Omaha – A student from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will spend the next year pursuing her passion half a world away thanks to an exclusive federal scholarship.
Katherine Durand, an international studies major, recently received a David L. Boren scholarship, which will allow her to spend an additional year studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. Previously, Durand had studied abroad as part of a direct enrollment program her parents helped pay for.
“I decided to spend my last two undergraduate years in Korea so I could keep learning the language since there is not really a good way to learn Korean in the Midwest currently,” she explained. “This is why earning the Boren Scholarship was so important to me. I don’t want to be a burden to my parents but at the same time I cannot bear to give up what I’ve started.”
Durand was inspired to study in Korea after taking an East Asian philosophy class at UNO taught by Dr. Halla Kim.
“Dr. Kim encouraged me to attend his Saturday language school at the Korean Presbyterian Church and later encouraged me to pursue my language studies further,” she explained. “I really owe a lot to him.”
Durand’s goal is to complete Yonsei University’s full language program and return home by June 2015.
The Boren scholarship is sponsored by the National Security Education Program, or NSEP and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. Durand will serve her role with the U.S. Department of State upon her return in 2015.
“The National Security Education Program is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures,” explained NSEP Director Michael A. Nugent, Ph.D.
Durand’s commitment to international education is part of a larger commitment, by students, faculty and administrators, to be globally engaged and responsive to opportunities for experiences and opportunities outside the United States. Earlier this year, UNO formally announced its commitment to double its study abroad numbers by the year 2019.
Since 1994, over 5,200 students have received Boren Awards. Those who received scholarships and fellowships represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who desire to work in national security.
The NSEP is a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards are given to undergraduate and graduate students to provide them the resources and encouragement to further their interest in other countries.
The IIE is an independent not-for-profit that was founded in 1919 and, today, is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations.
For more information about Durand’s scholarship, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or by phone at 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.