Students study abroad for less

While studying abroad is considered a way for students to learn, grow and explore the world, it can come at a large financial cost.

For Murray State students, this financial stress can be eased by scholarships offered through the Study Abroad Office.

Robyn Pizzo, education abroad adviser, said the Study Abroad Office has been able to provide more scholarships this academic year than ever before.

She said these scholarships can sometimes make a difference in whether students are able to participate in a study abroad program.

Emily Hensel, former Murray State student, was rewarded a scholarship through the Study Abroad Office and from her department.

She planned on taking out a loan to pay for her trip, and the office helped reduce the amount significantly.

“(The Study Abroad Office) definitely provided the resources I needed for planning my study abroad trip,” she said.

Hensel studied in Munich for six weeks. She said the scholarship she received helped save her money and made her trip a reality.

So far in the 2013-14 academic year, the Study Abroad Office has awarded scholarships to all of the scholarship applications it has received.

Pizzo said she hopes the numbers continue to stay high. She said it cannot be determined if that number will stay the same until after more scholarship applications are reviewed in February.

Of the 270 students who studied abroad in the 2012-13 school year, 127 were awarded a scholarship. The average received was more than $1,000 and the minimum was between $500-$750. Of the students who applied, 84 percent received a scholarship.

Pizzo said although scholarships are available for all students studying abroad, not all students take advantage of the opportunity.

She said donors from inside and outside of the University make funds for scholarships possible.

Deans from every college help support scholarships through the Study Abroad Office.

Pizzo said scholarships are a high priority for the office and that it will continue to work to be able to provide for students.

“(The Study Abroad Office) is proud of the number of scholarships we have been able to give to students,” Pizzo said. “All students who want to study abroad should be given the chance to do so, regardless of financial cost.”

Students who are going on study abroad programs for spring, summer and fall terms have until Jan. 31 to apply.

Story by Rebecca Walter, staff writer

Submission by JMC 397