Mike Scanlin (Founder)
The Chris Borton Memorial Scholarship Fund is now in its twelfth year and with the addition of the current three recipients, 32 UC San Diego students have benefited from your generous contributions. They have pursued international study at universities in China, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, Senegal, and Spain.
According to the annual report of the Institute on International Education, 241,791 Americans studied abroad in 2006-07 and 623,805 students from around the world studied in the United States. These numbers are up substantially from a decade earlier and we are happy that the scholarships awarded annually by the CBMSF contribute to the trend by creating opportunities for individual students to experience and interact with other cultures, while also honoring the memory of Chris’ lifelong involvement with the international community. We feel that immersion in another culture will be a vital experience for future leaders and participants in the international scene. The scholarships are awarded to students studying abroad for a full academic year, as we believe that is the minimum time needed to achieve immersion. Due to your continued support we were able to increase the amount of the scholarships for 2008 to $5,000. Several of the students who have been awarded our scholarships would not have been able to afford to study abroad without financial aid. Your generosity is the catalyst that allows us to create opportunities for high caliber students with a commitment to the global community.
Kipp Trieu, a Communications major with minors in French Literature and Education Studies who wants to become a teacher, is studying at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (known as Sciences Po). He captured the spirit of the scholarship program when he wrote in his application that he desired to be an exchange student “both in the sense of being a student studying abroad and in the sense of being a well-educated, well-rounded student of the international arena.” Kipp is taking courses covering topics that include an introduction to a globalized attitude; the socio-political elements of decentralization and democracy; society and media; French opera as a political art form; and a French language course. He highlights that all of the courses are taught from the French perspective. In addition to his academic work, Kipp is an accomplished pianist and enjoys cooking, eating and photography. Ray and Verena were excited to be able to host him in Davis, including a trip to the Farmers Market, before he left for Paris. At Sciences Po, Kipp has been hired as an intern (vacataire) at the Center of the Americas, the office that handles incoming and outgoing exchange students to North and South America. In addition to gainful employment, his position as a “study abroad advisor” is allowing him to help coach French students wishing to go abroad. Kipp writes that, “Most French people, or those I’ve seen and met, don’t have pencil thin moustaches. Or eat frog legs every meal. Most of them, anyway. The point: the only way to know how something is is to see it for yourself.”
Laura Summers, a Linguistics major with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies, is attending Universiteit College in Utrecht. She has studied Muslim immigration into the European Union and wants to pursue a career aiding Muslim immigrants adapt to their new lives in Western nations. Laura has already taken a volunteer job in Utrecht working with five refugee women (from places like Togo and Albania) and their children. In San Diego, Laura lived and worked at the International House fulfilling a desire to meet international students and scholars and learn about their cultures. She also sang in a choir and likes to play intramural volleyball. Since arriving in Holland, Laura has enjoyed visiting relatives in Middelburg, and traveling to Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Prague with a group of other exchange students. She had great things to say about the efficiency of the rail system, but was happy to be back on a bike in Utrecht upon her return. Laura writes that “it wouldn’t be a truly Dutch experience without biking to town in the rain.” She is taking courses in Linguistics, Art History, Dutch, and Development Studies. The latter involves discussing the geographical development of nations and its social and economic impact. She is looking forward to the special Dutch St. Nicholas holiday when she will sing the Dutch song “Sinterklaas Kapoentje” that her grandmother taught her as a child.
A double major in Studio Art and Art History, Ruth Salazar selected Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in order to get involved in the city’s rich art heritage and vibrant art community. Ruth enjoys painting, drawing and creating art from found objects. She has also played violin in orchestras, sung in a choir and enjoys playing guitar. As part of a summer 2005 German-American exchange program, Ruth visited a town in northern Germany named Elmshorn. This experience solidified her interest in learning about other cultures. Prior to her departure Ruth wrote, “Ever since that visit to Germany, I’ve been wanting to go abroad again. I’ve been working towards this goal, and am happy that it is finally going to happen. I really think this experience will truly help me grow as an artist, a student, and a person. Many people tell me that I will definitely change after this experience, but I don’t view it as a change so much as an expansion of who I am.” Ruth had a chance to visit Sweden and Norway before starting classes. She has also been in contact with fellow Berliner and former Borton-scholar Yukio King (Germany, 2000-01). Her course load involves a variety of different art classes, but her favorite course thus far is called Aktuelle Kunst, which involves trips to galleries and museums and discussions of the art viewed. Ruth e-mails that, “I love encountering new things…it can be a challenge in many ways, but I feel like a greater person for it in the end.”
