Every year, HI USA gets to support dozens of young people who are about to embark on the journey of their lives. Thanks to the Explore the World Scholarship, aspiring travelers who would otherwise not have the funds to go abroad to study or volunteer get a little extra help. Over the years, scholarship recipients have traveled all over the world to do a little good, returning home with rich experiences that help them become positive influences in their own communities. Take a look below at just a few of the inspirational journeys these young folks have taken. If you’re inspired to follow in their footsteps, you can sign up here to receive updates on applying for an Explore the World Scholarship of your own in 2020!
Volunteering at an Art Museum in Nepal
When Allie Stephens first arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal to begin her volunteer work at the Children’s Art Museum of Nepal, she was intimidated by all the new sights and sounds. But by the time she left, she had and led workshops at different schools, connected with local teachers about the importance of art in their curriculums, and navigated her way around the city that had seemed so intimidating at first.
“Through this scholarship and my time in Nepal, I experienced genuine discovery and gained a trust in how the unknown turns into the things you can know and love. I learned so much about the world, but also so much about myself,” Allie says.
Joining a Pre-Med Fellowship in Spain
Trenisha Bennet had never left the country before or been on a plane when she took the plunge and applied for the Atlantis Fellowship Program, which sets up medical students in the US with hospitals in Europe for a few weeks. Trenisha chose to go to Manresa, Spain and spent three weeks shadowing physicians there, supporting her aspirations to become a Research Physician in the field of neuro-gastroenterology. In between the hospital shifts, Trenisha got to explore the city with fellow pre-med students.
Studying Abroad in Kosovo
“When one thinks of development, Europe is usually not the first place that comes to mind. This is one of the primary reasons that I was attracted to studying abroad in Kosovo,” says Tanesha Mondestin, who is majoring in Anthropology and Public Health Science at the University of Maryland-College Park. The first-generation college student is also minoring in Global Poverty, International Development, and Conflict Management, which turned out to be extremely relevant during her time in Eastern Europe. “My study abroad experience helped me become more informed about human rights abuses and the importance of global peacekeeping efforts.”
Teaching English in Thailand
Though she’s already had experience traveling to Europe for study abroad and to Colombia to visit family, Daniela Canas Baena is still looking for opportunities to expand her horizons and learn more about the world and its people. “My mission is to foster intercultural understanding and connection while advancing personal and communal empowerment, health, and wellbeing,” she says. That’s why she’s taking her next adventure in Thailand, where she’ll be teaching English to kids in underserved communities and assisting at a local organization that serves their families.
Participating in the Homeless Soccer World Cup in the UK
The Explore the World scholarship isn't just for study abroad in the traditional sense. HI USA hostels in San Francisco have partnered with a local organization, Street Soccer USA, to give young people opportunities to improve their lives while traveling overseas. Each year, the Homeless World Cup takes places in the UK and youth from all over the world who have been affected by homelessness get together to share their love of soccer. Thanks to the Explore the World scholarships, team members have been able to attend these life-changing tournaments in Scotland and Wales.
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