Thirty University of Lynchburg students will embark to Vietnam and Cambodia this month to spend nearly four weeks exploring foreign culture and history.
One of those students, Taylor Bopp ‘19, will make the trip with the help of a $1,000 Study Abroad Grant from Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society that recognizes top undergraduate and graduate students at 300 campuses.
Bopp, a biomedical science major from Westminster, Maryland, is one of only 25 undergraduates nationwide to receive the grant this year.
On this trip led by English professor Dr. David Lipani, Bopp and her classmates will learn about religions of Asia, the Vietnam War, and the Cambodian genocide.
Bopp wants to get a personal view of a war that is often misunderstood, she said. “It is through the first-hand look of the Vietnam war pathway, which many American citizens will never have the chance to see, that will allow students to come back with a new understanding and outlook of that part of American and Vietnamese history.”
She also hopes the trip to Vietnam and Cambodia will help give her a well-rounded education in her quest to become a physician. “Medical school applicants should be as broadly educated as possible,” she said. “Applicants with a more general culture are often more successful not only in the classroom setting, but also in the clinical environment.”
Finding a career to pursue has morphed from strictly science to exploring all realms of knowledge, including education, sociology, and gender. “The journey of choosing a career pathway has been an exciting one, which has had many twists and turns. Though I may not be completely set on the course of a physician, it is the love of learning which drives my momentum to continue my education.”
Applicants must have great academic achievements, community service on the campus and surrounding environment, an academic purpose for their travels, career goals, a personal statement, several letters of recommendation, and an acceptance into the study abroad program.
Phi Kappa Phi is a selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. It inducts about 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni.
The University of Lynchburg has had a chapter of Phi Kappa Phi since 1993. Phi Kappa Phi started its Study Abroad Grant Program in 2001 to encourage and enable enriching travel study opportunities. Recipients demonstrate academic achievement, service to the community, and a commitment to learning.