Mar 252016

Dear fellow Rotarians,

Welcome to Seoul, the site of the 107th Rotary International Convention. Celebrate with us the joy of bringing the work of Rotary into our communities to Be a Gift to the World. The convention is a great way to experience what it truly means to be a part of Rotary. You will not only be inspired by fascinating speakers and productive breakout sessions, but also have an excellent opportunity to meet fellow Rotarians from around the world. You will experience firsthand the vibrant city of Seoul, as well as exchange ideas, build your skill set, and have fun.

The House of Friendship also provides a space where you can connect with different cultures and clubs. As a city with a long, rich history and the latest amenities, Seoul is the ideal location for a Rotary convention and a delightful travel destination to explore. It is both the capital and largest metropolis in Korea as well as home to an expansive number of parks, museums, shopping centers, and restaurants that showcase Korea’s rich culinary tradition.

Stop by any street vendor throughout the city to try traditional snacks like tteokbokki, gimbap, or Korean barbeque. Visit the now-famous Gangnam district, made popular by K-pop recording artist Psy. Explore COEX Mall, one of the largest underground shopping malls in Asia, filled with everything from trinkets to high-tech devices. Visit Dongdaemun Market, open 24 hours a day, for a wide variety of goods, including silks and fabrics. While the convention will offer its own social activities and events, be sure to visit Lotte World Adventure, an entertainment complex that is home to the world’s second-largest indoor theme park and an outdoor amusement park. Both feature family friendly stage shows and attractions. Shopping malls, movie theaters, and the Korean Folk Museum can be found a short monorail ride away, making it a wonderful family vacation experience. Before becoming president of Rotary International, I had the pleasure to attend 25 Rotary conventions. Each convention has its own flavor and has always been an enriching experience. I took advantage of the ability to meet and get to know my fellow Rotarians. I recall having conversations with club members from all over the world, on the buses and trains, in the House of Friendship, and in the main meeting halls. These are folks who I otherwise never would have had the chance to meet. In fact, while in Seoul, I will look forward to meeting you as well. Vanathy and I invite you to join us and your fellow Rotarians as we see the sights, discover what it’s like to be a citizen of the world, and learn how we can continue to Be a Gift to the World.


K.R. Ravindran

Rotary International President, 2015-16

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