The American Institute for Foreign Study announced last Friday the Fearless Global Citizen Scholarship, a $5,000 need-based scholarship that can be applied to study abroad program costs.
Katie Ouimette, fifth-semester studio art major and global student mentor in the University of Connecticut’s Education Abroad office, said students are automatically considered for the Global Citizen Scholarship if they have a FAFSA on file with UConn. Regular financial aid can also be applied to study abroad programs, Ouimette said.
Ouimette said the cost of tuition for study abroad programs usually ends up being the same price it would be to attend the UConn at its main campus in Storrs. Students who study abroad simply pay a housing fee to the university they are attending instead of UConn, Ouimette said.
The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) campaign seeks to help students gain an international perspective with a broader understanding and respect of global ideas and cultures, according to the Fearless Global Citizen website.
The site allows people to view stories written by Fearless Global Citizens, students who have travelled and gained insight through their experiences, and encourages new students to share their own stories. According to the site, if a student’s story is shared, the organizations sends him or her a free t-shirt and publishes the story on the website.
Ouimette said life-long connections are made while studying abroad. There are opportunities for students to go all over the world, be immersed in a different culture and make friends, Ouimette said.
The colleges will frequently host programs intended for new students to get to know each other, Ouimette said.
“You make real connections with people,” said Ouimette. “I still have a best friend, we talk like every single day even with a fourteen hour time difference.”
The classes students take while studying abroad allow students to experience the country in an academic way, she said. Ouimette added that the professors and peers understand the desire to “experience everything” in a foreign country.
Other scholarships for study abroad programs can be found on the UConn Education Abroad website. Every program on the website has a financial tab which is updated every semester that tells students exactly how much it will cost, Ouimette said.
“(Studying abroad is) like you’re going to UConn, just in a different place,” Ouimette said.
Education Abroad 101, an informative event which takes places from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the Rowe Center for Undergraduate Education, allows students to learn about how the process of spending a semester abroad studying works at UConn. It is an opportunity to take the first steps towards studying abroad and to speak with students who have already had the experience, Ouimette said.
Students can make an appointment with the Education Abroad office in Rowe room 117 or come in during walk-in hours to sit down with an advisor or students who have already studied abroad.
“Everyone loves studying abroad. You’re going to love (wherever) you go,” Ouimette said.
Nicholas Hampton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.