Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that opens the door to dozens of unforgettable experiences and can often lead to life-changing decisions. Stephanie and Charlie Edwards have had their own impactful education abroad experience while studying at UT. This year the couple made a generous contribution to the “New Horizons Study Abroad Scholarship’ within the Center for Global Engagement, for students in need of financial assistance, to make those students’ international dream a reality.
The Edwards traveled thousands of miles away from home to experience Australia during their time as undergraduates. Charlie, a Haslam College of Business graduate, studied at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. A few hours south of Sydney, Stephanie studied in Australia’s capital at the University of Canberra as a College of Communication and Information student.
“Four years ago, we were deeply concerned with how our country seemed to be shifting away from a global mindset and we wanted to be part of the solution to that. Even if we’re currently only able to help one student per semester, I know that the ripple effects from that are infinite. My own time abroad shaped my life in ways I never would have dreamed and ultimately brought me to where I am now,” Stephanie Edwards said.
International travel provides students with an education they cannot always receive in the classroom. Seeing the world offers a hands-on journey with different cultures, languages, and traditions. This journey will broaden perspectives and leave an everlasting impact on these fortunate students’ futures. The Programs Abroad Office provides students with the opportunity to become global citizens while gaining valuable professional skills.
“I hope that future students’ experiences abroad give them confidence and insight to be ready for the world, feeling empowered by having braved new frontiers and humbled in ways only a language barrier can,” Edwards added.
The generous contribution set forth by the Edwards will help current and future students achieve their dreams of studying abroad. This act of kindness will contribute to the positive effects of studying abroad and is appreciated by the Center for Global Engagement.
“I had the pleasure of advising both Stephanie and Charlie at UT as each of them prepared for education abroad programs in Australia. I had no doubt that they would make the most of their time abroad and I was happy to see the experience impact them greatly.” Anne Hulse, Programs Abroad Interim Director, said. “In the true volunteer spirit, Stephanie and Charlie returned eager to help their fellow Volunteers and make a lasting impact. By creating an endowment to fund the New Horizons Scholarship, they have invested in the academic, career, and personal development of so many students that will truly benefit from their support and generosity.”
Funding opportunities like the New Horizon Scholarship can help international programs become more accessible. To learn more about the scholarships and UT Education Abroad programs, visit https://programsabroad.utk.edu.