Study Abroad Awards

We strive to make study abroad possible for as many UB students of Asian Studies as possible. Our program offers two distinct study abroad awards:
  • The Rustgi South Asian Language Award supports the full cost of tuition and airfare for summer study in the American Institute of Indian Studies language programs. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. DeadlineFriday, January 3, 2020.
  • The Asian Studies Program Study Abroad award ranges from $500 to $1000 and is strictly for undergraduate students who plan to study in Asia.
A student showing off drawings on her hand.

Generous contributions from our alumni, faculty, and broad community of people interested in the study of Asia help to support study abroad in Asia. We would be so pleased if you would apply for one of our awards if you are a student, or support UB students by contributing to the award fund.

Visit UB’s Study Abroad Scholarships page to learn about other Study Abroad funding opportunities. Or, contact Megan Stewart, UB’s Fellowships and Scholarships advisor in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships.

Our 2019 Rustgi South Asian Language Awardees

We are so pleased to announce that three highly qualified applicants were awarded the Rustgi South Asian Language Award to study in the American Institute of Indian Studies this coming summer! As it turns out, our remarkable UB students qualify for many prestigious postings and awards and just one student will be funded by our Rustgi Award. Here are their stories:

  • Yue Zhang: accepted the award and will study at AIIS summer 2019.
  • Kayleigh Hamernik: was awarded alternative funding to study in India next academic year and we wish her well in her continuing studies.
  • Jonathan Bessette: accepted an alternative opportunity for the summer instead of study abroad and we wish him well.

More about Yue Zhang

Yue Zhang ’20 is a third-year international student at UB. We spoke to Yue to learn a little bit about how the study abroad experience provided by the Rusgi Award fits into her academic, career, and life goals.

  • UB Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Data Analytics
  • Why India?  Yue has traveled throughout Asia, visiting Malaysia, Indonesia, northern China and some cities in southern China, but even though India is not far from her home she has never visited.
  • Why so much traveling? Yue’s list of places visited doesn’t end with Asian countries – her study abroad experiences have taken her to Costa Rica and several regions of the United States. Yue likes to see different cultures and learn about food, people, and places. Her YouTube travelogue shares her experiences with the online world. She thinks that places are not portrayed on the news and in media as they really are and that you have to go see places for yourself to understand them. For instance, Yue really likes Bollywood films, but she’s pretty certain they are not a good portrayal of the whole country or everyday life.
  • How is study abroad in India related to a business degree? Travel was Yue’s hobby until now, but as she considers her options in international business, she is believes that this experience will situate her to participate in culturally nuanced negotiations between India and China – and Europe since Yue also speaks French.
  • Who should apply for the Rustgi award next year? Yue thinks she isn’t the typical student to apply for the award, she learned about it when she met Dr. Walter Hakala, the Asian Studies Program Director, at a UB Experiential Learning Network faculty mentor meet and greet. Yue thinks Asian Studies students definitely should apply, but anyone eager to learn and curious about India should too.
Student Yue Zhang in front of a United Nations crest.

Our Spring 2019 Asian Studies Study Abroad Awardees

Congratulations to five UB students planning study abroad and language study in Japan, India, and Korea! We wish them well in their studies and are proud to support their endeavors!

  • Samuel Coniglio
  • Kendra Harbison
  • Daniel Li
  • Cindy Ng
  • Logan Walters

The Rustgi South Asian Language Award

Current UB undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for funding to attend intensive summer language programs offered by the American Institute of Indian Studies. Applications for funding will be evaluated by UB Asian Studies Program faculty and staff. The Rustgi South Asian Language Award supports the full cost of tuition and roundtrip airfare to India. Additional funds for living expenses incurred during the summer program may also be available.

The 2019-2020 application period is OPEN. The deadline for receipt of all materials is Friday, January 3, 2020. 

