes from Pisa and Lucca, which are probably the most famous cities in Tuscany.
The Peachtree Corners Rotary Club meet each Monday at 12 p.m. in Norcross. For more information on the Peachtree Corners Rotary Club, please contact Marvin Kliman, president via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 404-433-0900.
Editor's note: Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.