Education Abroad Office and Office of Development raise $61,000 for study abroad scholarships

Story by Michelle Hawks, Contributing writer

The Education Abroad Office partnered with the Office of Development to raise $61,000 for students participating on education abroad programs through the Murray State Fund for Excellence.

Jamie Booth, education abroad advisor, said the money came from education abroad alumni from across the country and was raised during a funds drive.

According to the Education Abroad Office, a decision was reached between their office, administration and other areas on campus to award half of the amount to Honors College students participating in programs this fiscal year (those leaving before July 1, 2017).

Though the scholarship money is meant for Honors students, the Honors College said it does not have anything to do with it.

Honors students are required to study abroad for at least nine days in order to graduate with an Honors Diploma or Honors Focus. However, they are encouraged to spend as much time abroad as possible.

Though she will not be studying abroad during the appropriate time span, Honors freshman Leah Rullman said she was excited to hear about the $30,500 of extra scholarships.

“It should make studying abroad cheaper, and now, it’s more sustainable to study abroad multiple times,” Rullman said.

Booth said that awards will be determined by committees of faculty and community members and award amounts will vary from $150 to $2,000. She said, as always, the scholarships will never cover the entire cost of the program.

She said Honors students with financial need will receive the most consideration. However, financial need is not solely determined by the amount of financial aid students are eligible to receive. The committees will take many areas of the students’ applications into consideration, and she said the scholarship essay, which can be found on the Education Abroad website, will be a very important piece of the award process.

Students are also encouraged to apply for other education abroad scholarships offered by the university. Booth said the eligibility and requirements for these scholarships can be found on their website. Students can apply for them through myGate.

She said the remaining money will be used to help students who participate in programs in the STEM field that are designed by the Education Abroad Fellows, a team of faculty working with the Education Abroad Office as part of the Capacity Building Grant from the U.S. Department of State that the office won this summer.

More details about these programs will be coming out in the spring.    

Students with questions are encouraged to attend open advising every Monday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Waterfield classrooms. They can also go to a Scholarship and Budget Workshop on Oct. 3 and 4 and Jan. 24 and 25 at 3 p.m. in the Curris Center Cumberland Room.