Students Secure Scholarships to Fund Their Study Abroad

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2017) — At University of Kentucky, students can pursue a variety of global experiences and UK Education Abroad & Exchanges partners with reputable, affiliate organizations to expand the breadth of international options for students. Affiliate organizations also offer excellent scholarship opportunities. Sixteen UK students were recently awarded a combined total of $18,600 in scholarships through Education Abroad and Exchanges (UK EA) partner programs International Studies Abroad (ISA), SOL Education Abroad, Arcadia University and Academic Programs International (API). Awardees will use the funds to support their education abroad programs, including tuition, textbooks, local transportation and international airfare.

After meeting minimum requirements, award winners were chosen through a competitive selection process. The goals of the partner programs align with UK EA's own goal of making education abroad financially attainable to all students. Scholarships and financial aid often allow students ― who otherwise may not be able to experience international education opportunities ― the ability to do so.

“As a former first-generation college student myself, I would not have been able to study abroad without a scholarship,” said Miko McFarland, executive director of Education Abroad and Exchanges at UK. “UK EA deeply understands the need to support our students with funding to make experiences like this possible.”

Lexington native Shatha Shalash, a junior majoring in communication sciences and disorders, is one of two ISA scholarship recipients. Shalash recently returned from studying in Amman, Jordan, as part of ISA's Arabic Language Study program, where she enhanced her knowledge of the Arabic language, culture and religion. 

"Global experience is important to me because it's so much more than learning a language,” Shalash said. “Global experiences include interactions with people and experiences that one can't grasp at home.”

“Broadening my horizons and stepping out of my comfort zone was something I knew I wanted to try, and I am so glad I did,” said one of API's scholarship recipients, Taylor Van Thournout, an accounting and marketing major. “The gift of education and travel go hand-in-hand. I'm glad that EA gives me the opportunity to experience both of these things.” Van Thournout, from St. Charles, Illinois, participated in the API program in Rome, Italy, this past summer.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, $490,000 in scholarships were awarded to UK students through UK EA and partner programs.

“We partner with reputable providers to expand the array of education abroad offerings available to UK students,” McFarland said. “With that, our partners may offer generous scholarships to help offset the cost of travel. We really value partnerships that prioritize the need to make education abroad more financially feasible.”

ISA has 30 years of experience in providing university students education abroad opportunities in over 25 countries worldwide. Over 1,100 UK students have participated in ISA programs since its affiliation in 2006. In 2012 an ISA embedded office was established in UK EA's department, located in Bradley Hall. ISA awarded two students one $5,000 scholarship each to: 

• Taylor Roots, of Richmond, Virginia, and 

• Shatha Shalash, of Lexington.

SOL Education Abroad's programs offer interactive Spanish language immersion while focusing on the importance of intercultural exchanges in a global environment. Program destinations include Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. SOL has awarded three UK students scholarships:

• Grace Proffitt, of Louisville, Kentucky, 

• Jennifer Rawe, of Alexandria, Kentucky, and 

• Hannah Sombeck, of Danvers, Illinois.

Arcadia offers a wide range of programs throughout the world, including Europe, Africa and Australia. Their internship programs in London, Dublin and Sydney are particularly popular, as well as the Irish and Scottish Parliamentary Internship Programs. Students can take courses at local institutions or with other study abroad participants. This year's Arcadia recipients were: 

• Jordan Shuck, of Columbia, South Carolina, 

• Melissa Hong, of Hilliard, Ohio,

• Jackie Wood, of Orchard Lake, Michigan, and 

• Kylie Dougherty, Dublin, Ohio.

API provides high-quality international programs with the goal of providing students with enriching experiences both academically and professionally. UK API partnership programs are available in Florence, Rome and Tuscania, Italy. The UK API recipients were:

• Emma Holbrook, of Prospect, Kentucky,

• Taylor Van Thournout, of St. Charles, Illinois,

• Sara Lee, of Villa Hills, Kentucky,

• Parker Michel, of Tampa, Florida,

• Matthew Villareal, of Wilder, Kentucky,

 • Sydney Hoback, of Springboro, Ohio, and 

• Elise Motzel, of Cary, Illinois.

Important scholarship deadlines for UK EA programs are: Dec. 1 for embedded, Feb. 1 for summer, and April 1 for fall programs. For more scholarship information and opportunities, visit

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue