2017-2018 Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant

Congratulations to the IIE Generation Study Abroad Travel Grantees! We have awarded 121 travel grants to students going all over the world to increase student participation in study abroad. Below is a glimpse the recipients.

A special thank you to our private donors and to Santander US for the lead funding to launch the program and their continued support.


List of Recipients


Adrian Garcia Hernandez, University of California, Berkeley, Australia and Solomon Islands, Spring 2018

“As a sustainable environmental design major, I have learned that issues of sustainability affect every aspect of a community’s well-being. In particular, I am interested in exploring the equity aspect of sustainability (a central tenant of my major), analyzing the ways in which environmental harms are unevenly distributed across society and taking actions to alleviate this unfortunate reality.”

Adrian Molinar, New Mexico State University, Nepal, Summer 2018

“My academic interests almost entirely relate to civics and the social obstacles facing communities around the world. My interest in this program is the experience I can get from being exposed to a culture very different from my own. Also, in the future I intend to involve myself in the field of international relations. In order to become a valuable commodity, it is essential to view a wider world. I plan to demonstrate this through journalism. Therefore, this program will not only provide me with real world experience but help improve my journalistic pursuits. ”

Alana Powell, University of California, Santa Barbara, New Zealand, Fall 2018

“My focus of study is environmental justice, which is a movement integrating environmental degradation and climate change issues with social injustices. Studying abroad in New Zealand will further this goal by providing the opportunity to get involved in environmental organizations in a country with prevalent environmental awareness, as well as gain a better understanding of the social climate within New Zealand to draw connections and identify themes across the globe.”

Alexandra Power, San Mateo County Community College District, South Africa, Summer 2018

“My major is Administrative Justice. My goal is to complete my Associate degree and transfer to a 4-year university. This scholarship will allow me to participate in a Criminal Justice internship in South Africa for two months. I will be able to gain work experience in the field I am pursuing, showing me what it would be like to make my career goals a reality. Not only do I want to become a better professional candidate, but I also want a chance to experience the real world.”

Alexis Bolivar, Virginia Commonwealth University, Italy, Spring 2018

"I am a history major with a minor in political science. I did not know how to obtain a worldwide viewpoint until my internship at the U.S. Senate. It was the catalyst that caused me to want to study abroad."

Alicia Prokopenko, Western Washington University, Thailand, Fall 2018

“I am the only one in my family to pursue a higher education and attend a university. I am pursuing a double major in Financial Economics and Communication Studies. The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) program in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will allow me to take classes for both of my majors at Chiang Mai University, and grow my global perspective in both fields of study. I will be able to take World Economic Issues, and as the world is becoming more globalized, studying economics in a different country will enrich my understanding of how economies from different countries are affected by one another. ”

Amma-Sika Adomako, Temple University, France, Fall 2018

“There is a strong need for Africans that speak the languages of international businesses and organizations. With French being one of those languages spoken in many major corporations, there is a need for more Africans to be fluent in French. If I am able to spend a semester abroad in France, it will dramatically help improve my French speaking capabilities. Furthermore, learning French will make me a more attractive candidate for working as a liaison between major organizations and African nations.”

Amy Dao, Eckerd College, Japan, Fall 2018

“Growing up in the States, I've been surrounded by a lot of different people too from different parts of the world. To me, learning about another history or culture will allow you to connect with other people better and understand what makes them unique. Studying abroad in Japan will help me understand that particular culture and will help me connect to their people as well.”

Amy Rong, University of California, Davis, Taiwan, Fall 2018

“As a first-generation and low-income student, I am passionate about making education accessible for students from underserved communities like my own. …Through the Teacher Education Department (at National Taiwan University), I will be able to take rigorous courses taught in Chinese, which focus on educational psychology, and principles of instruction in Taiwan. I will learn about reforms and changes that are occurring to the education system in Taiwan, which I believe will influence my perspective to become an educator as I gain hand-on public sector experience in a foreign country.”

Andrea Garcia, Kansas State University, United Kingdom, Fall 2018

“The biggest driver in me choosing to study abroad is my desire to see more of the world and to learn more about actuarial science. Understanding the types of economies that exist and their global impact will give me a competitive advantage in my field. I feel that it is important to understand what diverse populations value to better serve them. Over 7,000 international students attend the University of Liverpool and there are around 80 languages spoken there. Living with and connecting with the diverse community will strengthen my cross-cultural communication skills.”

Andres Bahamon, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Sierra Leone, Spring 2018

“My first experience encountering American culture as a Colombian only began to put into perspective the many diverse ways people choose to live their lives. Having the ability to travel to another country in a different continent with distinctive cultures, histories, and languages will further my development as an individual and aid in my pursuance of becoming an engaged, understanding, and philanthropic fighter of the less fortunate.”

Angelo Domagas, San Mateo County Community College District, Czech Republic, Summer 2018

“The US is considered the most prosperous economy in the world because of our diversity and mixing different economic practices, but that is not to say it does not have any problems. That is what intrigues me the most, and makes me want to study abroad to essentially study contrasting perspectives on how people from various countries are handling big issues right now compared to the US.”

