Four students receive prestigious Boren Award to study abroad

Four University of Oregon students recently received some promising news about their plans to study abroad next year. They are the recipients of the 2019-20 Boren Awards.

The prestigious awards are distributed by the Institute of International Education, on behalf of the National Security Education Program. Three undergraduate students received Boren scholarships and one graduate student received a Boren fellowship to study abroad next year.

The awards bear the name of David L. Boren, primary author of the legislation that created the NSEP. Preference is given to students who are studying less commonly taught languages, or who plan to study in world regions that are usually underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. foreign interests.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Vincent Collins, international studies and Chinese double major 2020, who will participate in the Flagship Capstone Program at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China, $11,300.
  • Chloe Mills, political science 2020, who will study at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, $20,000.
  • Ally Shaw, linguistics and Asian studies 2020, who will study at the Seoul National University Exchange in Seoul, Korea, $20,000.
  • Michelle Nikfarjam, Master’s candidate in International Studies specializing in food studies, will study intensive Hindi through the South Asian Flagship Language Initiative in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, $29,000.

“Our Boren recipients are committed to public service, preserving critical languages, and using their experience to advance national security and global understanding in an interconnected world,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost for the Division of Global Engagement. “It is truly an honor to have three Boren scholars and one Boren fellow from the University of Oregon. Our students continue to have a strong representation in international education and we are elated.”

Undergraduates can receive up to $20,000 in scholarships to apply to their study abroad experience. In exchange for funding, scholars agree to fulfill a service requirement after graduation working for select federal U.S. departments and agencies for at least one year. For graduate fellows, award packages can go up to $30,000 and fellowships must last for a minimum of 12 weeks to a maximum of one year.

Boren scholarships are immensely competitive and students are encouraged to plan several months in advance of the award deadline. Applicants for these distinguished awards often receive invaluable assistance and advice from advisors and staff in the division’s Global Education Oregon office.

The office plays a crucial role in connecting students with appropriate scholarships, grants, and programs that best fit them, said Luis Ruiz, assistant director for student success and analytics at GEO.

“We want to support students in having the type of transformative experiences abroad that really shaped who we are, how we see the world, how we interact with different societies, cultures, peoples,” Ruiz said. “We had those experience ourselves and we want students to have that type of experience as well. Everything we can do to raise awareness about these scholarships, to encourage them to apply, to advise them along the way so that they can be successful in that process really align well with our overall mission at GEO.”

More information about GEO, study abroad opportunities, and scholarships is available online.

-Lizzy Elkins, University Communications