DANVILLE, KY—Two Centre College students have won $5,000 Freeman Awards for Studying in Asia (ASIA). Gerard Spalding, a rising junior from Lebanon, Ky., and Whitney Weigel, a rising junior from Louisville, will study in Japan next year along with the Centre exchange during the fall and CentreTerm.
According to the Freeman ASIA Web site, "The primary goal of Freeman-ASIA is to increase the number of American undergraduate students to study in East and Southeast Asia, by providing them with the information and the financial assistance they will need."
"Since we’re sending only four students to Japan next year," says Milton Reigelman, Cowan Professor of English and director of Centre's study abroad program, "that means 50 percent have won this prestigious award. We've had winners in the past, but none last year, and never more than one a year. Both Gerard and Whitney have completed two years of Japanese language study here and were selected in a very competitive process this year."
"I was already looking forward to exploring the language and culture of the Japanese people," says Spalding, "but thanks to the Freeman-Asia award, I'm even more excited because I'll have more resources and be less hampered by financial concerns while in Japan. I also hope that, because two Centre students won the award this year, it will inspire others to become more interested in the Japan program, knowing that such a great opportunity exists."
"I chose to compete for this scholarship was because I just needed some extra help with paying for the cost," says Weigel. "Centre has been very generous with helping with the expenses for traveling to Japan, but I knew I would need some more help if I really wanted to get everything I could out of this amazing trip. The scholarship will really help with any expenses that I might incur while traveling in Japan. I've already made a list of all the places in Japan I want to see while I'm there and I know it will be costly to be able to travel to many of these places from Yamaguchi. "
Four of five Centre students study abroad. This year, participation in study abroad programs is edging even higher. A recent study compiled by Reigelman shows that a record 84 percent of 2006 Centre graduates will have studied abroad.
International study is a way of life at Centre. In addition to guaranteeing graduation in four years and an internship, the Centre Commitment guarantees each student the opportunity to study abroad—otherwise, the College provides up to an additional year of study tuition free.
Centre ranks in the top 10 of the 3,500 colleges and universities in the country in student participation in foreign study. What makes Centre's programs different from those at other colleges and universities is that a Centre faculty member with significant knowledge of that region of the world lives at the site, teaching and coordinating special trips and other activities.
For more on Centre's study abroad programs, see the study abroad site. For an in-depth look at the Centre study abroad experience, check out the student travel journals.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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