Shippensburg University junior international studies major Samantha Smith was awarded a prestigious Freeman-Asia scholarship to study abroad in China during the fall 2019 semester. This need-based national scholarship program supports U.S.- based undergraduates planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

The goal of the Freeman-Asia program is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with firsthand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. As part of the $5,000 scholarship, Smith will complete a service project upon her return from China. Through the project, she will share her overseas experience and promote interest in study abroad in East and Southeast Asia.

During her time in China, Smith will participate in the 15-week Accelerated Chinese Language program will immerse her in Chinese language and cultures. She will spend four hours a day in Chinese language courses and be assigned a Chinese roommate, allowing for daily conversational practice.

Without the scholarship, Smith said she could not afford this study abroad opportunity. She credits Mary Burnett, associate dean of students and director of International Programs, and Dr. Jonathan Skaff, professor and director of International Studies, for their support.

“They have helped me through every step of this incredible adventure,” she said.

Smith departs for China in August and will return to the U.S. in December.