International Program Development offers need-based scholarship for study abroad

Peter Kotecki, Reporter

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Northwestern’s International Program Development is offering a new scholarship this year for Summer Quarter study abroad.

IPD offers more than a dozen programs for NU students including three in China, two in Cuba, one in Germany, one in Mexico and one in Tanzania.

Developed, designed and administered by IPD, several of these programs are specifically for NU students. The new scholarship will be proportional to students’ financial aid during other quarters, but it will not count toward one of the 12 quarters of financial aid eligibility, said Janka Pieper, marketing communications manager of IPD.

“In an effort to make our programs more accessible to more students, we created this need-based scholarship so that more students can go study abroad,” she said. 

The scholarships help fund a variety of studies, including public health, culture and energy technology, according to IPD’s website.

NU students that have received different scholarships sponsored by IPD in the past discussed their experiences with studying abroad.

Weinberg junior Lucy Blumberg participated in the Public Health in Cuba program in summer 2014 after receiving the Hill-Urbina Global Health Study Fellowship. The program entailed writing blog posts during the trip and a reflection at the end of the program, Blumberg said.

“It was another way for myself to reflect on the experience and to try to understand a little better how my experience would fit contextually into my academic experience,” Blumberg said.

While other IPD fellowships usually range between $1,000 and $3,000, the new scholarship will help cover more than that, because it is designed to cover tuition, housing, health insurance and other costs, Pieper said. 

“Studying abroad is a tremendous and valuable experience, but we know that there are various costs involved, and that finances can be a burden,” Pieper said. “Some students don’t even consider studying abroad as an option during their academic career because of the cost associated with it.” 

Weinberg junior Sunny Song also traveled to Cuba last summer as part of the Culture and Society program.

“The reason why I was able to go is because they did give me a scholarship,” Song said about IPD. “If there was no opportunity like that, I probably wouldn’t have chosen that program.”

Song said going to Cuba was a very good learning experience, and she was able to use some of her credits received in Cuba toward her Spanish major. One of the four classes she took focused on the Cuban health system, and it was interesting to learn about global health without being in that particular program, she added.

The application deadline for the new need-based scholarship and for other opportunities to study abroad during Summer Quarter is March 1, 2015.

Twitter: @peterkotecki