Luther Alumni Magazine

Scholarships to the world

Maasai women and children in Engikaret village teach Abby Vidmar '19 and other Luther students how to bead. Photo by Jessica Zhou.
Maasai women and children in Engikaret village teach Abby Vidmar '19 and other Luther students how to bead. Photo by Jessica Zhou.

Scholarships make it possible for many students to learn off campus. These students connect with global issues, broaden their perspectives, and engage in culturally, intellectually, and personally transformative experiences.

Abby Vidmar ’19 was the recipient of the Melin International Studies Scholarship. Established by Rev. John C. ’70 and Barbara E. Melin and Bennett D. Melin, the scholarship is awarded to an international studies major to manage and meet expenses related to tuition, travel, room and board, and living expenses while abroad in a developing or non-European nation, with preference given to sub-Saharan African nations. Vidmar used the scholarship to travel to Tanzania for Luther’s Ecology and Human Origins course in fall 2017.

Africa had long captured Vidmar’s imagination, but, she says, “I did not want a tourist experience, but rather I wanted to be fully immersed in an African country, society, and culture.”

Abby Vidmar '19 (left) and Esther Lazaro, a Maasai translator, worked closely throughout Vidmar's independent research project in Tanzania. Photo by Jessica Zhou.
Abby Vidmar '19 (left) and Esther Lazaro, a Maasai translator, worked closely throughout Vidmar's independent research project in Tanzania. Photo by Jessica Zhou.

The experience of studying abroad helped Vidmar, an anthropology and international studies double major, discover her “deep passion for research—specifically for working with people to learn new perspectives and collaboratively investigate possible solutions to help alleviate challenges and create opportunities for the future. I believe this experience has set me on my future path . . . and taught me to appreciate each moment, take in each experience, and build my world understanding through people, connections, and interactions.”

About the aid she received, Vidmar says, “The Melin International Studies Scholarship was indispensable in providing me the opportunity to travel and live in Tanzania. It allowed me to enjoy my experience because I did not have to focus on on how I was going to afford it. Words cannot express my appreciation for such an incredible gift.”

Students like Vidmar benefit from 30 distinct scholarships that provide more than $110,000 in annual scholarship support to help Luther students connect to a much larger world.

If you are interested in helping Luther students fulfill their dream of studying abroad, contact the Luther College Development Office, [email protected], or (800) 225-8664.