New program helps with costs of summer study abroad

A new program at Vanderbilt will provide scholarships to help undergraduate students pay the costs of studying abroad during the summer. Vanderbilt Student Government (VSG) leaders Joseph Williams and Wyatt Smith proposed the student aid and worked with Provost Richard McCarty to create the Global Summer Fellows Program. Williams is president of VSG and Smith serves as the organization’s executive vice president.

The scholarships will be university stipends that can be used to offset the costs for student enrolling in Vanderbilt-approved, credit-bearing summer study and Maymester programs.

Student interested in applying for a scholarship will be required to submit an essay on how the proposed summer experience will best enhance their education and why they are interested in summer study versus spending a semester studying abroad. Each applicant also will be required to submit a detailed budget for his or her study, including whether additions sources of income and financial aid will be used.

The Global Education Office will oversee the program and a committee comprised of representatives from the GEO, the Office of Student Financial Aid, faculty and students will award the scholarships. Applicants will be evaluated on a number of factors including demonstrated financial need, individual program costs, essay quality and an interview and individual circumstances. Of these factors, demonstrated financial need will be weighted the heaviest.

The program’s funding of $250,000 will provide scholarships to about 25 to 30 students at levels up to $8,500 for up to eight weeks of study.