Honors students selected for European travel scholarship
For two UH honors students, Christmas came a little early this year.
Chloe Stowell and Samantha Noel were recently announced as winners of the Honors College’s Faber-Economon European Travel Scholarship, or FEET. The scholarship, made possible from the generosity of two Honors alumni, Hanneke Faber and Aris Economon, will grant the girls a chance to discover Europe for themselves, complete with airfare to and from Europe, a 3-week Eurail pass and a €1000 stipend.
“I am truly honored to have been selected,” communication disorders sophomore Noel said. “When I first saw my name listed as a FEET scholar I had to pause and make sure I had read it correctly. My next reaction was to dance around my room. A lot.”
The scholarship also recognizes four runners-up who receive a $1,000 stipend that can be applied to another study abroad opportunity. The runners-up this year were Jacob Wagner, Kyle Knight, Nathan McMullin and Amani Jlassi.
Requirements for the scholarship include a 3.5 GPA, completion of the Honors College’s Human Situation sequence, an enrollment length of at least 3 semesters at UH and to have never traveled to Europe, including the United Kingdom. This last requirement makes the FEET scholarship unique; the sole purpose is to introduce a student to a completely new atmosphere in hopes that they will gain a better “global perspective.”
“The Faber-Economon family are graduates of the honors college and started this scholarship because they believe, as we do here in the honors college, that study abroad is a crucial part of the educational experience,” said Keri Myrick, executive assistant to the Honors College dean. “Students who participate in FEET come back as mature, informed and responsible global citizens.”
Stowell and Noel will explore Europe for a little over 3 weeks, from May 18 to June 7. The first week they will stay with the donor family, and for the following two weeks the girls will be on their own. They are required to create a travel and lodging plan with the help of Myrick and the donors prior to their departure. They are also required to chronicle their experiences in a journal or blog that describes the challenges and benefits of unguided travel.
“For the bulk of the trip, they must learn to navigate on their own,” Myrick said. “The purpose of the trip is to assist students with adjusting to the real world while affording them the opportunity to study critical aspects of European history and culture.”
Noel said she is excited to explore different European cuisine and visit cultural landmarks, like the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
“I think it would incredibly powerful to see the actual site where she and her family hid,” Noel said. “I am truly just excited for the chance to experience new cultures. I hope I will return wiser and more aware of the world around me.”