By: Nadiyah Suleiman
TWU’s Education Abroad Programs office recently presented 72 students with the International Education Scholarship totaling almost $44,000 to help fund summer and fall study abroad trips. The International Education Scholarship is open to students who apply for any of TWU’s approved exchange, faculty-led or affiliated programs abroad.
This scholarship is funded by the International Education Fee (IEF) Scholarship fund that is made possible by the students of TWU. Director of the Education Abroad Programs Annie Phillips said: “The International Education Fee Bill was passed by the 72nd Texas State Legislature giving authority to the governing boards of all higher education institutions to charge and collect a $1.00 fee from all students who register each semester or summer session. The funds are to be used for assisting students in international study abroad programs.” In 2007, students voted in favor of a two dollar increase of the International Education fee which has increased the amount of scholarship funds available for traveling abroad.
Students who do travel abroad are asked to share their experiences, which helps inform other students of the opportunities to receive financial help to make studying abroad possible. The cycle of giving back continues with recipients of the IES scholarship volunteering at a minimum of three Education Abroad events to help spread the word of the scholarships awarded and the opportunities available.
Nursing sophomore Yessenia Munoz plans to travel to Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, in the 2015 fall semester with the help of her scholarship. Munoz said: “I always thought it would be impossible for me to study abroad, but after doing some research about the program, I found out it was indeed possible, and there were many scholarships that could help me pay for it.” Munoz put her time and energy into procuring the IES scholarship, and it eventually paid off.
The Harlaxton College Program is available for sophomores, juniors or seniors, and while the application can be tedious, the benefits are well worth the process. The trip includes an entire weekend at London, Nottingham Library Trips, a long weekend at Ireland, a trip to Cambridge, and several other activities.
Munoz said: “I am really excited about this new experience and hope to challenge myself as a person, to learn about different cultures and meet new people. I am also nervous because I am going to a country that I am not familiar with by myself but I honestly cannot wait for this new chapter of my life.”
Phillips has encouraged and worked with Munoz helping her through the application process. Phillips said: “I really admire that she is stretching herself by doing something that has a lot of unknown elements. My prediction is that she will not only learn from her coursework, but she will also discover that she is capable of far more than she had ever imagined. It’s a lesson that often can only be learned by being brave enough to take some risks and endure some discomfort. I’m thrilled that she is going to have this opportunity.”