Ann Chandler Hassett, Birmingham-Southern College, Ecuador, Summer 2018

“Studying abroad and allowing myself to fully immerse in the language I am studying is an opportunity that is only available in Spanish speaking countries. …My academic experience will be greatly enhanced by studying abroad because a study abroad experience will introduce me to new professors and classmates who will provide to new viewpoints and ideas beyond those of the Birmingham-Southern campus. I will also be able to better understand the Hispanic people, their culture, and their traditions.”

Annie Barkan, University of Vermont, Botswana, Spring 2018

“I am inspired to go abroad and expose myself to different outlooks, field methods, and history, in order to gain the tools, I need to effectively protect wildlife.”

Anny Chen, West Virginia University, China, Summer 2018

“For the entirety of the program, I will have to work with complete strangers, which will challenge me to be more cognizant of my place in a global society. This will make me more tolerant of the different perspectives that come from other peoples' histories, and evolve my idea of what a culture can encompass, not only for Chinese culture, but for the culture of a ceramics community, and fusion cultures, which are a mixing of multiple cultures.”

April Hubert, San Mateo County Community College District, South Africa, Summer 2018

“As a Bio-Med Major, it's complicated to find undergraduate study abroad experiences that relate to my greater goal of becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). This intercultural communications course in South Africa allows me this unique opportunity, as there is a health-care component to this course…. Furthermore, studying abroad in South Africa represents a unique life experience to enrich my future practice in the health-care. ”

Ashley Bolger, University of Vermont, Israel, Spring 2018

“Since coming to college, I have realized that I rarely have conversations with people that I disagree with. I have lost the skill of having productive and amicable conversations with people whose opinions vary from mine. I want to travel to a new place where I can learn things I would never have the opportunity to learn if I stayed in Vermont next semester.”

Ashley Jazayeri, Carroll College, Morocco, Spring 2018

“During my time in Morocco, I hope to increase my knowledge about the Middle East and Islamic culture not only through the various classes I intend to take but also through the cultural experiences I will gain.”

Betty Tu, University of California, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Summer 2018

“All in all, I know that studying abroad will uniquely enrich my undergraduate experiences by boosting my self-confidence and independence, by allowing me to hone my language and research skills, and naturally by creating extraordinary memories to last a lifetime. I will indisputably return to the United States as a wiser student, prepared to become a contributing member of the community’s healthcare system. ”

Blanca San Martin, Texas A&M International University, Spain, Fall 2018

“Going as an exchange student to increase and expand my knowledge in Biology is one of my main goals. I want to socialize with people from Spain and learn maybe not all, but some of their traditions. I also want to volunteer over there so I can see how their clinics function and if there is any difference in how students are taught how to use the science courses for a real life situation. Studying abroad will help shape me into a better student and will increase my mentality.”

Braison Boykin, University of Texas at Arlington, Sweden, Spring 2018

“The opportunity to travel during my graduate education would not only enhance my ability to think like an architect, but it would allow me to unlock a unique perspective that could provide a global understanding of architecture. I believe my education would be greatly enhanced because lessons and experiences gained abroad will provide guidance for both educational and professional projects with the onset of enhanced global thinking.”

Candice DeGraft-Ackun, University of California, Riverside, Ghana, Spring 2018

“Upon receiving my degree from UC Riverside, it is my desire to open an arts center dedicated to fostering globally conscious performing artists who aim to enrich their communities and serve as activists through the arts...Studying in Ghana will provide me with the tools I need in order to gain the leadership skills and dance technique that are required to create a cultural exchange in the dance community.”

Cassandra Georges, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Thailand, Summer 2018

“Growing up without any family in the States, I have worked endlessly outside of school to support myself, thus I have never had the opportunity to explore other countries and places. The opportunity to study abroad is one that excites me because it is furthering the growth I have made thus far. I’m seeking and embracing the opportunities to be out of my comfort zone and further my personal growth.”

Cassandra Saroza, North Carolina State University, Cyprus, Summer 2018

“Studying abroad, especially in the anthropology field, is essential in gaining the hands-on experience this academic field requires. …Being able to study abroad and applying these life experiences to my trip to Cyprus will help grow my world perspective and bring back what I learned to my family, university, and outside community. This trip will not only teach me about archaeology but expose me to the world outside of the ethnocentric United States.”

Cesar Guerrero, Washington State University - Pullman, Thailand, Spring 2018

“In one of my programs (Digital Technology and Culture), it is not common for students to study abroad because there is not a whole lot of funding in the department, hence it is not highly brought up or encouraged. Studying abroad would not only be a huge milestone for myself but for my program as well. I will be able to use my experience to encourage others to study abroad.”

Chelsea De Mesa, California State University, East Bay, South Korea, Fall 2018

“To me, the South Korea program was more than just the opportunity of a lifetime, but a necessity if I were to work there later. …I believe that through taking courses there instead of here, the education I will receive will focus more on issues that concern South Korean international relations.”

