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Learning abroad fair promotes programs, scholarships

Dylan Burkett/The Cougar

Learning abroad programs can be an opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of the world through hands-on and experiential learning.  

To help students gain exposure to the various programs UH has to offer, the University hosted a learning abroad fair where students were given a chance to discuss with faculty and peers about future opportunities.

“The learning abroad fair is a great opportunity for coogs to see all the different places they can travel to on our mini learning abroad programs,” said director of global engagement Maggie Mahoney. “We feature our faculty-led programs as well as affiliates, exchanges and other ways that students can finance their programs abroad.” 

Among these, include the Mindy, International Education and the Gilman scholarships.

According to management information systems senior Amy Lai, 81 percent of students who apply for the Gilman scholarship receive it. The application consists of three essays where students can earn up to $5,000.  

All interested students are encouraged to attend the virtual general information session on Sept. 19 from 10-11 a.m., as well as the Gilman writing workshop on Sept. 27 from 2:30-4 p.m. to learn more about eligibility and receive personalized advice on their essays.

Psychology junior Adeena Ali explained how receiving the Gilman scholarship and various forms of government funding allowed her to travel to Amsterdam with the School of International Training.

“In the summer of 2022, I went to Amsterdam where I learned about human trafficking and modern slavery in Europe,” Ali said. “I was able to stay with a host family and I still talk with my host sister who is like an older sister to me now.”

Ali added that there will be an identity conversation about race and ethnicity abroad on September 20th from 12-1 p.m. at the Student Center.

The fair also promoted a number of STEM and environmental research-focused programs such as the School for Field Studies, where students may choose between 10 different locations around the world to study the vast biodiversity and geography that country has to offer.

Former marketing manager for The School for Field Studies, Charlotte Bellomy, describes her experience exploring the islands and rainforests of Panama.

“I went to Panama with the School for Field Studies and the programs they do are incredibly immersive and supportive experiences deep in the environment,” Bellomy said. “ I’m 27 now and it’s still my favorite thing I’ve ever done.”

Due to the hold that COVID-19 has put on international travel within the past few years, UH has both faculty and students excited to experience the return of study abroad programs.

“My uncle told me that one of his biggest regrets in college was not going abroad to learn something, so I thought maybe I should come here and see what it was all about,” said psychology junior Kim Chan.

Mahoney strongly encourages all students to explore their options in global learning and emphasizes UH’s many resources that can assist with funding and working around students’ busy schedules.

“Our team is so excited to further promote learning abroad after the pandemic and we just want to make sure students know that learning abroad is definitely back for every single student,” Mahoney said. “We specifically seek to support all students going abroad, and we want to make sure that students know that we are here and we have scholarships to connect them to and programs that are great fits for their timings.” 

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