“Before being accepted into the Global Founders Scholars Program, I had never even dreamt of studying abroad due to the financial blockade. However, once I was accepted into this influential program, my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities this program has to offer. Not only did I have the opportunity to study abroad during the summer between my second and third year at SVSU, but I was also given the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone by attending culturally cultivating events on campus, take classes with like-minded individuals seeking global enrichment, and have the opportunity to register early for classes with the help of a dedicated advisor committed to my success.
I used my GFS scholarship on a Faculty-Led trip to arguably the most naturally beautiful county in South America, Costa Rica. While there, I improved my skills in Spanish, learned about their amazing culture, and was able to explore my own values, coming back with a deepened sense of purpose in my future as a Social Worker. Along the journey, I have found deep connections with fellow students and staff here at SVSU and bring a more culturally-aware mindset to the community through my role as the 2022-2023 Student Association President.”
“My first experience as a student at Saginaw Valley State University was through the Global Foundation Scholars program. I was able to attend the retreat in-person before my freshman year, this was an amazing experience because I was able to get to know students on campus and be more familiar with campus before the semester started. At the retreat, I learned of the study abroad trips through SVSU. The biology faculty-led trip to the Cayman Islands caught my eye because it was one of the only science-based trips and the location was gorgeous. Months later, I applied and was accepted for the next trip. During the pandemic, I maintained hope while the trip was postponed before departing June 2022.
On the trip, we filled our days with scuba diving on stunning coral reefs, learning about the local marine life and conservation, and exploring and learning the history of the Cayman Islands. We stayed on-site at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute; it was insightful to see how life was different there compared to here in Michigan and exciting to connect with people from all over the world. Without the encouragement and support from the Global Foundation Scholars Program, I am not sure if I would have had this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now after the trip, I have a changed perspective on how I live my life, thinking about how my actions affect the environment along with some amazing friends and storied I have made in Little Cayman.”