Fund for Education Abroad Grants 22 Scholarships During Inaugural Spring Award Cycle to Increase Access to Study Abroad

Fund for Education Abroad Grants 22 Scholarships During Inaugural Spring Award Cycle to Increase Access to Study Abroad

Spring 2019 FEA Scholars are all first-generation college students

Download the full press release here.

WASHINGTON, DC, November 13, 2018 – The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) has granted 22 scholarships during its inaugural spring award cycle, increasing access to international education to a record 122 students in 2018. Scholarships to FEA’s first-ever mid-year cohort totaled $75,000, bringing scholarships to a record $410,000 and increasing by 70 percent the number of students helped in a single year. The new spring award cycle was introduced to facilitate planning for scholars by aligning more closely to the semester and trimester formats of academic calendars.

All of the 22 newly named FEA Scholars are first-generation college students, 95 percent are of minority backgrounds, and 41 percent have a community college background. A total of 290 scholars have benefited from over $1.3 million in scholarships granted since FEA’s inception in 2010.

“FEA is working to level the playing field in higher education…and life,” said Martha Johnson, FEA Board chair and Assistant Dean, Learning Abroad, University of Minnesota. “With game-changing scholarships, ongoing support and networking opportunities, FEA changes the lives of students too often left on the sidelines, increasing not only their academic but also personal and career opportunities.”

The spring 2019 FEA scholarship winners were selected from a pool of over 1,250 applicants all traditionally underrepresented in study abroad and representing approximately 470 colleges and universities across the country. A team of 89 volunteer reviewers individually read and reviewed each application.

“Introducing a second cycle of scholarships allows us to meet student need throughout the year,” said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. “With these additional scholarships, we will extend FEA’s impact and paint a truer picture of the global talent pool our nation offers.”

FEA Scholars come from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and represent higher education institutions across the country, and they include minority, LBGTQI, first-generation college and community college students, and students with a unique cultural or linguistic academic focus. FEA funds scholarships of up to $10,000 for study abroad, enabling students to study across the globe for a minimum of four weeks to a full academic year.

Eight of the new FEA Scholars are recipients of FEA’s Access Partner Scholarships. FEA’s Access Partners, all leaders in international education, share the commitment to increase the number of underrepresented American college students studying abroad through the provision of scholarships, collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

The Fund for Education Abroad scholarship recipients in the Spring 2019 FEA Scholar cohort include:

  • Adannaya Bititi of Antelope Valley College to Spain (AIFS);
  • Sarah Bradbury of Lewis & Clark College to Japan (CET Academic Programs);
  • Tina Chiem of Clark University to Vietnam (CET Academic Programs);
  • Ashton Garcia of Colegio Universitario Del Este to Peru (University Sponsored);
  • Nia Hill of Howard University to South Africa (IES Abroad);
  • Diana Jimenez Alcala of Portland Community College to England (USAC: University Studies Abroad Consortium);
  • Chelsea Johnson of University of Maryland-Baltimore County to South Korea (University Sponsored);
  • Lauren Liao of University of California-San Diego to New Zealand (University Sponsored);
  • Alina Lu of Iowa State University Science & Technology to Australia (University Sponsored);
  • Lisa Ly of University of Nevada-Las Vegas to Spain (USAC: University Studies Abroad Consortium);
  • Erin Moran of Bergen Community College to Czech Republic (The College Consortium for International Studies – CCIS);
  • Cindy Nguyen of Colby College to Vietnam (SIT Study Abroad);
  • Nevan Patel of University of Illinois at Chicago to France, Italy & Germany (CIEE);
  • Binh Phun of California State Polytechnic University Pomona to Costa Rica (AIFS);
  • Cecilia Quach of Vanderbilt University to New Zealand (IFSA Butler);
  • Jessica Ramos of California State University-Sacramento to Chile (USAC: University Studies Abroad Consortium);
  • Yulvi Reyes Solorio of University of La Verne to Mexico (Direct Exchange);
  • Ashley Romero of University of Hawaii At Hilo to New Zealand (University Sponsored);
  • Jessica Soto of Portland Community College to Cambodia and Thailand (Carpe Mundi);
  • David Vargas Puga of University of Portland to Spain (University Sponsored);
  • Allyson Vazquez-Bruno of University of California, San Diego to the Netherlands (University Sponsored).
  • Caroline Xia of Maryland Institute College of Art to Japan (CET Academic Programs).


About the Fund for Education Abroad
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the US study abroad population. FEA makes life-changing, international education experiences accessible to all by supporting minority, community college and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.  FEA is a Guidestar Gold participant, and  won the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and’s 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.  Follow FEA at, and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and on Twitter: @FEAScholarships.