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UH Hilo students receive study abroad scholarships

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Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Forty undergraduate students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are preparing to study abroad, with some departing as early as June.

Some are participating in summer programs, while others will attend a foreign university for a semester or an entire academic year in 12 countries. Those participating in the Semester at Sea program will drop anchor in 11 different countries in a single semester.

To ease financing concerns, UH Hilo has forged partnerships with over 60 foreign universities that students pay tuition directly to UH Hilo while on exchange. Those receiving federal financial aid can use the funds to pay for their study abroad program, including travel costs, books, room and board, student visa, and other personal expenses.

At a pre-departure orientation held April 17, 10 students were awarded study abroad scholarships, which were presented by Chancellor Rose Tseng and Audrey Furukawa, former executive director of the Center for Global Education and Exchange.

Tseng presented Institute for Study Abroad Global Scholarships to nine students, funded by a two-year grant from the IFSA Foundation located in Indianapolis, Ind. Each recipient, a first-generation college student with financial need, receives $2,500 for each semester of foreign study.

The IFSA scholarship recipients are: Benjamin Decker, Hanyang University, South Korea; Ioane Tierney, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand; Travis Jyo, Rikkyo University, Japan; Jaymen Laupola, Chung Ang University, South Korea; Matthew Lucas, University of Waikato, New Zealand; Jonah Molina, Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan; Keren Motonaga, Josai International University, Japan; Jenny Schabell, University of Stirling, Scotland; and Lyndsie Ullrich, Universidad Austral de Chile.

Motonaga, a Japanese studies major, also received the Audrey S. Furukawa Study Abroad Fellowship. The $2,000 award provides a study abroad opportunity to a student with academic merit, with preference to a Hawai‘i high school graduate. Motonaga, a 2008 graduate of Kamehameha High School, Hawai‘i campus, aspires to become a United Nations interpreter.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been chosen for this competitive study abroad scholarship,” Motonaga said. “I am grateful to Ms. Furukawa for establishing this scholarship endowment to enable me to be the first in my family to study abroad.”

All UH Hilo students meeting minimum qualifications have an opportunity to study abroad. To help support future students from Hawai‘i to study abroad, or to learn more about the study abroad program, call UH Hilo’s Center for Global Education and Exchange at (808) 933-8809 or visit

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