St. Olaf student awarded Rotary Global Grant Scholarship
The $30,000 award from Rotary International supports graduate-level studies related to the organization’s focus on humanitarian issues. Bhandari will enroll in a one-year master’s program studying conflict resolution and governance in the fall of 2015.
“I chose to study at the University of Amsterdam because of its strong emphasis on connecting theory with practice,” Bhandari says. “My plan is to collaborate with professors and students at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences Research, the largest social science research center in the Netherlands.”
The Rotary scholarship requires that recipients conduct a community project while abroad. Bhandari plans to work at the Anne Frank House, learning about the different models that Anne Frank Schools follow around the world. In 2011 Bhandari founded the Anne Frank Project Nepal. Bhandari created the Anne Frank Project to inform Nepalese students about the events of the Holocaust and World War II, a section of world history that is often left out of the nation’s curriculum.
“Currently there are 216 Anne Frank Schools in 16 countries,” he says. “Someday, I hope to establish an Anne Frank School in Nepal, which will be the first of its kind in Asia.”
Bhandari has a long history with Rotary International. As part of a Rotaract Club, a Rotary-sponsored group for individuals between ages 18 and 30, he was involved in multiple service projects, including free health camps in rural Nepal, fundraising for a local orphanage, and aiding with polio vaccinations.
“These projects had a formative influence on my aspiration to serve,” he says. “In fact, I spent a year after high school serving the communities around Nepal through my Rotaract Club. This background was immensely helpful during the scholarship because my values aligned with the values and focus of the scholarship.”
Before enrolling at the University of Amsterdam, Bhandari will spend the summer in Warsaw, Poland, as part of his Humanity in Action Fellowship. Afterward, he will complete a yearlong Global Health Corps fellowship at the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University.