Photo for International Institute sends students around...

Left: The Concierge (a former courthouse and prison) in Paris, France. Right: an Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photos by Pexels and Alexander Jungmann, courtesy of Pixabay.

The International Institute, its academic programs and its research centers play an instrumental role in supporting international education and research at UCLA. This summer, they provided financial support that helped over 100 students travel abroad to study or conduct research.

By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications

UCLA International Institute, July 28, 2022 — Support from the UCLA International Institute enabled over 110 Bruin undergraduate and graduate students to travel to Africa, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia this summer to study languages, conduct research or fieldwork, work in international internships or attend conferences abroad.

The studies and research of these students were funded, either in full or in part, by numerous scholarships, grants and fellowships awarded by the institute and its 25 plus centers and programs. Grant and scholarship recipients represented a broad array of disciplines, spanning anthropology, Asian languages and cultures, Chinese studies, global studies, history, international development studies, Japanese studies, Korean studies, linguistics, musicology, philosophy, political science, sociology and social welfare.

The number of Bruins who received financial support this summer reflects the instrumental role that the International Institute, its academic programs and its centers — which focus on global issues, world regions or specific countries — play in supporting international education and research at UCLA.

“I am impressed that the institute and its many centers were able to provide crucial support to so many students this summer,” says Cindy Fan, vice provost for international studies and global engagement at UCLA.

“It been a long three years since summer study and research were possible; our students have been anxious to travel abroad for research and language studies. Not only are international experience and language skills crucial components of a 21st-century education, they are essential for building the expertise of our future scholars.”

Bruin undergraduates abroad

UCLA Summer Travel Study programs resumed this summer for the first time since 2019, with the Global Studies Program of the International Institute offering three respective programs in The Hague, The Netherlands (“The Global Governance of International Human Rights”); Paris, France (“Global Challenges in Post-Colonial France”); and Singapore (“Business Leadership, Communication & Culture”). Among the 93 (mostly global studies) students who attended the three programs, 10 received global studies travel study scholarships from the institute.

The International Institute also awarded Kramer & Seibert Scholarships of at least $1,000 to five undergraduate students to pursue summer internships in Berlin, Germany; Bali, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (two students) and Watford, England. Scholarship recipients are pursuing diverse majors in the mathematics of computation, mechanical engineering, human biology and international development studies.

Another five undergraduates received PEMSEA (Program for Early Modern Southeast Asia) scholarships from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) to participate in a four-week archaeology field school in the Philippines led by CSEAS Director Stephen Acabado. There, participants not only learned the basics of archaeological field research, but also how to report findings in research papers and do public presentations.

PEMSEA fieldwork site in the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.)

Moving to East Asia, the Asia Pacific Center sent an undergraduate student from the School of the Arts and Architecture to study Chinese in Taiwan, courtesy of a Taiwan Studies summer fellowship, and the Korean Studies Center sent an undergraduate philosophy major to study Korean at the Korean University International Summer Campus in Seoul.

Moving west to the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Center for World Languages — through its Russian Flagship Program grant — funded two students to study advanced Russian in Armenia and Kazakhstan, respectively.

In the Middle East, an undergraduate majoring in English (with a double minor in Arabic and Islamic studies) is studying Hebrew and Arabic and taking elective courses at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, courtesy of a UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies scholarship for summer study in Israel. And in Africa, an undergraduate majoring in neuroscience received a Woldemussie Centennial Global Health Fellowship to do research in Ethiopia.

The Botanical Gardens of the Hebrew University of Jerusaem (Photo: Hoshvilim via
Wikimedia Commons, 2018; altered.) CC BY-SA 4.0.

Graduate students

The lions’ share of Bruin graduate students (70 students, or 82% of graduate awardees) who are traveling abroad this summer with institute and center support are conducting research or going to conferences. However, 15 are attending intensive advanced language training programs in countries around the world.

Language study. In Southeast Asia, CSEAS awarded generous Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) summer fellowships to three doctoral candidates (in musicology, sociology and social welfare); two are studying Vietnamese in Vietnam, and one is studying the Thai language in Thailand.

In addition, the Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies awarded substantial Sasakawa Fellowships to two graduate students pursuing doctorates in Asian languages and cultures and history, respectively, for advanced summer language training at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language in Tokyo.

Another two graduate students (pursuing doctorates in philosophy and comparative literature, respectively) are attending intensive language programs in Germany and France, courtesy of generous summer language study scholarships awarded by the Center for European & Russian Studies. The Asia Pacific Center also awarded grants to two doctoral students (in history and anthropology) to attend intensive Chinese language studies in Taiwan.

And the Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) awarded six FLAS fellowships for the intensive study of Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Hebrew. These doctoral students (in history, education and French & Francophone studies) are studying in Turkey, Morocco, Jordan and Israel, as well as India (Persian program) and Armenia (Persian program). An additional five CNES FLAS fellows are studying Middle Eastern languages in intensive programs held in the United States, including at Middlebury College.

Research and travel. Among Bruins who received scholarships and grants to cover international research or conference travel expenses, or to conduct doctoral research and fieldwork, 21 received travel grants from the International Institute and are presently working in five continents. Another two received Mosafer Centennial Scholar grants from the Center for Near Eastern Studies to attend conferences in the Middle East.

In addition, two graduate students received Boyajian Fellowships from the African Studies Center (ASC) to conduct research in Ghana and in Comoros and Madagascar, and three received Woldemussie Centennial Global Health Fellowships from ASC to do research in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Another 14 doctoral students (including 4 whose 2020 and 2021 awards had been deferred) received fellowships from the Center for European & Russian Studies to conduct research in eight countries of Europe, plus Israel; and two received scholarships from the Center for Korean Studies (CKS) to do research in South Korea. Another three students received CKS scholarships to conduct research in the United States. 

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). BiH was the destination of several UCLA graduate students
conducting doctoral research in summer 2022. (Photo: Marcel Dominic courtesy of Pixabay.) 

One graduate student received a PEMSEA scholarship through the Center for Southeast Asian Studies to attend the aforementioned archaeology workshop in the Philippines; 18 received grants from the Latin American Institute to do research in six countries of Central America, three countries of South America, plus Jamaica; three received grants from the Y&S Nazarian Center to conduct research in Israel; and six received generous fellowships to pursue research in Japan from the Terasaki Center.

All in all, a sizeable contingent of UCLA students were able to acquire international experience and conduct research this summer with help from the institute and its centers.

Watch Bruin students attending Global Studies summer travel study programs do the UCLA 8-clap in Singapore and The Hague.


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Published: Thursday, July 28, 2022