John Wyatt – Staff Writer
One of Centre’s biggest values is the idea of studying abroad. This is evident in the high percentage of students that study abroad at least once during their time at Centre College. Nearly 85% of students spend either a semester in popular locations such as Strasbourg, France, London, England, or Merida, Mexico, or their Centre Term in one of the dozens of locations available each winter. Some students even choose to attend graduate programs abroad. This is what the new scholarship available aims to do for Centre students.
The new Global Grant Scholarship from Rotary International, an organization that looks to bring together both business and professional leaders to help promote goodwill internationally, is offering a new scholarship for 2014 graduates to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree outside of North America. The scholarship offers a minimum of $30,000 (with the possibility of renewing up to four years) for post-graduate study.
Student’s post-graduate studies must fit into one of the broad “humanitarian areas” that the new Rotary scholarship covers. These areas include: economic and community development, basic education and literacy, peace and conflict prevention/resolution, maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, and water and sanitation. The qualities that the new scholarship seek in applicants include criteria such as “excellent leadership skills and [leadership] potential,” “proven record of success in his/her academic field or vocation,” and a “personal commitment to community service.”
The new scholarship replaces the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, something several Centre students have previously received after their graduation. “Centre students were very successful in winning these,” Director of the Center for Global Citizenship Milton Reigelman said. “I can think of about 15 students that I’ve worked with who have been able to spend a year in Oxford University, Australia, all over the map.”
The application process is the handled by the local Rotary Club, a collection of prominent community members including doctors, lawyers, college staff, and others. Not only does the Rotary Club hope to bring promising people together locally, but also internationally. “It is a way to connect the leaders in a town that don’t always know each other,” Reigelman said. “[The scholarship]… also has the ideal of connecting countries.”
Not only are Centre faculty members excited about the scholarships, but students are as well. Junior Nathaniel Deaton, who has spent the past summer doing research in India as well as in Israel, hopes to add a few more stamps to his passport with this new scholarship.
“It’s definitely realistic; it gives you the opportunity to get outside of the US and see how the world works. I don’t know why you wouldn’t take this opportunity if you had the chance,” Deaton said.
Senior Chelsea Neal plans on applying for the new scholarship. “I have been considering a few different options, but I definitely plan on applying,” Neal said. Neal spent her summer studying in Uganda, and she would like to study further there in the future. For Neal, the ability to have less debt coming out of graduate school is a crucial reason for her application. “A lot of times students can’t afford to study abroad because the careers that follow these paths are rewarding, but may not be the most lucrative financially. So having a scholarship available where you can go abroad and get a degree, and work in a career that is personally fulfilling without a massive amount of debt hanging over you is a huge plus.”
All three cite the huge positive experience studying abroad in a more intense setting. “A number of our students think globally, having studied abroad at Centre, and like the idea of studying at a foreign university,” Reigelman said.
“It can give you a bigger sense of the world around you, since we tend to get so caught up in what’s going on in our lives,” Deaton said.
“I think you can show through your [international] degree that you’re a person who is willing to take risks, can live in a foreign culture, can adapt to a different environment, which is valuable to employers,” Neal said.
For more information, there will be a meeting at 4:00 on Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the Davidson Room of Carnegie.