Christine Burke, Randolph-Macon College, France, Spring 2018

“I have been the first in my family to do many things. That fact is beautiful to me because I serve as a role model to younger members of my family showing that they too can accomplish anything despite our background.”

Claudia Acuna, San Mateo County Community College District, China, Summer 2018

“I will participate in the Global Internship in Hong Kong, an opportunity that would allow me to develop specific architectural skills and give me the chance to be part of the global force driving change in America. As an architecture major, travel to Hong Kong will boost my ability to develop architectural thinking and give me the opportunity to look at the world with a new unique perspective.”

Connor Haaland, South Dakota State University, France, Spring 2018

"Books can teach many things, but first-hand experiences are our only way to truly discover how to look at the world from a completely unique perspective. From studying abroad, I hope to immerse myself in culture and language, and learn about the unique worldviews that of the French."

Davis Elgin, San Diego State University, United Kingdom, Spring 2018

“....with my minor in Economics, that is specialized in public policy, I will be able to go to the UK, an economic powerhouse, and learn more about the types of economic practices that are performed in real life situations there, while also studying the art of public policy economics inside the classroom. Altogether, this experience should allow me to be more employable in the future, as well as leave me with a more diverse skillset that I will be able to apply to my career.”

Deniz Namik, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Italy, Summer 2018

“…As a first-generation Turkmen who is the first to go to college in my family, I have been motivated to work with and help those in other underrepresented groups who have migrated to the U.S. …Being able to participate in this study abroad program will allow me to see how those who have migrated to Italy function and communicate with others and how different forms of identities play a role in migration, which will give me a new perspective to bring and apply to my current work in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.”

Devyn Morris, Peralta Community College District, Japan, Summer 2018

“After graduating with my Communication Studies Transfer degree, I plan to attend a university to complete my Bachelor’s, eventually finding myself in the Community Relations field. Assistance with attending the study-abroad program would enable me the opportunity to experience the culture of small business and direct community involvement in maintaining local business economies and infrastructures. ”

Elizabeth Coello, University of Texas at Arlington, Mexico, Summer 2018

“…My motivation stems from my passion for being bi-lingual. I plan on being a part of a team that teaches students in both English and Spanish. This study board program offers a class in Spanish for the professions which will enhance my ability to become a better team member within my profession. …Through this I found my passion of developing the young of our future in being bi-lingual. This will positively impact our community.”

Elizabeth Curtin, Texas A&M University, Japan, Fall 2018

“As an international studies major, I believe my study abroad experience in Japan will help continue my global and Japanese language education, creating an essential multicultural perspective on the world and current issues.”

Emily Morphis, University of Mississippi, Zambia, Summer 2018

“As a communication science and disorders major with a minor in society and health, I will be exposed to children for the entirety of my career as a healthcare professional. Visiting Zambia to work with underprivileged youth would be an extraordinarily pertinent experience for me.”

Erica Gonzalez-Paramo, University of Michigan, Australia, Summer 2018

“…I wish to expand my horizons and better my knowledge of the diversity of the world through my coursework. … By studying abroad in a country and culture so far from home, I will finally earn the exposure necessary in my career.”

Eron Macartney, Western Washington University, Thailand, Spring 2018

“Growing up, I lived in a small town with a population of just over 1,000. My whole life had revolved around this town and nearby areas, and I grew up fishing and hiking in the local wilderness. To live a complete life though, I believe one has to be immersed into a diverse array of experiences, ideas and cultures throughout life. For this reason and many others, I have chosen to leave the country for the first time and study abroad in the Indo-Pacific on Marine Ecosystems in Thailand.”

Ethan Staten, University of Virginia, Germany, Summer 2018

“Aside from motivation to excel in my computer engineering program, I want to travel to Germany to study the engineering that takes hold in Stuttgart. German engineering is famous worldwide, from luxury cars to industrial robotics to instruments of alternative energy. I have always hoped to have the chance to study these examples first-hand in the country where they originated. …This would aid in providing inspiration for my capstone project during the senior year of my undergraduate degree.”

Eymmy Alejo-Machado, University of California, Santa Barbara, Brazil, Fall 2018

“I specifically chose to study abroad in Brazil because I feel as though I can connect the knowledge I have built while at UCSB to first-hand experiences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. I have only learned about Latin America from an outside perspective, so I know that I would greatly enjoy learning and experiencing this narrative first-hand. … Studying abroad in Brazil will open my eyes to a whole new world and enable me cross unimaginable borders.”

Gabrielle Valestin, Stony Brook University, Tanzania, Summer 2018

“As a current sophomore Biology major on the Pre-Med track, an Educational Opportunity Program student with hopes of becoming a Pediatric Oncology Doctor, having the opportunity to participate in a one-week, additional one-credit internship, where we will be witnessing rotations and shadowing health professionals in a Hospital, as well as maintaining a huge focus on Community Outreach will be remarkable. ”

Glorimar Estevez, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Brazil, Fall 2018

“As a sociology major, I have always been interested about learning about other cultures. Studying abroad in Brazil for one year will help me learn about a mix of European, African, and indigenous cultures. Also, this program focuses on cultural studies, global economy, and natural resource management, which interest me as a sociology major.”

