UNH’s Diversity Abroad Award helps students gain international experience

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Students in Africa show their UNH pride

A recent grant is helping more UNH students access study-abroad opportunities.

UNH’s Center for International Education and Global Engagement (CIEGE) was awarded a prestigious grant to help more students afford the academic and career-changing opportunities study abroad offers.

CIEGE received the $7,500 grant from the Institute of International Education (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative this spring — one of only a handful of Commitment Partner campuses to receive an award.

The goal, explains Gregg Orifici, CIEGE’s director of global initiatives, is to “diversify and increase our study-abroad participation during the next academic year. A generous donor who values the impact of education abroad committed $10,000 to match the award, making it possible for us to participate in this grant competition. As a result, UNH now has $17,500 of new grant money to award— seven scholarships of $2,500 each.”

Diversity Abroad Awards

UNH students at a CIEGE scholarship event
Scholarship winners at a recent event.

A total of 11 study-abroad scholarship winners were honored by the Center for International Education and Global Engagement this spring.

Among them, Yamilex Bencosme ’18 of Chicopee, Massachusetts, and Austin Tsao ’19 of Bristol, New Hampshire, received Diversity Abroad Award scholarships.

Read more about their stories.

CIEGE is using the funds to expand the scope its Diversity Abroad Award, which was initiated last fall.

“Providing greater access to international experience and increasing our study-abroad participation rate among students are priorities of the university,” notes Kerryellen Vroman, interim associate vice provost for international programs.

In 2016, UNH signed IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, committing to make significant progress on these goals by the year 2020.

“We would like to encourage all UNH undergraduates to study abroad and reduce as much as possible the barriers to participation," says Vroman. "It is recognized in the education field that study abroad enhances academic performance and increases career opportunities. We also know that international experience builds respect and appreciation for other cultures and difference."

“The Diversity Abroad Award aims to provide financial support for low-income, first-generation and minority students to study abroad and to expand the number of students studying abroad overall,” Orifici explains. “This includes students in majors least likely to study abroad, such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health.”

CIEGE granted two Diversity Abroad Awards this spring. Yamilex Bencosme '18, a sociology and women’s studies major, will study in Thailand, while Austin Tsao '19, a computer science major, will study in Greece.             

“We are excited to significantly increase the number and amount of Diversity Abroad Awards UNH can offer,” Orifici notes. “These scholarships will provide necessary support for students to meet the additional costs of study abroad, such as international airfare, spending money and lost work-study earnings while abroad.” 

“CIEGE would like to thank the UNH Foundation for their support of the grant application,” adds Vroman.

In the award letter to UNH President Mark Huddleston, IIE president and CEO Allan E. Goodman commended UNH and CIEGE for “outstanding efforts to collaborate across campus.”

Find out more about studying abroad and available scholarships through UNH Global.