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Friday, December 8, 2023

Activities & Organizations

UH offers scholarships for study abroad students

Students, eagerly hoping to traveling the world to expand their education, face a harsh reality: it’s expensive.

Cougar finds interest in Alpha Kappa Psi to enhance his chances of an experience abroad. Nikki Taylor / The Daily Cougar

The Office of International Studies and Programs attempted to assuage these worries at Tuesday’s study abroad fair. There are many scholarships available that students don’t know about, said Maria Saldana, advisor for the Office of International Studies and Programs.

“We want to inform students about scholarship opportunities and financial aid opportunities to study abroad. Many of them are receiving the Pell Grant, and they don’t know,” Saldana said.

The OISP offers two scholarships to students — the International Education Fee scholarship and the Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce Scholarship.  Saldana said she encourages students to apply for scholarships offered by the study abroad advisor once they have chosen a program of interest.

An additional concern for students may be the lack of ability to transfer credits back to UH, said Parul Fernandes, director of the Office of International Studies and Programs. These fears are unfounded.

“The good thing is that UH offers this opportunity to the students, and the credits are transferred from a foreign university to ours so the student doesn’t lose time or money in going abroad,” Fernandes said

“The different scholarships are offered so they have enough money to go abroad.”

In addition to scholarships, students who wish to study abroad may also apply for additional financial aid through the OISP once they have chosen a program, had an advising appointment, and filled out a Study Abroad Cost of Attendance and Enrollment Funding form.

“Today our world is global,” Fernandes said. “And if you are not global you are sort of living in a box, and you don’t really know what is outside the box. Things will fall into your plate which you cannot deal with unless you have travelled, and nowadays travel is the best education.”

The OISP offers study abroad programs in approximately 140 countries through faculty-led, affiliate, exchange and special programs. OISP also offers students the opportunity to do an independent study in any country where there is not a program offered as long as it is approved through the OISP, Solana said.

History senior Suleman Sultan, who studied abroad in Beijing with the Bowman Travel Grant, an external study abroad program, said he encourages his fellow students to learn through traveling.

“(My biggest concern) was that it wouldn’t turn out as I expected or that the classes wouldn’t be what I expected, but it was actually much better than I thought,” Sultan said.

“It’s such a different place from here, so every day there was a new experience. It was also a small group that I went with, because it was a specific program. There were five of us, and we could travel anywhere. It wasn’t too difficult, because there were only five of us so the teachers would take us everywhere, that was the best part.”

To learn more about specific study abroad programs and the OISP, stop by the second Study Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Rockwell Pavilion at the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.

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