Grace Awosogba, SUNY Binghamton, Italy, Spring 2018

“Studying abroad will be a teaching tool for discipline, independence, and perseverance, all of which are important in any workplace environment. It will also help me develop cross-cultural communication skills including communicating in a different language, knowing how to respond to unfamiliar customs, and maintaining respect for other peoples and their traditions. A global world-view is essential for my career interest of international law as these types of laws aim at ensuring positive international relations and world peace.”

Halima Mahdee, Peralta Community College District, Ghana, Summer 2018

“My personal interests and motivation to pursue study abroad and the impact it will have in my life and my community is: To inspire other members of the community to detox the fear of traveling out of their system. Growing up in a community that doesn’t naturally inspire the youth to want to travel, seek out education through travel, or take about the importance of just having a passport to keep the windows of opportunity open can really keep young mind underdeveloped, in a sense where the word studying abroad is rarely used in the elementary schools or high schools.”

Helen Loaiza, University of South Carolina, China, Fall 2018

“When I return from my study abroad experience, I hope to provide information about China to students like myself who face financial difficulties in studying abroad. I hope to inspire my peers to learn about different cultures and countries and to consider travelling to areas that are not well known. By engaging in a culture that is unfamiliar, they will gain rewarding experiences and new insights that they can apply to future encounters with people of different backgrounds.”

Hunter Dowse, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Netherlands, Spring 2018

“My university education has become my direction for achieving success in my life and making my father proud. I want to be the first person in my family to obtain a college degree and be the first person to study abroad. I will not let my past struggles hold me back or define my future. I believe that going to college for my Bachelor’s degree and studying abroad at the same time will test myself. In the end, it'll make me a stronger person.”

Idania Carranza, Texas Woman's University, Spain, Summer 2018

“…Because I believe that social advancement around the globe is essential for human connection and prosperity, completing this internship will equip me with the knowledge needed to empower the world. This international education experience will contribute to my dream of owning an organization that serves marginalized communities through representation of minorities, validation of their identity, and change for a better future.”

Jaclyn Elaine Samson, Western Washington University, United States, Brazil, South Africa, India, Fall 2018

“I believe that the experience I will receive from studying abroad, specifically the School for International Training’s program, will allow me to better understand the coursework I have received within the classroom by doing actual fieldwork within major cities across the globe. My biggest motivation for pursuing this program will be the knowledge I will receive from it and being able to bring that back to my school to help implement new projects within my campus, as well as my community.”

Jaime Shaffer, University of Idaho, Germany, Fall 2018

“…I intend to pursue a career with the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) upon graduating from the University of Idaho. …In addition to the life experience, two of the preferred requirements for FSOs are to have lived abroad and be fluent in a language other than English. Studying abroad will help me acquire these skills along with allowing me to gain firsthand knowledge of the international political sphere outside of the United States.”

Jamaal Webster, Governors State University, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Summer 2018

“I’ve recently completed my Associate’s Degree at Moraine Valley. My next goal is completing my bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Governors State University. After that, my goal is to look into obtaining my master’s degree in Business Management; while also being a mentor [in] the community I grew up in. I also want to continue to be a role model for my children, and to allow my mother to see one of her children walk across the stage for a college diploma.”

Jane Diep, University of California, Santa Barbara, Netherlands, Fall 2018

“…I believe studying abroad will allow me to take classes that will teach me to learn, understand, and interpret theories and viewpoints within these studies from an international perspective, or otherwise one that I would not experience at my home university. … Studying abroad will also teach me new knowledge about international affairs, EU politics, etc. which would come to play when I eventually work for the United Nations as it is focuses on international issues, rather than simply domestic problems in the US.”

Jemy Chen, SUNY University at Buffalo, South Korea, Spring 2018

“I wish to create a software, a video game, and an app in the future. I want to utilize this opportunity to seek coding skills to make full use of augmented reality and virtual reality in the future. If not, I can always bring the future of coding back at home to kids and create programs that teach children who struggle with math. That is because to better the future is to better our kids.”

Jonathan Speas, University of Southern California, China, Taiwan, Summer 2018

“Studying abroad in Shanghai and Taiwan will accelerate the rate at which I learn Mandarin by allowing me to study the language while experiencing the culture in person. … After graduating from the University of California, I plan to attend Sun Yat-sen University in China. …and will eventually work as a Research Fellow. My goal is to research developments in international affairs relating to China’s increasing global influence. ”

Joshua Pitta, University of California, San Diego, China, Spring 2018

“Neither of my parents had the opportunity to study abroad since both only have high school educations, and as part of my goal to improve upon previous generations in my family, I will do whatever it takes to have this experience.  My hope is that my time abroad will open me up creatively, culturally, and intellectually so that, whether in school, my family, my career, or my social groups, I can become a person who can build where others break and heal where others wound.”

Jovany Dorsainvil, University of Michigan, France, Summer 2018

“Studying abroad in France would serve a variety of academic roles for me. I would be able to take the French skills that I have learned here in the United States and perfect them in an area of the world where the language is actually used. This would finally follow me to see the applicability of what I study.”

