Ask any faculty involved in research and creative activity here on campus at Chapman University, and they will likely give this piece of advice to any aspiring academic: get involved early. For first-year and second year students, this means now is the best time to dive headfirst into any academic pursuit that might intrigue you. Though working in a lab or assisting a professor may be a viable and fruitful avenue to explore, for those scholarly students with a case of wanderlust, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence has a recommendation.

Dr. Julye Bidmead, CUE’s director, is our resident expert on fellowship and scholar program’s abroad having traveled the UK and beyond to discover and explore opportunities for Chapman University students. Though she notes the programs she has scouted are highly competitive, they are dually rewarding, and the application experience is educational in and of itself. Though many of the programs target students looking toward graduate education, there are plenty of opportunities available specifically for freshmen and sophomore university students.

Interested in studying in the UK? If you’re an undergraduate student with at least two years left of university study, the Fulbright UK Summer Institutes are a must to look into. The prestigious Fulbright Commission offers three to four week summer programs for US students to expand their study in the UK. These programs allow students to develop their knowledge in a specific area, often with the opportunity to study alongside leading academics in the field. Study extends beyond the classroom (though transferable credit is a plus), as students are encouraged to explore  museums, galleries, castles, battlegrounds, and other cultural landmarks of their host country. For students with a GPA of at least 3.7, this scholar program that covers tuition, airfare, and accommodation during the summer is not to be missed.

Chapman University students pride themselves on being global citizens, and as such, we all work towards competency in diverse languages through the completion of the Language Study GE requirement. But for students who are serious about fluency in another language, regardless of major, department, or career trajectory, the Critical Language Scholarship program is the way to go. This program describes itself as , “an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program” and is structured specifically for American university students. The CLS program is apart of a larger government initiative to increase the number of people in the workforce who are fluent in foreign languages, in an effort to bolster national security and economic prosperity. The summer CLS program places scholars in a country that speaks their specific language of study, and provide intensive instruction to rapidly increase fluency. Beginner, intermediate, and advance levels are encouraged to apply.

Are you passionate about global human rights and social justice? The Humanity in Action Fellowship is the perfect way to flex your humanitarian muscles while spending a month over the summer in either Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, or Warsaw. Available for sophomore students to recent graduates, this fellowship program provides an alternative option to coffee runs and copy-making at a summer internship. This program intends to create a global network of university students committed to active dialogue and discourse by “understanding and responding to the challenges that democratic countries face as they become more diverse societies.”  Accepted fellows will produce original research exploring resisting intolerance and protecting democratic values. As a Humanity in Action fellow, you will attend a special orientation in Washington, DC, hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, and the full cost of participation will be covered, including room and board.

There’s no need to wait to begin your international academic career. If you’re ready to take your global citizenship abroad as a first or second year student, the Center for Undergraduate Excellence is here to help you get there! Set up an appointment today with Dr. Bidmead to discuss your options and plan of action. CUE wishes you luck, and bon voyage!

Don’t forget to follow the Center for Undergraduate Excellence on Facebook to stay in the know about the incredible opportunities available to you as a Chapman University student. 

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to our Student Scholar Ambassadors for informed peer to peer advice.