Meet the Spring 2021 ISEP Scholarship Recipients

November 30, 2020

ISEP is thrilled to congratulate the recipients of our ISEP Community Scholarship and ISEP Founders Fellowship award. These scholarships assist students from ISEP Member Institutions with a demonstrated financial need in making their goals to study abroad a reality. The awards support our mission to extend access and affordability of study abroad by encouraging applications from students who are statistically underrepresented in study abroad. Each ISEP Community Scholarship awardee will receive US$500, and the ISEP Founders Fellow will receive US$2,500 to use while studying abroad with ISEP next semester.

Continue reading to get to know some of our students and their amazing stories. Learn more about ISEP Scholarships and how you can donate to the ISEP Scholarships Fund to give the gift of international education and a life-changing experience.

ISEP Founders Fellowship Award Recipient

Applicants submitted creative projects emphasizing the value of language learning in study abroad.

Daniela Silva from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) will study at Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz in Austria.

I am a chemical engineering student who loves to challenge herself and step out of her comfort zone, whether that means learning a new discipline or language, or working in extra-curricular projects. I chose to pursue a STEM related degree because I am passionate about science and processes, but also because I believe that through this profession I can contribute in the transition towards more sustainable practices on an industrial scale. My home institution is ITESO, where the sense of environmental and social responsibility is encouraged in every step of our academic education. My native language is Spanish, but I am also an English speaker and a French and German language learner. Through this exchange program in Austria I intend to strengthen my communication skills in German and to complement my academic curriculum through the enrollment in engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, and business-related courses.

ISEP Community Scholarship Award Recipients

These awards of US$500 will be used toward study abroad programs next semester (Northern Hemisphere Spring 2021). Students may defer their award to a later term if their program is suspended for spring 2021.

Madeline Butler from University of Chester in the U.K. will study at Truman State University in the U.S.

I have been studying history for years. Ever since I was eleven, I have had a fascination with this subject, I picked History for my GCSE’s, my A Levels and now I am studying it for my university degree. I have chosen to study history for an academic year abroad in America because I believe that it will give me a more rounded and experienced understanding of History, compared to having a solely English education. My family has never really had the means, time or financial resources to travel far and this study abroad is going to be an amazing opportunity for me, helped by the ISEP scholarship I’ve been awarded. While in America I plan to fully immerse myself in the culture and be able to return home with a more versatile and open mind. Many have asked what I plan to do with my History degree, and although I am not entirely sure I know that this opportunity abroad will help open many more doors for me after University.

Lauren Caulder from Valdosta State University in the U.S. will study at Malta University.

I grew up in a small town in South Georgia called Thomasville. In high school, my best friend was a foreign exchange student. She would talk about the culture and the world outside of my little town and with every word I desired nothing more than to see it first-hand. I got accepted to go to Malta and while I am abroad, I will be studying the arts and public relations. Every day, I have been daydreaming about the culture and people I will get to meet all around the world when I arrive. I can study, not just one other language, but multiple. Malta University is an English-speaking school, but with students from all over the world and Maltese is a combination of Arabic and Italian. The idea of all the heritage and sociology that will come with my studies astounds me.

Laura Lahoz from Universitat Rovira I Virgili in Spain will study at of Northern Arizona University in the U.S.

English has always been an important part of me, even though my native languages are Spanish and Catalan. When I was a child, I wanted to learn English to be able to understand the full meaning of every single word of the songs I used to listen to and the series I watched. That’s why I started taking extra classes outside my school. While I am abroad at Northern Arizona University, I will practice and improve my speaking skills, not only in classes also in daily situations. At my home university, my major is Journalism, Publicity, and Public Relations. After I graduate, I want to do a Master’s degree in International Journalism. As a future correspondent, I cannot see a better opportunity than studying abroad in another country and being able to learn about their culture and values. Arizona has an amazing atmosphere full of different people and ethnic groups.

Na Jin from Ewha Womans University in South Korea will study at University of Turku in Finland.

From a very young age, I have been interested in how businesses operate in our daily life. When I was in primary school, my parents ran a trading company specializing in Korean and Chinese textiles. One day my dad gave me a gift that opened up my world: a beautiful dress which was made in South Korea. I was surprised by its rich bright colors and textured fabrics when compared with those made in China. I was curious about the person who delivered the dress all the way from South Korea to my hands. Since then, I had dreamt to be the one who was able to make our lives colorful.

My mother used to encourage me to build a bridge between the textile industry of China and Korea. Her words inspired me to work hard towards my dream university. With my mother’s blessing, I was lucky to enter Shaoxing University which was famous for textile engineering. The university dates back to 1909, when Mr. Lu Xun,once served as principal here. The well-designed courses drew my great interest in textile industry.

In order to expand my vision, I continued my study in Ewha Woman’s University for my Master’s degree in International Trade & Investment with a minor in International Business at the Ewha Women’s University. As a Chinese student who lives and studies in South Korea with full English education, my life is always full of challenges and enthusiasm. I enjoy putting myself out of my comfort zone as well as expanding my knowledge, skill, and life experiences.

I am planning to go to European countries to experience another different authentic local culture. More importantly, I want to keep pace with cutting-edge business models and understand the overall international business environment. My host University, the University of Turku has a good reputation across the globe with well-designed courses world-class teaching faculty. It offers an opportunity to cultivate the skills and knowledge that are essential for future business leaders by developing practical solutions for companies’ projects. I hope that my unique background will inspire new ideas and enrich the experience of the classmates.

Sydney Osei Tutu from Agnes Scott College in the U.S. will study at Korea University in South Korea.