Judy Armande Alterado, San Diego State University, Spain, Spring 2018

“For several months, I will navigate unfamiliar social structures. This will be both challenging and eye-opening, as I hope to experience personal and academic growth. Also, I am particularly excited to take classes in Political Science in Spain due to the country’s rich and interesting modern political history. I also plan to take a Sociology class in Spain, which will allow me to better understand intercultural communication in a different society.”

Kallah Masudi, Rutgers University - New Brunswick, South Korea, Spring 2018

“As far as my professional career, I want to be a translator for people that speak English and-or Korean, work in International Affairs, or both. To that end, it is my hope to meet people of many backgrounds and industries.To fully maximize my experience, I plan to take a holistic approach toward understanding the people, the culture, and the work of living in East Asia.”

Kalli Hale, Kalamazoo College, Jordan, Fall 2018

“The opportunity to study abroad is beyond meaningful to me... I want to show my younger siblings that our beginning doesn't define us, that the world is big and waiting for us.”

Kara Quinones, Western Michigan University, Belize, Summer 2018

“Currently, I am a geography major in the environmental analysis and resource management program at Western Michigan University. This opportunity to further my academic study in Belize will aid me in finishing my biology minor, in addition to providing me with valuable knowledge and experience that I can apply to my field of study. Furthermore, because of my passion for the protection and sustainable use of the world’s natural resources, it would be fascinating, as well as educational, to see how the people of Belize value the resources they have.”

Katerina Lozano, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Botswana, Summer 2018

“The studying abroad program to Botswana, Africa, working hands on with the wildlife there is an amazing experience and will help me understand how conservations are started and kept for wildlife’s protection. Going to Africa will also help me understand how their animals thrive in the wild compared to captivity. I have also, always learned better working hands on. Continuing my education including this program is an amazing opportunity.”

Kathy Gonzalez, University of Texas at Arlington, South Korea, Summer 2018

“In studying abroad, I will be able to understand the context of Eastern texts in an intensive and comprehensive setting. I hope to expand my own understanding of what literary studies entail through the perspective of Eastern nations. By being in the country where the literature is written, I will be able to fully understand the meanings of texts that may be lost in translation.”

Kevin Siegrist, University of California, Davis, Germany, Fall 2018

“…Studying abroad will provide me opportunities to learn different perspectives and methods of sustainable agriculture that I would not have otherwise. Upon returning, I can teach others in my community what I learned, so they can improve their methods of farming.”

La-Doniea Nisbeth, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Uganda, Spring 2018

“In regard to my academic interest and motives, I aim to study abroad because I would like to be able to better assess the world I live in. Being that I am from Jamaica, upon my migration to the United States I have gained a lot of opportunities that have allowed me to further and better analyze and put whatever skills I have gained to use.”

Larissa Nez, Portland Community College, Cuba, Summer 2018

“…As students and future professionals, gaining academic and research experience isn’t enough, our goal should also be to break barriers. Utilizing two concepts, unlearning and verstehen, I am inspired to take my first step towards expanding my worldview through community service, cultural education, and academic coursework. This trip will also enhance my intersectional and multidisciplinary educational background as a Diné (Navajo) sociologist and public health professional.”

Lauren Bowie, University of South Carolina, Czech Republic, Spring 2018

“For law school, I believe not only the courses, but the experience abroad, will not only strengthen my resume but allow me to bring a worldly knowledge into law school. The courses offered such as Politics of the Enlightenment, Words Around Us - The Mysteries of Their Origins and Histories, and Social Changes After 1989 are of particular interest to me...”

Mathew Reinhold, University of Kansas, Nicaragua, Summer 2018

“My career goal is to help shape public policy in regard to linguistic minorities and be involved in the development of resources for them. That is why this opportunity to study abroad and work with the Miskitu people in Nicaragua is consequential to me as the understandings I will gain, will not only effect my ability to conduct research but will also alter how I conduct my research and provide a new lens with which to see my work and new insights which I could not gain stateside.”

Matthew Her, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, China, Summer 2018

“My professional goal is to become a multilingual refugee services provider and assist underserved refugee communities in the United States pursuing their personal and professional goals. …I will advance my career goal by participating in the four-week study abroad program in China called the Hmong Language Immersion and Culture Program. The bulk of this program involves hands-on engagement with the Hmong community in China. …This experience will be fundamental to advancing my cultural competence skills and community building skills for my future career.”

Matthew Hernandez, University of California, Santa Barbara, India, Summer 2018

“My forthcoming trip to India will be the next step in my personal development, as I continue to develop my awareness as a global citizen and actively challenge my own cultural biases. By traveling internationally on my own for the first time, I will increase my independence and self-confidence in difficult social circumstances. ”

Michelle Pineda, San Mateo County Community College District, Italy, Spring 2018

“Studying abroad in Florence will add more value to my career because I will pick up a third language and equally more accessible to potential clients. In addition to the language advantage, my study abroad will serve as a first-hand experience in what I aspire to pursue in the future as an international designer. If I will be traveling professionally to design, I believe that it is so important to gain experience in what it is like to adjust to a new cultural setting and using the heritage of the people to create a space that resonates with their lifestyle.”

