2017-2018 Generation Study Abroad Travel Grant

Congratulations to our first cohort of Travel Grantees! We have awarded 50 of 100 travel grants to students going all over the world to increase student participation in study abroad. Below is a glimpse of some of the recipients. A special thank you to our private donors and to Santander US for the lead funding to launch the program.

Current 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.”


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." 


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.”


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.”    


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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."


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.”


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." 


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..."


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.”


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 travelled outside of the contiguous United States.I have always had an interest in Japan and I believe it would be beneficial to study abroad.”

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.”

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.”

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.”


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.”


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."


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.”


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.”

Tre'sor Foster, Christopher Newport University, Italy, Summer 2018
“Professionally I am interested in being a certified managerial accountant. Study abroad fits in with my professional goals because as a business major I will interact with hundreds of people during my career. Most of the time those people will not come from the same background as I do and being sympathetic to the idea that there are people who do not share my views is a skill that is applicable to the workforce during this increasingly global world.”

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.”


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."


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 résumé will help me stand out from the other applicants.”