Scott Aronson ’92 and his wife, Amanda, believe that global education is critical in today’s climate. “We see tremendous value in traveling to countries where English is not the primary spoken language because it builds perspective and respect for other cultures,” Scott Aronson says.
While he never studied abroad in college, Aronson’s work running an emergency management firm that supports the healthcare industry takes him around the world, most recently throughout the Middle East. His wife studied abroad while at Elon University and the family enjoys traveling. “I’ve had to work hard to prepare myself to be a well-oriented traveler and appreciate how travel continues to augment my education,” Aronson says.
The Aronsons recently established the Aronson Family Experiential Learning Fund in UNH’s College of Liberal Arts (COLA) in order to help more students take advantage of international travel. “With so many students working simply to finance their general education, study abroad and other experiential learning opportunities may just be out of reach, and we can help fill that gap,” says Aronson. The fund encourages travel to non-English-speaking countries and will support its first beneficiaries in the fall of 2019.
Talk to Andrew Jablonski ’19 and you understand the impact a gift like the Aronsons’ can make.
Jablonski already loved French when he arrived at UNH; then he discovered German. “I’m an outgoing person, and learning other languages gives me new spaces in which to talk to people and understand how they live,” he says. With rigorous language classes pushing him toward fluency, he was eager to study abroad but knew his family couldn’t cover the extra costs.
Receiving a donor-funded B. Thomas Trout Scholarship from COLA allowed him to participate in UNH’s intensive summer language program in Berlin, Germany. A second Trout scholarship and a grant from UNH Global helped him spend a semester each in Dijon, France, and Munich, Germany. Jablonski says studying abroad showed him a path to defining personal success beyond the classroom. He discovered that what made him vulnerable — navigating a new environment and culture, meeting new people, living with a host family — also gave him confidence to seek out new challenges.
Last summer, he lived in Berlin with friends of his former host family and studied independently for the seven-hour European Language Certificate (TELC) German exam, then stayed through the fall to intern in the public affairs office at the American Embassy. Jablonski scored at the near-native level of fluency on the TELC, which entitles him to live and work in Germany and opens the door to a future that he might never have imagined but for studying abroad. He is a semifinalist for a Fulbright English teaching apprenticeship next year and hopes to earn a graduate degree in Germany.
The Aronsons are happy to support students in COLA, where Scott was a political science major, in honor of what UNH invested in him. “In my first year as a student, I struggled to find my path, yet I always had the support of my professors and other students,” he says. The Aronsons are also mindful of the uncertainty that can surround funding for public universities and believes much can be done through thoughtful public/private partnerships.
Any investment in education for students is always worth it,” Aronson says.