Miraal Habib, Bard College, Botswana, Fall 2018

“ I am a film major and have been making films for about five years now, and my trajectory has led me to take a particular interest in documentary film. My simultaneous passions for wildlife, conservation and human rights have made me think a lot about the documentation of topics in these areas, all of which are abundant in southern Africa. This tri-country program in particular is an amazing opportunity for me as it is the culmination of my main interest areas.”

Najeeb Amini, University of Michigan, Spain, Spring 2018

“The experience through this study abroad will not only help me strengthen my communication ability in Spanish but also make me culturally adept. As an individual hoping to be an international human rights lawyer, this experience will show me how to interact and communicate in different cultural environments.”

Nancy Nguyen, San Diego State University, Uganda, Spring 2018

“During the program, I will eat, work study, live, and dance alongside Ugandans. I will honor the narratives locals share with me, as they will enable me to understand Ugandan history, culture, and politics at the grassroots level. By the end of the program, I will be able to better understand the factors of political conflict and how policy can best prevent/respond to it.”

Neva Taylor, Joliet Junior College, Japan, Summer 2018

“I believe the opportunity to experience other cultures and societies is important to making individuals and society more understanding of others.I have never traveled outside of the contiguous United States.I have always had an interest in Japan and I believe it would be beneficial to study abroad.”

Nicolas Del Guidice-Pina, University of California, Santa Cruz, Thailand, Fall 2018

“While studying in Bangkok will help me achieve and expand my own personal educational goals, it will also allow me to learn how to become involved with local schools and organizations in an international setting. I hope to build connections useful in guiding and me on my own educational path, as well as teaching me how I am able to contribute to similar causes in other parts of the world. Post-completion of my program, I expect to have an obligation to return to Thailand.”

Nicole Leung, University of California, Riverside, China, Fall 2018

“…As a genetic counselor, I would be working and catering to individuals with many different cultural backgrounds. Studying abroad helps me understand differences in cultural customs that may affect families making their treatment decisions. …I will interact with individuals with different perspectives allowing me to learn from other mindsets. This flexibility of thought is crucial to adapt to new work environments and adopt innovative solutions to problems.”

Nina Masjedi, University of California, Santa Barbara, Costa Rica, Fall 2018

“I know this program will be life changing and if I get selected, I plan to enhance my knowledge on tropical biology and conservation while bringing not only my perspective of a Neuroscience student, but also a student who wants to have a greater understanding of the world. …It will be amazing opportunity to live in another country and truly absorb all the similarities and differences in my culture and home and in Costa Rica. It will help me be an all-around more knowledgeable, empathetic and cultivated member of society. ”

Oscar Reyes Chavez, California State University, Los Angeles, South Korea, Spring 2018

“Studying abroad in Seoul would expose me to a different visual language. Taking in a more eastern influence would not only be extremely beneficial for my own personal growth but it’ll also take my design and art skills to the next level. My career aspirations include working with a global marketing and advertising agency that works with international brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, or Sony.”

Owen Saenz, University of North Texas, Chile, Spring 2018

“Having the opportunity to be a first-generation college student as a first-generation American citizen has been a surreal experience, to say the least. When I come back home and describe the courses I am currently taking to my mother her face lights up. When I told her I was wanting to study abroad to Chile, she could not believe it.<“

Paola Diaz Espiritu, University of California, Berkeley, Australia and Solomon Islands Spring 2018

“This program allows me to integrate my major and learn about the changes of a different ecological system, the Solomon Islands, and its impact on the inhabitant’s health and how I can work with these people to come up with a solution and improve the quality of life on the Island.“

Paul Janis, University of North Texas, Italy, Summer 2018

“Specifically, by studying abroad, I can gain real world experience not only in a foreign country, but also by continuing my Italian education in Italy.I will also have a chance to better understand the political and economic climate of Europe, and more importantly, my future career field of Risk Management.”

Pearl Ibeanusi, San Mateo County Community College District, South Africa, Summer 2018

“I made a big decision of my life to come to the US [from Nigeria as an adult] to further my education and to be a big woman academically, to make an impact in the community and to leave a legacy [for] women’s education.”

Pema Sherpa, SUNY Geneseo, Nepal, Fall 2018

“I am a Neuroscience major with a pre-med concentration at SUNY Geneseo. I am passionate about providing healthcare to a disadvantaged population and learning the variability in biological mechanisms across different cultures. Therefore, I decided to study abroad in Nepal in order to learn the health issues and distribution of diseases in a highly diverse and culturally rich country.”

Resharia Keller, Wofford College, Austria, Fall 2018

“…As my main goal of the study abroad experience is to expand prior knowledge and develop new knowledge of Austrian culture and history, I expect that I will benefit greatly from the variety of courses offered. Not only will I learn about the rich history of Vienna, but I will have the opportunity to surround myself with a diverse group of students, and an entirely unique group of local professors who will expose me to new and diverse views and perspectives.”

