This fall, CU launched the new Global Opportunity (GO) Scholars program, a financial aid program that gives first-generation and low-income students the opportunity to study abroad.
The program awards high-achieving first-generation, low-income and other underrepresented students with a one-time scholarship worth $4,000 for a semester abroad, or $2,000 for summer-long programs. Students awarded scholarships can use the funds at any point during their time at CU.
“The program is open to all majors, and going abroad and still graduating on time is certainly possible,” Liza Hensleigh, a study abroad advisor at the Office of International Education, said.
The CU-LEAD Alliance, a set of learning communities striving to promote excellence, nominates scholars to be selected once they have been admitted to CU. Recipients of the scholarship, which does not have an official name, are notified prior to their first year of study. This helps students make plans to study abroad early on, in the hopes that they can budget their schedules in order to graduate on time.
Hernan Lopez, a 19-year-old freshman majoring in engineering, was elected to be a GO scholar. Lopez is a first generation Mexican-American low-income student, who said he was honored to be a part of the program.
“It can enrich my career and future by giving me the opportunity to experience, first-hand, different views and communities where I can gain a new or different perspective and be culturally aware,” Lopez said.
The GO Scholars program also offers seminars to assist students preparing to study abroad and apply for additional financial aid, Lopez said.
Hensleigh said students are not required to know a foreign language to study abroad, since CU coordinates programs with universities that offer courses in English.
Before the GO Scholars program, Lopez said he did not know that studying abroad was available to him.
“I was glad I was finally attending the university of my dreams, and anything else like studying abroad seemed impossible,” Lopez said. “Now it’s a reality.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lena Schneider at email@example.com