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March 11, 2018

Apply for a scholarship and study abroad

For Andrew Hartnett, studying in Xi’an, China, was a life-changing experience. He’d like more students to take advantage of the opportunity.

“My whole path for college – and the path for my career – would have been different, had I not gone to China,” he said. “I got way more out of it than I would have expected.”

Johnson County Community College has 20 scholarships available to study at its sister school, Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an. The scholarship to study Chinese language and culture includes:

  • Registration, tuition and fees
  • On-campus housing, international student dorms
  • A monthly allowance of 1,400 RMB (about $250)

Applications to study in Xi’an for fall 2018 or the entire 2018-19 academic year are due Friday, March 30. Pick up your application in the Study Abroad Office, COM 220.

Live comfortably in China

Hartnett said, “I wanted to go far outside my own experience, and this College offered me such a great opportunity,” adding that the scholarship and stipend allowed him to live comfortably while abroad. “It’s very affordable to live in China.”

Hartnett found out about the scholarship from a friend who had decided to apply. Many students don’t realize they can receive college credit, a place to stay and exposure to a diverse and vibrant culture for almost nothing out of pocket.

Students are responsible for airfare and a few other fees, said Ivee Baugh, Coordinator for International Education. “Most students think cost is a barrier to studying abroad, but this particular scholarship removes that barrier,” she said.

Embrace the new experience

Other students may hold back from applying because they’re nervous about the unknown, especially without knowing the language. But Hartnett said he had “absolutely no experience” with Mandarin, the language of Xi’an. Classes at NPU begin predominately in English, he explained, then switch to predominately Mandarin as the semester progresses.

“I admit, the first night I was there, I was petrified. I thought, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” Hartnett said. It wasn’t long, though, before he felt at home. “I was introduced to the city, and I just loved it.”

Benefit from confidence

In fact, Hartnett is transferring to the University of Kansas with a double major, one in global and international studies and another in East Asian Languages and Cultures. He’s been back to Xi’an to visit his friends and travel, and he will return again during the summer of 2018 for an internship with the University of Kansas.

“That will be my third time to China in the last year,” he said. He’d like other students to visit at least once.

“Why wouldn’t you do it?” he asked. “It’s pretty much all paid for, and you learn about a new culture and have new experiences to share. It helped me so much, with gaining confidence, learning a new language and seeing the world differently … I’d say go for it.”

How to apply

For details on eligibility and applications, email Study Abroad or visit the International Education Office in COM 220, off the second-floor corridor between the Commons and Student Center buildings.

“We’ll be glad to answer any questions students might have before they apply,” Baugh said.