A trio of college students from Georgia will spend the summer studying at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo as part of a joint partnership with the university, Georgia Rotary Student Program and Rotarians in Oslo, Norway.

Emma Mack will represent District 6900 and the Rotary Club of Alpharetta with the endorsement of Rotarian Shawn Allen.  Valerie Goldman will represent District 6910 and the Rotary Club of Lake Chatuge with the endorsement of GRSP Trustee Gerry Gutenstein. Laura Williams will represent District 6920 and the Rotary Club of St. Simons Island with Rotarian recommendations from SSI President Tate Simpson, GRSP Chair Emeritus Bert Guy from the Rotary Club of Camden County plus Past Rotary International Director Robert Hall.

The scholarship for the six-week summer program from June 26 to August 4, 2023 includes air fares from Atlanta to Oslo and the return trip to Atlanta, room, board, 12-credit hours of undergraduate coursework, administrative fees at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo plus an outing with Norwegian Rotary host families. The recipients of the scholarships must pay their travel expense to and from the airport, plus provide their own personal spending money.

Mack is studying public relations and communications at The University of Georgia. She applied for the scholarship because she wanted to learn about other cultures as well as observe how other countries communicate.

“I’m eager to learn more about new cultures and how they interact, especially now that the world is becoming more global,” Mack stated. “It’s more important now than ever to study and learn about international communications. I am certain that studying in Oslo through GRSP will have a lasting benefit on me, my dreams, and my future endeavors.”

Goldman, who is from Atlanta, is studying environmental design at Arizona State University. She stated she has always been passionate about environmental issues, whether related to animals, designing products, architecture, global warming, plants, designing solutions and so much more. She elected to study environmental design to incorporate most of her interests into one degree, which was also one of the reasons she was encouraged to apply to Oslo ISS.

“I applied for this scholarship so that I will be able to experience and learn how other governments and communities function in today’s world of interconnectivity and reliance,” Goldman said. “It is important to understand how other societies deal with human needs such as transportation, housing, aging and health care. The Oslo International Summer School offers classes on the welfare state, and learning how it operates. I will be better prepared to help design novel solutions here as well. Currently, approximately 95% of power generated in Norway is from hydropower and they are working to prohibit the sales of fossil fuel cars by 2025. The ability of an entire country to achieve such levels of sustainability is something that not only should be studied but must be studied if we are to become a world leader in sustainable solutions.”

Williams is majoring in communication studies and environmental education at the University of Georgia and anticipates graduating this spring. With a fascination for horses and a love for her lessons, she became an equestrian coach in high school and rode on a national championship drill team. While in college, she turned her passion for photography into a business that also helped offset her school expenses. She was home-schooled in high school and is eager to experience a new culture in Norway.

“It requires humility and openness to not only learn from another culture, but to take back the lessons learned to your own,” Williams said. “Leadership starts at your doorstep but should take you far beyond. I believe I can best serve my own community by learning how to be a global citizen. The place I call my community may change many times over the course of my life and I desire to be equipped to serve no matter where I go. Studying abroad and engaging with students from another country is an opportunity I desire immensely. I understand the vitality of taking ownership of my education through a posture of teachability and a dedication to integrity.”