/New scholarship, more possibilities

New scholarship, more possibilities

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Valario Johnson
News Editor

The Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness is an internationally focused scholarship that both offers students a chance to study abroad and gives them an edge in the global job market.
The Troy University Foundation and the Car Tag Program sponsor the scholarship.
This study abroad scholarship is available to graduate and undergraduate students who have attended Troy for at least one semester, is in good standing with the university and has maintained a 2.5 GPA while doing so.
The selection committee intends to award recipients with $750 that will go towards their study abroad expenses.
Additionally, students who receive the scholarship are required to attend a university-approved study abroad opportunity that would be applied towards the students’ degrees.
The scholarship would normally have an application deadline of Jan. 15 for spring and summer trips and Apr. 15 for fall studies, but because of the abrupt debut of the scholarship, the selection committee is working around this.
“This year, we will work on a rolling application basis,” said Orlando Pacheco, Troy University’s director of study abroad programs and a member of the scholarship’s selection committee. “We really sent out the information too late, so we can’t expect students to have it ready.”
With the scholarship being a new university addition, Pacheco does not expect more than 70 applications for the first applicant pool; however, as students become more aware of the benefits the scholarship can offer, he expects to have at least 100 applicants, especially with this year’s scholarship fund budgeted for 100 scholarships.
The budget is expected to fluctuate over the years, depending on the amount of student interest the scholarship garners.
Being that the scholarship is of monetary value, it serves a purpose, in respect to the student’s personal experience. The student is expected to gain something culturally meaningful during and after their excursion abroad.
“This program helps to celebrate the different cultures that we have in America,” Pacheco said.  “When you compare things, you learn, and you will be able to value what is at home.”
Pacheco hopes any student’s purpose who studies abroad, with or without the scholarship, is willing to explore how to be internationally savvy. To be able to functionally operate and learn how to tackle problems outside of your comfort zone is what teaches you to have respect for what you have, Pacheco explained.
The barrier that Americans face with studying abroad, Pacheco said, is a geographical element. Having such a broad span between the United States and other countries that speak other languages, hinders Americans from learning or understanding other cultures. Because of this unawareness, students in America, especially in Troy, are not as excited about studying abroad. Often, this is because the student does not know another language.
“Immersion is a non-scholastic way of learning,” Pacheco said. “The culture and the language will permeate you. You can survive in a country without knowing the language.”
The Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness is attempting to break these barriers and fears. Pacheco said that Troy is integrated in helping students embrace the international world market and that this scholarship was indicative of that. Pacheco also said that the initiative was created and embraced by the university, and he has been with it at every level of its progression.
“Students are smart, and they know how to get ahead. We are trying to foster students who want to engage in the global market,” Pacheco said. “I just provide them the opportunity to learn. In order to succeed, you need to understand what the boundaries of the whole world are.”
Pacheco also encourages students to inquire more about researching abroad for extended periods of time. He said that many students are ill-informed of the opportunities Troy offers in this respect, and that, financially, the price to study abroad for six months or longer is equal, if not cheaper, to the price of tuition and fees at Troy University.
“In the past, it was expensive,” Pacheco said. “But now, it’s not, when you eliminate double jeopardy.”
Before Pacheco was recruited by the Chancellor to serve as the study abroad coordinator, he said that students who studied abroad during that time had to pay a double jeopardy. The student would have to pay tuition and fees at both Troy and the international institution of their choice.
When Pacheco arrived at Troy, he said he worked diligently to change that, and he did.
Pacheco said that to study abroad in either Costa Rica or Germany would cost a student $5400 and $5500 in tuition and fees a semester, respectively, which he pointed out is comparable to what students are charged on the Troy campus.
Even more, the student has the choice of paying Troy tuition or international tuition, which could be seen as a benefit for out-of-state students, who pay double the regular Troy tuition and fees an in-state student pays.
Pacheco explained that if you are out-of-state, you have the option to pay the international university’s tuition and fees instead of Troy tuition and fees, which more than halves the price of secondary education, for most students.
If a student decides to study for just a few weeks or plan to have an extended stay, the scholarship is open to all who qualify.
Pacheco said that students should seriously contemplate why they want to study abroad.
“Why do you want this money,” Pacheco asked students. “How will it benefit you?”
Meredith Hidle, a junior biomedical sciences major from Dothan, planned to study abroad within Spain’s healthcare system this summer, and believed the scholarship would have definitely helped with financing her abroad studies. This particular trip to Spain would have also counted towards Hidle’s degree.
“I know the class counts as one of my upper level classes, which I like,” Hidle said. “In addition, I would not only have the chance to shadow physicians but do that while experiencing a completely different and new culture.”
After scholarship recipients return from the trip abroad, they are required to submit a paper on their experience and what they gained from their time overseas. Also, the student may have to offer a presentation about their travels if requested by the selection committee.
More information on the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness and the university’s international programs can be found at http://trojan.troy.edu/internationalprograms/.
Earl Ingram, senior vice chancellor of academic affairs, is appointing the selection committee today. Word as to if this commemoration is public is not certain.
Serving on the committee is Pacheco; Hal Fulmer, associate provost; Curtis Porter, associate vice chancellor of international affairs; Johanna Alberich, assistant professor of modern languages and classics; and Jean Laliberte, associate vice chancellor of advancement.