I am currently majoring in Political Science with a minor in Theatre and a specialization in Global Learning on the Pre-Law track at Agnes Scott College, a small liberal arts school in Georgia. I began learning Korean three years ago in my senior year of high school in an effort to relate with my friends. This mere curiosity grew into a passion that has now led to me attending the prestigious Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. I will be taking a mixture of Political Science, Contemporary Korean Culture, and Korean Language courses which will allow me to connect my interests in policy and law with those in theatre and cultural entertainment. I have always had an affinity for language learning, as I also speak French and Twi, and intend to foster this love as well as improve my listening skills, resulting in a truly unforgettable study abroad experience!

David Ramirez from California State University, San Marcos in the U.S. will study at Toyo University in Japan.

As a Californian, I am surrounded by a range of cultures. By growing up in a bilingual household I can appreciate two different cultures. I have learned how valuable connecting with those around you truly is. I am fluent in English and Spanish. I have started my journey towards Japanese fluency. Starting my studies I have gotten a taste for connecting with a new culture. Unfortunately, native Japanese speakers are practically non-existent outside of Japan. To continue my Japanese language journey I require practice with native speakers. While studying at Toyo University in Tokyo, I will be continuing my Business Administration: Accounting major, and Global Studies minor. The courses at Toyo University will expose me to Japanese business practices and supplement my Japanese language development. I will gain Japanese workplace and cultural experience while interning abroad aiding with my post-graduation goal of working in Japan.

Karla Maynard from Georgia Southern University in the U.S. will study at Toyo University in Japan.

Despite being fluent in English, my first language is actually Spanish. I am the daughter of a former immigrant who spoke hardly any English when I was young, therefore by default Spanish is my language of origin. I was born in Long Beach, California where glam, glitz, and fame is well known. However, most of life was filled with poverty, which led to the decision of moving to Allen, Texas where I graduated from Allen High School in 2013. After graduation I was broke and couldn’t rely on my mother so I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps shy of turning eighteen and served for five years. After my enlistment I moved to the quaint city of Savannah, Georgia where I currently attend Georgia Southern University. The ISEP Community Scholarship will aid me in not only continuing my dream of working towards my bachelor’s degree, but also help me honor the hard work of my mother by providing me the best opportunity in doing so. While abroad I will be partaking in Toyo University’s NEST Program where I will be learning the Japanese language and practicing everything I learn within the community. I aspire to attend a university for a master’s program in Japan later, which will provide opportunities for me nationally and internationally. It will grant me the privilege of a new perspective in life I will cherish forever.

Alexis Romero from Lenoir-Rhyne University in the U.S. will study at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

I was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, and I am a First-Generation college student studying Psychology. I was inspired by my student advisor to travel abroad last spring and after much thought I applied for the spring 2020 semester in Vilnius, Lithuania, making me the first LR Bear to travel to Lithuania ever! Through Lenoir-Rhyne, I have been able to further my studies and follow my passion of becoming a Mental Health Provider. The inspiration for pursuing this degree came from my own difficulties in life as well as being a seven-time suicide survivor. After seeking professional help for myself, I decided that I needed and wanted to be able to help others that are in the situation that I was in several years ago. While in Lithuania, I plan to enhance my undergraduate studies by learning about how mental health care is provided to people in other countries. This knowledge will be useful when I attend graduate school at Lenoir-Rhyne because it will help me provide care to a diverse population.

Gabriela Torres-Gonzalez from University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in Puerto Rico will study at Universidad del Salvador in Argentina.

I am from Mayaguez a beautiful town on the west side of Puerto Rico, I have grown here with all my family. As soon as I started studying in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in 2016 I knew that I wanted to study abroad. My first language is Spanish and even though I can speak English very well, I chose the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina because the Psychology program really captured my eye and I wanted to explore South America and learn about the diversity of the Latin American culture. Also, I wanted to take some classes that are required in my major but from a different point of view. My family’s first reaction when I told them that I was going to study abroad they got a little mad because our economic situation isn’t the best right now, but I have worked hard to afford it and they feel proud. I will be the first one in my family participating in an exchange program and after what I have been through, I want to show that it is possible. In my home institution I’ve been able to develop leadership skills and abroad I want to be an example for others that persistence pays off and these kind of scholarships help you to make it.

Haleigh Ward from Warren Wilson College will study at University of Debrecen in Hungary.

As a student of Conservation Biology, my career has the potential to take me all over the world. A future in which I am able to take care of the global environment is one that I am beyond passionate about. A crucial component of my understanding of place is an understanding of how that place communicates. Studying Hungarian this spring will teach me so much more than just Hungarian. It will shape me into a more adept language learner, and improve my communication skills across language barriers. A richer relationship with these concepts will help me in the future to better serve a community and ecosystem, and ultimately make as much positive impact as possible. I am so thankful for this opportunity to study abroad and cultivate an even more in depth understanding of my academic and career path.

About the Awards

Since its inception in 1979, ISEP has been committed to facilitating increased access to academic and cross-cultural learning opportunities for students through its worldwide membership network of higher education institutions. The ISEP Community Scholarships and the ISEP Founders Fellowship strengthen the core of that integral mission statement by providing students with the resources to overcome financial and academic barriers to study abroad.

ISEP Community Scholarship:

The ISEP Community Scholarship supports our mission of extending access and affordability of study abroad.

Recipients of this award are chosen by members of the ISEP community and selection is based upon their responses to prompts for a financial statement of need and a personal essay.

ISEP Founders Fellowship:

ISEP Founders Fellows demonstrate a passion for language learning while studying abroad. This individual is dedicated to learning and improving their ability to speak, read and understand another language.

Founders Fellows believe living, studying and engaging in another culture will inform and broaden their perspectives, which will allow them to have an even greater understanding of the language they are learning.

ISEP extends a warm congratulations to all award recipients!

Like this Story? Also like us on Facebook.