Meet the Spring 2020 ISEP Scholarship Recipients

November 6, 2019

ISEP is thrilled to congratulate the ten recipients of our ISEP Community Scholarship and one 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.

Daniel Milosic from Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz will study at University of Seoul in South Korea.

Growing up in a Croatian family in Austria I am lucky to have two native languages, Croatian and German. This early exposure to different language systems is what set me up to become a language fanatic. Today, I speak three languages fluently and can communicate in four others. My next goal is to push my Korean skills to a fluent level. At my home institution, University of Graz, I currently study physics with a focus on astrophysics. In South Korea, I plan to do the same, but instead of German and English, classes will be held mainly in Korean. Before going abroad, I studied Korean all by myself using textbooks and online resources. Having to communicate in a foreign language on a daily basis really makes a big difference. I hope that this immersion in the Korean culture will help me better understand and speak the language.

Daniel’s creative project, Blackbelt Korean will teach Korean language through Taekwon-Do, which he has practiced for over 9 years and holds a blackbelt himself. Keep an eye out for Blackbelt Korean when Daniel is abroad in Seoul next semester.

ISEP Community Scholarship Award Recipients

These awards of US$500 will be used toward study abroad programs next semester (Northern Hemisphere Spring 2020).

Enaakshi Adhikari from Tokyo International University in Japan will study at San Diego State University in the U.S.

I come from Colombo, Sri Lanka. As a child I was able to experience and witness many hardships and it enabled me to study hard and most importantly study smart. This was the very reason as to why I chose to major in the field of liberal arts as a student back in Sri Lanka, which included subjects related to humanities and social sciences. I come from a humble middle class family and no one in my family had been educated overseas. Hence, getting to study in Japan through a scholarship program offered by the Tokyo International University was a golden opportunity to both me and my family. Today, the fact that I’m going to study at the San Diego State University, makes them proud and happy at the same time.

Sierra Bedwell from Montana State University in the U.S. will study at Université de Lille in France.

Hello and bonjour! I’m a junior studying microbiology at Montana State University. In 2020, I’ll be studying cellular and molecular biology in a bilingual program at the Université de Lille, in France. Even before I began to learn French, studying abroad was my greatest dream. But, as most STEM students know, it’s a far-fetched dream. In fact, we’re actively advised against it! It’s as if there’s one path to being a scientist—getting a bachelor’s degree, getting a Ph.D., doing research, publishing papers… rinse and repeat. But I don’t want to be stuck in a lab. I want to combine my knowledge of science with my writing skills to finally convince the world why science matters. I want to fight back against climate change, to save our planet and our way of life. This is not something I can do with solely an American education. To truly change the world, I need a world-wide perspective. Going to Lille and improving my French fluency and my global knowledge of science is the first step in fulfilling this dream.

Kayla Cho from Chapman University in the U.S. will study at of University of Technology Sydney in Australia.

I am a native Hawaiian who grew up on the island of Oʻahu. As I pursue a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Data Analytics, I will be continuing my business coursework in Australia at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). I am a firm believer in learning from multiple perspectives and collaborating with a team to drive growth. Studying abroad at UTS would provide an excellent opportunity to grow this collaborative circle in an environment focused on global impact and disruptive innovation. The educational exchange with Australians is my primary focus; however, there is another learning opportunity. I want to learn about how colonization impacted the native’s economic status, culture, and practices. This exchange would be an enriching opportunity to share my culture and understand the Aboriginal culture and experience so that as a collective native people, we can learn from each other to empower our communities.

Rasha Darra from American University of Sharjah in the U.A.E. will study at Montana State University in the U.S.

I am a third-year undergraduate student double majoring in chemistry and chemical engineering at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. I have always had this lure towards science, and the curiosity of finding out why matters are or are not as they are. I am passionate about many scientific topics but hope that after this study abroad experience, I am able to narrow down my interests. I look forward to meeting new professors and learning about the research that is being done there. I am bilingually fluent in both English and Arabic, and speak some French. Nonetheless, I would love to learn about the different American accents and traditions. I am very passionate about basketball, and have been playing this sport since I was 8 years old. I plan to try joining the basketball team at Montana State University, and seeing what it has to offer.

Kara Hobbs from Louisiana State University in the U.S. will study at Université de Franche-Comté in France.

Despite the diversity of my home state, Louisiana, I grew up like the people in my small social group: an English monolingual. After unsuccessfully studying Latin in school, my true language-learning journey began almost two years ago while working in an international school. I began learning French first and added Spanish shortly thereafter. These were simultaneously results of and contributors to my expanding worldview that has challenged core beliefs and perspectives I’ve always held. As a student of psychology and international studies, I have enjoyed using my time at LSU to understand the people around me and the world at large. Language learning has been a part of that pursuit and something I plan to continue during my time in France along with taking psychology classes. My future plans include working with social justice organizations and, hopefully, using my language skills and experiences to relate to immigrant and refugee populations.

Hau Le from Tokyo International University in Japan will study at Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig in Germany.

I came from Vietnam and for most of my years in Vietnam, I was just focusing on studying, especially English. English plays a major role in my life, from the news I read, the videos I watch and the games I play. Then I had the chance to move to Japan for university education, I studied some Japanese, made some friends and enjoyed my time here. At my home university, Tokyo International University, my major is Business Economics. I wanted to study more about computer science and also German courses. My family has been very supportive and constantly asking me how I have been doing and what my generally direction for the future is. In Germany, I hope that I will be able to learn some German and participate in more internships to build up skills and experience for my future career.

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!

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