Boren Scholarship Will Send NWU Student to South Africa
Abby Tranel learned of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s study abroad program through her liberal arts seminar taken as a first year student.
“When I heard about it I immediately knew I had to do it,” said the senior political science major from Aurora, Neb.
But where to go? Europe? Everyone likes to study in Europe, she thought. Ghana? Might be interesting but she really likes warm showers, she admitted. Then she saw South Africa was a possibility.
Tranel spent the spring semester of her sophomore year in South Africa. Now she’ll return there — this time for an entire year — thanks to a Boren Scholarship.
The Boren Scholarship is awarded to approximately 150 undergraduate students across the nation to help encourage study abroad to areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. The award provides up to $20,000 for the students’ studies. Tranel is the 13th Nebraska Wesleyan University student to win a Boren Scholarship.
Tranel will attend the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, located on the east coast of South Africa where she will study the Zulu language as well as the country’s culture and history.
“Going back now armed with more life experience, confidence and maturity, I know I will spend less time attempting to survive day to day life and really learn, live and continue to grow,” she said.
Tranel said she is particularly interested in post-conflict nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Her goal is to one day become a Foreign Service Officer with USAID or the Department of State.
“In my career I intend to utilize the experience the Boren will procure, combined with my passion for international development and foreign policy to improve lives of those around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.
“I look forward to once again living in a culturally rich, diverse, and intellectually challenging environment,” she continued. “I can’t wait to see where this new experience takes me and again helps to shape and mold my life goals.”
Tranel is one of six Nebraska Wesleyan University students to win national prestigious scholarships this year. In addition to the Boren Scholarship, four students have won Fulbright Scholarships (Alex Bednar, Czech Republic; Nicole Spry, Vietnam; Kyle Karthauser, Germany; Meera Bhardwaj, Cameroon) and one student has won a Critical Language Scholarship (Matthew Carlson, Middle East).