WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2016 - Starting tomorrow, the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) will accept applications for the 2017 class of FEA Scholars, underrepresented students who will receive scholarships of up to $10,000 to fund up to a full academic year of international education. With the goal of promoting diversity in study abroad, FEA supports minority, LGBTQI, first-generation, veterans, returning learners, disabled, and community college students, and students pursuing language instruction and non-traditional destinations. The 55-day application process will open Wednesday, hours before FEA's 6th Annual Gala, where 100% of ticket sales will directly fund scholarships for the upcoming academic year.
FEA has awarded approximately $500,000 to 120 scholars since 2010. "The funds we raise this week and throughout the year go directly to ensuring more students can study abroad," said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. "By changing the face of study abroad, FEA enables a compelling form of public diplomacy, opening doors and minds across the globe that help build connections critical to the development of the leaders of tomorrow."
FEA offers dedicated scholarships, including the Rainbow Scholarship, which is awarded to a deserving LGBTQI student and made possible by the generous support of a group of international education professionals committed to advocating on behalf of LGBTQI students. The Jane Glucmann & Carol Rausch Go Global Scholarship, named after two mothers who wanted to empower students to remain curious about the world and explore it, is awarded annually to one student for studies in Mexico, Central America, South America, France, or Germany.
During this year's Gala, the following FEA scholars will share their experiences studying abroad:
- Taeilorae Levell, an African-American student of political science and Arabic at Howard University who traveled to Morocco to prepare for a career advocating for justice for refugees from the Middle East;
- Darius Carey, an African-American student who traveled to Ghana to advance his study of the African Diaspora History and Sociology of Sport with an emphasis on race, class and gender, and who is now in graduate school at Syracuse University;
- Kathy Tran, a first-generation Vietnamese immigrant and Diversity Scholar at the University of Utah who traveled to Seoul, South Korea;
- Marisa Vickers, a first-generation college student who studied in France and hopes to work in humanitarian aid;
- Clara Tsao, an Asian American biochemistry and sociology student at University of California, Los Angeles who started a non-profit to promote social entrepreneurship, studied in Costa Rica, and participated in community and health practicums in rural health clinics while studying at the University of Botswana;
- Juli Smith, an international business and Asian studies student at Loyola University of New Orleans who journeyed to Taichung City, Taiwan to improve her language skills, including Taiwanese sign language;
- Miranda Parvis, an immigrant from Argentina who overcame great odds to study Hospitality and Tourism at Florida International University and who studied abroad in Tianjin, China;
- Lucas Mackey of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University studying the aviation business and Mandarin who used his time in Kaohsiung, Taiwan to gain skills to manage an airline;
- Amber Kennedy, an African-American student of mass communications and journalism at Albany State University who worked for a Chinese media company while studying at Xiamen University; and,
- Karon Cannon, who is studying advertising and Japanese at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and who went to Tokyo to immerse himself in language study.
General scholarships require applicants to be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident of the U.S., or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students who are currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the U.S., graduate students are not eligible. The study abroad program must be eligible for credit at the student's educational institution, and it must include at least four weeks in-country. Preference is given to students who are pursuing an academically rigorous program, language learning programs, non-traditional destinations, and students who represent a group that is traditionally underrepresented in education abroad. The application deadline is noon EST January 11, 2017.
For its success helping the demographics of U.S. undergraduates studying abroad better reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population, FEA won the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and GoAbroad Foundation's 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.