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Campus Life + In the World

Many Scholarships Take Students Abroad

Marshall, Mitchell, and other scholarships reward academic achievement with graduate opportunities in other parts of the world

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Assistant Provost Suzanne Kennedy encourages students to explore scholarship opportunities. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

As the academic year draws to a close, Viktorya Vilk’s concerns are not yet centered on making good grades — she needs to find an apartment in London, where she will spend the next two years. Vilk (CAS’07), a senior staff assistant in the Office of Sponsored Programs, leaves in the fall to study art conservation at London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. She is the grateful recipient of a Marshall Scholarship, given by the United Kingdom for study at any university in the country.

The Marshall Scholarship is one of several that reward high academic achievement and scholarly potential with opportunites for graduate study abroad. Others are Fulbright Grants, which fund study in over 155 countries around the world, Rhodes Scholarships, which send students to Oxford University, Mitchell Scholarships, which pay for study at universities in Ireland, and scholarships provided by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, which funds study in Germany. For more information on sources of funding for study abroad, click here.

Suzanne Kennedy, a Boston University assistant provost, encourages students to consider applying for such scholarships, as well as for the many programs that fund graduate study within the United States. She wants students to know that her office is available to help develop the applications for these competitive programs. Kennedy suggests that students who are thinking about applying start by speaking with her. All of the applications are different, she says, in terms of academic requirements, application format, and required elements. “If you’re going to apply to study abroad under the auspices of one of these programs, it’s very important to do your homework,” she says. “You should think about what country, program, and institution would be a good match for your interests.”

Vilk, who plans to complete two graduate degrees (one in art curating and the other in French painting) while at the Courtauld Institute, says that the application process for the Marshall Scholarship was arduous, but it was well worth the effort.

“The application took a lot of drafts and planning,” Vilk says. “Fortunately, BU is very good about helping to prepare for the interviews, which can be brutal.” She advises applicants to practice their interviewing skills with as many mock interviews as they can.

In addition to the opportunities administered by the Office of the Provost, Kennedy directs students to helpful scholarship search engines on the Web, such as FastWeb and Scholarships.com. Scholarship opportunities are also often sent directly to academic departments and/or individual colleges. The process, while not easy, can have a huge payoff.

The deadline to submit your application to BU for preselection for Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell Scholarships is Friday, September 5, 2008, and for Fulbright and DAAD scholarships, it’s Friday, September 12, 2008. For more information, e-mail bufellow@bu.edu or visit BU’s Fellowship and Scholarship Web site.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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