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Global Adventure:

President’s Circle support helps students study abroad

November 2016

"I've never hand-washed all of my clothes before and didn’t master the technique until I realized that hand-washing is an art—just like everything else here. I constantly ask myself why we need so many artificial items when necessities are right at our disposal like bare hands and a sun that always rises. In Ghana, people do not depend on systems, machines or factories. People depend on people."

When selecting a Study-Abroad destination, Shatesha Morris could have chosen any country. Her friends gently urged her to spend the 2016- 17 academic year in a more popular spot like France or England. But ease and familiarity are not her priorities. Challenges, Morris says, are what lead to greater personal and cultural awareness.

With this in mind, the third-year social work and criminal justice double-major chose to study at the University of Ghana-Legon in West Africa. It is in this foreign country more than 7,000 miles from home where she is grateful to experience language barriers and unfamiliar food, different types of people and transportation.

It is exactly these types of experiences that President Robert S. Nelsen wants for students. In fact, he is committed to helping students overcome financial barriers in order to study abroad.

“We have allotted, for the first time ever, $10,000 from the President’s Circle to offset the travel expenses for students who will study abroad this year,” said President Nelsen in his Spring Address to the campus community. Gifts to the President’s Circle’s unrestricted fund also address needs such as the ASI Food Pantry, Student Emergency Grant Fund and immersive learning.

A total of 52 Sac State students are currently spreading their wings in 15 countries around the globe. Janis Silvers, study abroad and international exchange coordinator, says that when it comes to real-world learning, few experiences are more impactful for a college student than the opportunity to live and study abroad. In addition to support from programs like the Presidents’s Circle, scholarships provide a financial boost that not only helps with educational expenses, but provides peace of mind.

“Scholarships can make the opportunity to study abroad real for students who otherwise could only dream of it,” Silvers says. “The extra funds a scholarship provides can contribute to costs such as a passport, visa from the host country, airfare and housing.”

Morris, the recipient of multiple scholarships, agrees.

“My scholarship money has alleviated a lot of the financial stress I initially felt,” she says. “Studying abroad is an overall amazing experience. It teaches one to be grateful for the many things we take for granted and allows for the exploration of different cultures, traditions and ways of life.”

Shatesha Morris at the University of Ghana-Legon in West Africa