Updates on recently returned Borton Scholars
Naomi Ogilvie (Germany, 2007-08) was told, before starting her year abroad: “It doesn’t get any easier. There are days when it’s easy and there are days when it’s hard, and life fluctuates in between…but it never actually gets easier.” Looking back on the year in Göttingen, Naomi described challenges in the university system (such as using a card catalogue in the library or finding information about courses) and in understanding and conquering cultural differences, particularly the language (“I thought that full immersion in a language would mean a smooth slope to perfection, but that wasn’t the case for me.”). In her own words: “Every day I was stimulated by another unknown part of the culture. That’s the gem of this experience in the end: being pushed and pulled from all sides by a country that’s foreign to you, but continually learning from it, always discovering something new, constantly being challenged and consistently rising above. Unlike what Kafka said, the world will not freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It will play hard-to-get. It will coyly hide its rules and make you work to figure them out. And you will be so thankful for it.”
Emilie Ellis (Germany, 2007-08) loved being able to ride her bike to town every day and to see the vast green forests (of the Black Forest). She found that studying at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg differed from UCSD: it required a greater amount of self motivation and was much less stressful. The single experience that made the biggest impression on Emilie was her internship in the Information Service of the United Nations Office in Geneva. Reflecting on the year, Emilie writes: “I have learned a lot more about myself and what I’m capable of accomplishing. Being able to come here to live…was one of the most wonderful, enriching, and memorable experiences of my life. It has definitely inspired me to think more globally, and if I could choose to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.”
Nicola Hil (France, 2007-08) found herself immersed in French culture as soon as she arrived in Lyon to locate lodging. “Finding housing is difficult and not fun. However, it is a fantastic way to get to know the city you have arrived in. You are instantly forced to take public transportation, get comfortable in internet cafés, communicate with people and learn about banking, laws, and culture.” Toward the end of an academically very worthwhile year, Nicola started to think in French and “during my last few exams of the year I forgot that I was an international student and just wrote as feverishly as the other students to get my ideas down in the allotted time.”
Traveling around Europe on her own has made her much more confident when dealing with challenging situations. “The confidence you placed in me often helped me to move past the difficult aspects of moving overseas.” Upon her return to UCSD, Nicola was offered a position as a student assistant at the Programs Abroad Office, a helpful step in her plans to choose a career in consulting and advising in international affairs.
Updates on past Borton Scholars
Jenna Carlsson (Senegal, 2005-06) completed her work with refugees through the International Rescue Committee before becoming involved with the Obama campaign, canvassing in swing states through the Fund for the Public Interest.
Jennifer Kim (Spain, 2006-07) graduated and immediately started on her teaching credential (with bilingual certification) and M.Ed. in the UCSD Education Studies program. Missing her life in Mexico and Spain, she reports that it was at first difficult to adjust back to life in the US. She adds: “I am so glad that more and more students study abroad and become culturally aware. Living abroad opens so many doors…I know it did for me.”
Paul Suarez (Spain, 2006-07) graduated and spent the summer in an internship before starting graduate school in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. When hearing where this year’s Borton Scholars were headed, he commented “It’s so neat to be able to say that I visited all of those places.”
Joachim Lyon (China, 2004-05) finished his Masters in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in August and embarked on a 5-year PhD program at Stanford University in September. In the Centre for Work, Technology, & Organization under the School of Engineering, he will work with industrial sociologists and social psychologists to understand the interaction between technology and organizations. Joachim’s interest is in using ethnographic methods to see how people share knowledge, get coordinated, solve problems, and interact with their environments, and ultimately to link this research to design theory.
A Thank You
The best feedback we get on the success of the scholarship program comes from the recipients themselves, and we want to share that with you who make it possible. At the end of her stay abroad Naomi Oglive wrote, “I really do want to reiterate how thankful I am to you and the donors – this year has been the experience of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of your family and friends!” Nicola Hil wrote to tell us, “I have come to understand and appreciate Chris’ love for travel and his interest in international exchange.”
Thanks to all of you who enable us to support the efforts of these remarkable young people to become world citizens,