Four University of North Georgia students were selected for the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) program, which grants awards of up to $5,000 for students who demonstrate financial need to fulfill their plans of study abroad in Asia.
In addition, two students were awarded alternate status and may move up. Many of these students have applied for multiple awards both this year and in the past to fund study abroad.
“The students have been able to manage not only applying to their particular education abroad programs, but also to multiple scholarships. These students are a testament to the caliber of UNG’s Chinese Flagship and East Asian Studies programs. We are excited for them to go abroad and know they will be successful with the support of our overseas partners,” Daniela Martinez Kahn, associate director, Center for Global Engagement, said.
For Hannah Barker, a senior pursuing a degree in East Asian studies, time in South Korea will support her effort to immerse herself in the culture.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the chance to have applied for this scholarship. When I found out I was granted the award, I was shocked and in disbelief, but beyond grateful,” Barker said. “I plan to use this as a chance to learn my target language and improve my fluency while gaining understanding of one of my closest friend’s culture, history, and language.”
Emily Ragon, a senior pursuing a degree in biology, left in late May to experience Taiwan. Freeman-ASIA will help her fulfill a fifth year capstone requirement in UNG’s Chinese Language Flagship program.
“I am excited to receive such a scholarship because it will allow me to participate in an intensive and immersive language program, which I have never done before, and I think this will help me reach a high proficiency level in the language,” Ragon said.
The Flagship program has already given Ragon many opportunities and resources to help her become a physician assistant working in a bilingual medical clinic or hospital, she said.
Ragon said she will finish her biology major requirements in spring 2023, adding that she is working on a degree in modern languages with a Chinese for global professionals concentration which she hopes to graduate with in fall 2023.
Junior Susana Olivo Sandoval is headed to Japan to further her modern languages and east Asian studies. Her intended majors are modern languages with a Spanish concentration and east Asian studies with a Japanese concentration.
“One of my dreams since high school was to study abroad, but money was always an issue for me. Finally, thanks to my fantastic scholarship advisors. I got the Freeman Asia award to study abroad in Japan in the spring semester of 2023,” Sandoval said. “I am excited because this will be my first time traveling abroad, and this is the first time I have applied for this scholarship. I hope to improve my language skills and learn more about culture with this opportunity. “
Kimberly Burns, a senior pursuing a degree in east Asian studies, is headed to Taiwan, something she’s wanted to do since beginning her Mandarin Chinese language study four years ago.
“Now that dream is finally going to be a reality,” Burns said.
Alternates Ella Reid and Alexander Howell received alternate status. Reid aims to study in Taiwan, and Howell seeks to study in Japan.
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