Our visiting student Clare McDevitt bade farewell to our members on Wednesday morning.  Clare, who comes from Scotland, has been our GRSP (Georgia Rotary Student Program) student this academic year.  The program, funded by the Rotary Clubs of Georgia, enables students from outside the US to come to Georgia and study at various state universities for a year. 
Students who come under this program must be academically qualified, able to afford to travel to the US and to afford medical insurance, be fluent in English, and eager to experience life in the US for a year.  From the Rotary perspective, the program gives some fifty students a year from as many countries the opportunity to see some of the US at firsthand, and hopefully to become ambassadors, back home, for the American way of doing things.
 Clare told us of some of the highlights of her sojourn here.  She was met by around twenty Rotarians and spouses at the Savannah airport upon arrival.  Wondering to herself, “Why am I here?” she felt totally overwhelmed at first.  Then she attended the conclave for all the arriving students and met people from all over the world.  She went on an outing to Atlanta, “The longest drive I’ve ever made, you can’t drive so far in Britain, you’ll wind up in the ocean!”  She spoke of her first Thanksgiving, her first homecoming game, the presidential election, everything, she said, was a “first.”   She remarked that everyone she met loved Savannah, and she spent many wonderful weekends in town. She liked her classes at Armstrong Atlantic State University (students are housed in the university dormitories during the terms) and once a month she attended the student weekends there.  She sat and talked to the students, met so many people, and always there were more things to do; there were friends’ birthday parties and ‘Burns night’ in celebration of the Scottish poet.  She traveled to Washington, to New York for New Year’s (scary), and to Miami Beach for spring break, which was “so much fun.”
 Clare expressed her gratitude to her host families; Mr. & Mrs. Andreshak were the primary hosts, together with our own member, Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Ambrose.  Clare said she “felt like part of their families” and expressed her thanks for all they did for her.  Clare said will attend the District Conference, and thanked the wonderful people at Rotary for the opportunity they afforded her this year.  Asked, at the end of her presentation, what did she find to be “most different” from her expectations, she said she thought it might be difficult for her to connect with Americans, but she found this was not so at all.