Luther College presents sophomore study away scholarships

November 6, 2019

With more than 2,000 study away programs available, Luther College opens unlimited possibilities and new, rare experiences to students.

To make study away opportunities more feasible, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Luther College Center for Global Learning and Center for Sustainable Communities hosted the Sophomore Study Away Scholarship Giveaway during which three sophomores were chosen at random to receive a $1,000 scholarship to go towards their future study away experience. Those students were Rachelle Sullivan, Rebekah Lazzeroni and Jessi Labenski. It was also a chance for sophomores to hear the stories of their peers who have already had the chance to study away.

"I really liked the story about swimming in Ireland. I thought that was just such a cool moment. I loved that she shared one memory that she had that was really vivid and comes back to her because I think that's really what leaving campus and seeing new places is all about," said Labenski.

Students also told stories about their experiences in Tanzania, Nottingham and Malta, to name a few. Other study away veterans were available for small-group discussion at each of the tables. One of last year's winners, AJ Bierwirth, a junior Nordic studies major, also discussed what her experience abroad was like after spending a semester in Oslo, Norway.

"Anyone who can study away should do it and if you don't think you can then you should still try!" said Bierwirth.

Sullivan, an elementary education major with an endorsement in special education, has no concrete plans for her scholarship but hopes that it will be used to return to China.

"I've been out of the country once with my family, but this would be my first time out of the country without my family, which would be more independent and that is what I am really excited for," she said.

Similar to Sullivan, Lazzeroni, who is majoring in accounting, doesn't have any study away plans yet but would like to return to Europe after her last adventure in Vienna with the Luther College Symphony Orchestra.

"I'm most excited for the chance to have more time to explore and learn new things and meet the people involved," said Lazzeroni.

Labenski, who is a double major in biology and environmental studies, plans to use her scholarship this January when she travels to Holden Village in Washington for a course on environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. "I'm just super excited to learn about how people live carbon neutral and how we can implement that in different places," she said.

Luther College is among the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation for the number of students who study abroad prior to graduation, with more than two-thirds of Luther students studying off-campus during their college experience. Luther offers the chance for students to study away over a semester, a J-term or during the summer in a variety of domestic and international locations. The college awards more than $200,000 in study away scholarships each year in an effort to make the experience as accessible as possible.

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