Rhea Thomas, Agnes Scott College, Botswana, Spring 2018

“The chance to participate in research intrigues me not only because of the research requirement that certain medical schools have, but it allows me the opportunity to pick the brains of skilled researchers who abide by a different set of guidelines than here in the United States, and gain experience in a field of which I have little knowledge.”

Rhia Odebeca Acebedo, Dominican University of California, Uganda, Summer 2018

“…By working with nursing students in Uganda, there will be an exchange of knowledge as well as an opportunity to learn different approaches to patient healthcare in a different country other than that of the United States. The group that I am travelling with will have discussions regarding patient care in a poverty-stricken region. It is a great opportunity for me to gain communication skills through observation, debriefings and readings.”

Rikenley Michel, Florida International University, Thailand, Summer 2018

“As a young professional, studying abroad is compatible with my chosen degree program because it gives me a comprehensive viewpoint on some of the most pressing global issues. I believe it’s imperative to learn about different cultures to effectively understand and communicate with other people.”

Samar Syeda, Stony Brook University, Kenya, Summer 2018

“Being in a completely new environment, I hope to gain a new outlook on life through all the people I will get to meet, who come from a culture completely different than mine - which is exactly what I would want to gain from a Study Abroad experience. Study Abroad is not just a chance to take classes in another country or getting a chance to visit a new place - it's about opening yourself up to this new place and culture and absorbing all it has to offer.”

Sarah Janssen, San Diego State University, Australia, Spring 2018

“My professional interests, while studying abroad, are to understand how the techniques of physical therapy are implemented, and the impact it has on their clients. I would also like to understand the social aspect of their medical care and examine the patient-provider relationship. This will help me develop an understanding of the quality of care in this type of professional setting and relate it to my own in the future.”

Savannah Daniels, University of California, Santa Barbara, India, Summer 2018

“Studying in India would allow me to continue learning about diversity, connecting with people from all over the globe as well as enhancing my language skills, and navigating student life outside of my borders. I would like to continue to grow and learn about the world around me and receiving this scholarship will make all of this possible for me.”

Scott Rayl, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, France, Summer 2018

“My goal is to gain employment with the American Battle Monument Commission in Europe and serve as a steward of our war memorials throughout the conflict areas. The commission has expressed an interest in my application with my existing knowledge and experience, but French proficiency is a requirement for the position. I have made many efforts to improve upon my French ability, but I feel a program, like the one I've applied to, is absolutely necessary.”

Sean Coffman, University of Washington Bothell, Jordan, Summer 2018

“My main academic interest is understanding the effects of globalization with a specific focus on the Middle East. I am very involved with learning Arabic and ensuring I am proficient in that cultural context.”

Sean Van Walchren, Portland State University, Australia, Summer 2018

“I want to study abroad to see what the impacts of global warming are in different countries of the world compared to where I live and how those countries view the United States, especially with regards to healthcare and to see if their healthcare systems are being negatively impacted by this global threat. I hope to gain a sense of understanding on how people that grow up on the other side of the world from myself view the issue of global warming and to see if their ecological mindset is different from that in the United States.”

Sofia Velasquez, Portland Community College, Spain, Summer 2018

“Studying abroad is an investment in my future and a benefit to not only myself but my community. My desire for studying abroad stems from wanting to have a deeper understanding of the Spanish culture and its people.”

Stacy Roberts, California State University, Fullerton, Florence, Fall 2018

“For a film major such as myself, I believe that studying abroad is not just a fun college experience, or a fun way of learning my trade; I believe it is essential in order for myself and students with majors similar to mine, to succeed in an artistic chosen field. …Not only will I come back with a greater understanding of the industry, but I will also have learned a wide variety of social, networking, and problem-solving skills that are essential for students in my field.”

Stephanie Magana, University of California, Davis, Mexico, Fall 2018

“…Learning about UC Davis Study Abroad program to Oaxaca, Mexico seems like the perfect opportunity for me. Not only will I experience a culture rich town and learn more about my country and Mexican traditions such as El Dia De Los Muertos. I will also have the opportunity to volunteer my time at local hospitals and hopefully give back to the local communities as well as learn more about their health care system. ”

Stephany Ohaz, University of Texas at San Antonio, Italy, Spring 2018

“It offers a learning focus on business and international affairs, a factor that immediately caught my attention as an opportunity to expand my journey of exploring the financial industry. This program is essentially offering me a chance to study in Paris, a city in France which has one of the highest GDPs of any city and is home to Fortune Global 500 companies that specialize in insurance, banking, and energy.“

Stevi Ibonie, University of California, Santa Barbara, Netherlands, Fall 2018

“…Studying abroad will give me the opportunity to explore my field of study more before going to graduate school, and further develop my theoretical framework which I will conduct research from. International education will also be a great addition to my resume and will help me be a competitive applicant to graduate school.”

Szilard Vegh, San Diego State University, Germany, Spring 2018

“Germany is the birthplace of many great inventions and discoveries that we use today. I find myself curious as to why one country is so immensely successful in their endeavors to contribute to society. I am interested in understanding the roots of their success and would like to familiarize myself with their way of life and language.”

