Scholarships Help Students Study Overseas
Costa Rica Trip
by Julienne Turner
This year seven students representing four different overseas study experiences received assistance from the David Starr Jordan scholarship. In a time of rising fuel costs and a weakening dollar, these scholarships can often make all the difference in students being able to travel and participate in international programs. Donations are still coming in for the Gabrielle Robinson scholarship endowment, which will add one more way to support our students. If you have an interest in these funds, please contact International Programs, the IU South Bend Scholarship Office, or our Development Office.
|Below is a letter from one recipient. May 19, 2008|
To Everyone Who Made This Possible:
I’m not quite sure how to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the generous David Starr Jordan Scholarship to help fund my recent, once-in-a-lifetime, study abroad trip to Costa Rica. I am very much honored to have been the recipient of this award. Without scholarship patrons like you, there would be many students, such as myself, unable to pursue the educational career they have dreamed of.
The study abroad program I took part in was a ten-day Spring in Costa Rica trip, where I was able to study Spanish, ecology, sociology, and eco-tourism, among other aspects of the country and culture. I mainly stayed in the Guanacaste region of the country, where I was able to visit various ecological parks, including dry tropical forests and cloud forests, the Arenal Volcano, hot springs, a zip-line canopy tour, Samara Beach, and I was even able to make an impact on a poor, rural community through a service learn-ing project. Costa Rican culture has always been of particular interest to me, and this experience broadened my perspective, not only socially, but personally.
As I learned on the trip, Costa Rica has a rich history of culture, language and religion. Without a doubt, I returned with a deeper awareness that cannot be learned in the classroom. International experience has helped me recognize and appreciate how culture influences values and behaviors, in addition to understanding the different value system Ticos adhere to. This program was of great importance in enhancing my long-term degree goals at IU South Bend, as learning abroad has increased my cultural awareness, independence and self-confidence. Overall, I have returned with a refreshing new perspective on life.
Education is an important factor in today’s world. In the fall, I will be half-way through my junior year at IU South Bend and will continue to work towards my undergraduate degree while pursuing a double major in International Business and Marketing. Having received this scholarship motivates me to maintain my 3.7 GPA in order to remain on the Dean’s List as I have the past six semesters. In addition, I was able to put this experience on my resume, which has aided me in several new opportunities.
Once I begin my career, I look forward to being able to give back to the community and deserving individuals in order to make their dreams, goals, and aspirations come true. One commitment that I am able to make is that I promise I will pay forward your generosity and support regardless of my financial ability. I will make it a priority to sacrifice, if need be, to give another student an opportunity as you have given me.