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International departures ahead

Bass Family International Scholars will help undergraduates take flight
Posted October 24, 2013
Amanda Bass, A&S ’14, center, with her parents Larry and Sandy Bass, P ’14. Amanda Bass, A&S ’14, center, with her parents Larry and Sandy Bass, P ’14.

The benefits of living abroad are numerous and documented; language acquisition, improved knowledge of cultural context, and increased independence, to name a few. Study abroad no longer means a young student bound to an overstuffed backpack camping in a youth hostel with a Europass in hand. Some studies even suggest that studying abroad increases a student's GPA.

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences senior Amanda Bass can attest to the impact of studying abroad. "Being an art history major, Rome is like mecca," said Bass of her time attending John Cabot University in Italy. In addition to exploring ancient art, Bass practiced skills that she can apply immediately as she embarks on her career. "My dream is to work at an auction house, where I can help clients build a portfolio. You need to be a well-rounded individual to work with lots of different types of people," said Bass. "Being abroad is all about going it on your own, exploring yourself, and learning to be independent."

But for many undergraduates, who are working during the summer and school year to augment their financial aid support, the chance to broaden their horizons with an international journey is not feasible. "My family and I believe strongly that in order to be a successful person, it is necessary to understand other cultures," said Bass. "I’ve been lucky enough to travel and we want this enriching — and life-changing — experience to be available to others." To that end, Bass and her parents, Sandy and Larry, have recently established a new endowed fund to ensure other undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences gain a similar global perspective. Their gift supports the Rising to the Challenge campaign by enriching the student experience.

Bass Family International Scholars will be awarded beginning this academic year through the Office of Study Abroad. Scholars will be chosen, based on merit and financial need, through an application process to be reviewed by a committee of faculty. The scholars will receive a stipend for a minimum six weeks of international study or research.