I found out about the study abroad trips at SVSU through the Foundation Scholars program. After going to Mexico in my first semester of my college experience, I can honestly say that it was an experience I will never forget. From the beautiful scenery to the vibrant essence the people of Mexico naturally have, it was an incredible trip. Being thrown into a completely new country really allows you to analyze how one’s culture is in their own country. I think that having this opportunity to study abroad through the Foundation Scholars program is one of its best attributes. I have gained a whole new friend group that I typically would not be exposed to being that I play football for the team. I was able to leave with long-lasting friendships and a new appreciation for the place we all call home. I was also fortunate enough to work with the study abroad office this past summer working with exchange students from across the globe. It’s safe to say that without being a member of the foundation scholars program that I would not have been able to experience any of this my first year. It has been one the greatest decisions I’ve made thus far and I am glad that I can share my experiences with future members.
The Foundation Scholars Program was the first of many opportunities given to me by Saginaw Valley State University. With this program, I have met some of my closest friends, connected with people outside of my social group, and have even stepped foot in a country outside of my own. Foundation Scholars has allowed me, by relieving some of the financial burden as well as providing me with great resources and examples of past students, to study abroad and make the most of my SVSU experience. I spent a month abroad in Paros Island, Greece, taking six credits while being able to indulge and explore in a culture outside of my own. I have grown in my time here at SVSU and Foundation Scholars is a contributor to my growth.
My experience within the Foundation Scholars Program has been one of the most transformational during my time as a student at Saginaw Valley State University. As a Scholar, not only have I met my closest friends, I have watched those friends and other members of my cohort become some of the most active student leaders on our campus. Within the Scholars program, they afford you the opportunities and financial support to build on your leadership skills and help you become more globally aware. I used my stipend through Foundation Scholars to spend 2 weeks in India on a Faculty-Led Study Abroad. Here, we were immersed in Indian business. Through various visits we learned about Indian business etiquette, Indian business law and regulation, and the excitement behind its growing economy. Not only did I experience a culture and country that is much different from the United States, I made connections with SVSU faculty, students, and expanded my network internationally. I cite Foundation Scholars for driving my growth as a student, leader on campus, and a globally-aware citizen.
I was fortunate to learn about study abroad opportunities through Global Foundation Scholars! My advisors and faculty helped me find a study abroad experience to Kathmandu, Nepal. Our group's mission was to help a self-sustaining, organic farm on the hillside near the Himalayan mountains. We were to work with local citizens, directors and women workers of the farm to create an Emergency Shelter guide following the earthquakes of 2015. I had never thought about traveling to Asia before this and now I want to go back! Since returning from my experience abroad I have helped with mentoring International students and have become more culturally aware on my own campus! Global Foundation Scholars allowed me the financial and emotional support to help me travel and become more globally aware of issues that face our world. The Global Foundation Scholars program has allowed me to grow as a leader and meet some of my best friends from this program! Since coming in as a freshman I've been able to watch fellow scholars grow on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University and now it allows me to help the new cohort's of scholars feel at home and welcomed into our SVSU family! Global Foundation Scholars got me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow into someone eager to travel, to help others learn about the cultures in our world and appreciate the diversity of students that makes us unique as a student body!