Several years ago, CU Boulder Education Abroad launched an exciting program, the Global Opportunity or “GO” Scholars. The goal was to provide 30 recipients annually with a substantial scholarship for studying abroad and a comprehensive system of support. This scholarship program addresses the barriers and obstacles that prevent underrepresented students from low socio-economic backgrounds from participating in Education Abroad.
Now in its fifth year, the program has awarded more than 100 GO scholarships. GO Scholars have studied abroad in 19 different countries, and they have been awarded over $150,000 in funding for their international education experiences. Go Scholars come from a diverse set of cultural and academic backgrounds.
The program aims to not only reduce financial barriers but also to prepare students together as a cohort for study abroad.
GO Scholars are selected after a competitive application process. They are all students who participate in CU LEAD Alliance programs such as the McNeill Academic Program, CU Engineering’s The BOLD Center or Leeds’ Diverse Scholars Program. Students can only be awarded the GO scholarship in their first year at CU Boulder in order to encourage careful and deliberate planning.
The students who are awarded participate in scholarship retreats and additional helpful workshops. The program aims to prepare students as holistically as possible as a cohort before they go abroad on their own independent adventure.
These students also work one-on-one with the GO Scholar coordinator throughout their college career in order to ensure they enroll in the program abroad that will best accomplish their personal and professional goals. Once they return to campus, GO Scholars are required to “pay it forward” and complete a follow-up project to encourage other students to study abroad.
By providing this opportunity to this group of global pioneers, Education Abroad hopes to make study abroad a more accessible venture for all students. The GO scholarship application opens in August for all incoming first-year students in CU LEAD Alliance communities.