Written by Sarah Shelley | Content Development Specialist

Three students from University of the Cumberlands are getting the once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel the world this spring – and have it partially paid for!

Rachel Medlin (Elementary education major), Kristen Fugate (pre-medicine), and Piper McGuire (human services and world languages & cultures) are each receiving a $1,500 study abroad scholarship from Cumberlands to put toward their study abroad experiences. The funding was made possible by generous donors of the university.

In 2023, Cumberlands gave study abroad scholarships to three different students, two of whom travelled to Italy, and one of whom enjoyed the London and Paris trip. 

Julie Deyrup, study abroad director at Cumberlands, said, “We want our students ready for the world. So, giving students funding for study abroad – especially when many have never been abroad – is giving them the resources for academic and professional success. It's no wonder then that our study abroad programming becomes such a treasured memory for our students!”

Rachel will set out on the London and Paris trip and earn college credit for Cumberlands’ “World Music” course, Kristen will travel to Greece and earn credit for a missions & ministry course entitled “Life and Letters of Paul,” and Piper will be visiting Costa Rica and earn credit toward Spanish language and culture courses.

London and Paris have been on Rachel’s bucket list for a while, so, when she heard she could potentially study abroad in those locations, it seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She looks forward to immersing herself in the culture, art, and music of the areas.

Rachel said, “I have been working and saving for this trip, so receiving this scholarship is such a blessing. I praise God for it! This is not only an educational experience but also a journey of personal growth.”

Kristen, who will travel to Greece, is not technically new to international travel, but she doesn’t remember the journey; she was only six months old when her parents adopted her from Guatemala. As a future doctor, Kristen views her upcoming study abroad travels as an opportunity to broaden her horizons and deepen her understanding of other cultures.

“The more exposure I get, the better I will be able to treat patients abroad when I hopefully do a Doctors without Borders program after medical school,” Kristen explained. “The experience plays an important role in my faith too, as Greece is a notable place in the Bible. I hope to not only fulfill a childhood dream of mine of seeing Greece, but also grow in my faith as well.”

Piper feels that God has called her to serve the Hispanic community in the social services field, so she’s pursuing a major in Spanish with a minor in human services. Her upcoming study abroad trip to Costa Rica aligns with that calling too.

“I am a first-generation college student, and the financial burden of college has fallen solely on my shoulders, so receiving this scholarship for study abroad is very exciting news,” Piper said. “Living with a host family, being immersed in their lifestyle from sun-up to sundown, and studying Spanish daily will help me serve the Hispanic community in the future.” 

University of the Cumberlands’ study abroad  program gives students the opportunity to experience an array of cultures and countries, all while pursuing academic excellence and earning college credit. To learn more about Cumberlands’ study abroad program, visit www.ucumberlands.edu/academics/undergraduate/study-abroad

To help more Cumberlands students afford their study abroad travels in the future, visit www.ucumberlands.edu/give2uc