Taylor Reyland, University of California, Santa Cruz, Italy and Spain, Spring 2018

“As a sociology major and education minor, I plan to use these two subject areas to teach my future students about different social institutions, practices, and norms among a diverse swathe of cultures. I feel that it is important to understand different social systems so that we, as a country and as individuals,can work harmoniously together to solve world problems.”

Terry Pruden, East Carolina University, Costa Rica, Summer 2018

“Going abroad will allow for me to enhance my foreign language comprehension and fluency that I can integrate into my everyday life and patient interaction. I will be staying at a homestay experience while studying abroad, that would allow for them to see how families live and learn stories on a more personal level on how growing up where they have impacted their life, being able to relate to patients is highly looked at for long-term professional connections. Having these types of experiences will serve me well in my professional career.”

Thasfia Chowdhury, SUNY Geneseo, Brazil, Summer 2018

“There is a certain kind of cosmopolitan understanding of the cultures around them that students and others who have traveled outside the borders of their own countries share. The cultivation of empathy for and knowledge of others cannot simply exist without awareness of difference. Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine, as the values of my household in conjunction with my upbringing in the melting pot of NYC have encouraged me to live my life amid diversity and admiration for others all over the world.”

Valentina Cordero, Kalamazoo College, France, Fall 2018

“Living abroad will allow me to learn experimentally and interculturally about France which will help me develop skills that could be useful for my future like learning how to adapt to different environments. These skills will benefit me and my future plans of creating my own international nonprofit organization.”

Van Sam, University of California, Berkeley, Argentina, Summer 2018

“I hope that my experience abroad as an individual and a scholar will further develop my political analysis and critical thinking skills to help me become a better youth and immigrant community organizer who has an international lens.”

Vanessa Oppong, Virginia Commonwealth University, Jamaica, Spring 2018

“During this time [abroad], we are provided many one on one meetings with both the professors and local public health professionals in the area. These interactions will allow me to build a network of professionals who are already in the field of my choice and garner the chance to have a mentor to guide me on the right professional path.”

Veronica Lopez, College of DuPage, Costa Rica, Summer 2018

“Being able to study abroad in Costa Rica will allow me explore the vast beauty that is in Latin America through my photography. It will further my belief that I can accomplish my professional and personal goals, no matter my ethnicity, economically disadvantaged background and learning disability.”

Vicki Gibson, Texas Woman's University, Ireland, Summer 2018

“…Forming new relationships and building a bond with those of another country will be enriching. It will give me more wisdom and insight when communicating with the different people on my campus at home from diverse backgrounds. It is exciting to look forward to going to an unknown land and coming home with a renewed vision of what is important to my future goals and how my college years will be remembered for the rest of my natural life.”

Victoria Zhang, University of California, San Diego, Korea, Fall 2018

“Studying abroad will perfectly complement my academic discipline in International Studies to translate what I’ve learned for 3 years in a college classroom into a real world experience my senior year. I am well-prepared with the knowledge and discussion of international economics, politics, and culture, and now study abroad gives me a chance to research and study Korea up-close for my regional specialization in East Asia.”

Xueyan Cai, San Mateo County Community College District, Hong Kong, Summer 2018

“I represent the first generation, first girl from my entire family to pursue my collegiate dream in the United States as a US citizen. Studying in Hong Kong would be my dream come true. I never thought I would be considered for such a wonderful opportunity to enrich my life with so many possibilities.”

Yi Zheng, SUNY University at Buffalo, Singapore, Spring 2018

“In my interactions and experiences with someone from an unfamiliar background, there is always curiosity in my mind, nagging and asking, 'What is it like there?' Being told of an experience is nothing like actually experiencing it for oneself. My curiosity and lack of foreign experience influenced me to try and break free of one lifestyle.“

Yutong Chen, University of California, Santa Barbara, Taiwan, Fall 2018

“…Joining local student organizations and living with other international students will benefit me at work because I will learn how to collaborate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds. In addition, during my time aboard I want to compare the two different teaching styles between Taiwan and America, analyze their strengths and weakness and apply what I learn in future teaching.”

Zahria Barber, University of South Carolina, Aruba, Spring 2018

“Interacting with the other students as well as residents of Aruba will help me with my international business communications skills. I have not had the opportunity to travel outside of the country. Having the ability to add my study abroad experience to my resume will help me stand out from the other applicants.”

Zaid Al Rakabi, University of California, Davis, Hong Kong, Summer 2018

“By studying abroad, I hope to gain a better understanding of different cultures and people in a place that is new to me and which I know little about. …I aim to use the knowledge and experiences I gain to further my academic and professional career while also giving back by sharing my experience and helping others to also study abroad.”

Zoe Buchli, Western Washington University, Morocco, Fall 2018

“Because of this, studying abroad has been something I have looked forward to my entire life. It is incredible to me that I have finally reached the point where I can apply to a program that not only is a perfect fit for my academic and career interests, but would also take me to a fascinating country where I would experience the culture and customs of a different part of the world.”