About the Language Program

Participants are expected to devote their energies to activities that will increase their proficiency in all skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. For eight weeks at each AIIS language center, there will be at least four hours a day of classroom instruction and individual tutorials with regular out-of-class assignments requiring interaction with community members. Attendance is mandatory in class as well as at other activities such as cultural visits, films, and plays. There is special emphasis on connecting with the local speech community and self-management of learning. Participants are encouraged to identify and prioritize their language learning needs and keep track of their language development. Students are encouraged to stay with host families. Note that this is not a research program. Participants are expected to devote all their energies to learning the target language. For more information, please visit the AIIS Language Programs website.

Courses regularly include:

  • Bangla (Bengali)
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Marathi
  • Mughal Persian
  • Pali/Prakrit
  • Punjabi
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu

In addition, instruction may be arranged in other languages such as:

  • Kashmiri
  • Oriya
  • Sindhi
  • Tibetan
Map of the regions in India.

Eligibility:

  • Full-time enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Buffalo in good academic standing at the time of application.
  • Students applying for summer Hindi should have the equivalent of one year of prior Hindi study. The equivalent of one year of either Hindi or Urdu is required for summer Urdu students. Applicants for
    summer Mughal Persian should have had the equivalent of one year of Urdu or Persian. Applicants forother languages may apply at all levels, including the beginning.
  • At the time of application for this award, applicants must have already applied to an AIIS summer language program. 

Criteria for Selection:

  • Awards will be based on academic merit and seriousness of purpose
  • The applicant agrees to be an ambassador for Asian Studies at UB by sending occasional posts and photos of their experiences while in-country for use on the Asian Studies Program’s social media and website. The applicant must also be willing to talk with other students about their study abroad experience upon returning to UB.
  • The applicant’s prior South Asian coursework or plans to enroll in additional South Asia-related courses in the fall semester following their return from India.
  • Preference will be given to students seeking to learn “critical need” languages (Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu).
  • Preference will be given to students who can demonstrate that they have also applied for the Critical Language Scholarship and/or Boren Awards.

Required Application Materials:

1)     Completed AIIS Language Application in a single PDF file including:

  • Application form (available as both a word and pdf document on the AIIS web site);
  • one-page (less than 500-word) statement of purpose describing your academic reasons for selecting a particular program, detailing how the study abroad program will fit into your overall academic program and goals, and how the program benefits your personal, academic, and professional development. This may be the same statement prepared for the AIIS application.
  • Evaluator Worksheet (available on the AIIS web site)
  • Transcripts: Applicants should scan their undergraduate and graduate transcripts (from U.S. or Canadian universities only) and include them in the single pdf file.
  • Confirmation (email or scanned document) from AIIS indicating receipt of complete AIIS summer language program application

2)     Recommended: documentation confirming submission of completed applications for the Critical Language Scholarship and/or Boren Scholarship

3)     Applicants should also submit two (2) letters of recommendation emailed as an attachment directly from their professor or instructor. Instructors may also mail their recommendations in a sealed envelope signed by the professor to Asian Studies Program, 412 Clemens Hall, Buffalo NY 14260.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials must be emailed to Asian-Studies@buffalo.edu no later than Friday, January 3, 2020. 

Please contact the Asian Studies Program at Asian-Studies@buffalo.edu if you have any questions.

The Asian Studies 2019-2020 Study Abroad Award

The 2019-2020 study abroad award supports study abroad for Summer 2020, Fall 2020, AY 2020-2021, or Spring 2021. The deadline for application is March 30, 2020.

The awards will range between $500 and $1000. All UB undergraduate students are welcome to apply, but preference will be given to students majoring or minoring in the Asian Studies Program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Full-time enrollment as an undergraduate at the University of Buffalo in good academic standing at the time of your application
  • At the time of applying for this award, you must already have applied to a study abroad program in Asia through the UB Study Abroad office. Exceptions will be considered with prior approval from the Asian Studies Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Amanda Kennell.

Criteria:

  • Foreign language study is a component of the program
  • Participation in an established, credit-bearing study abroad or exchange program
  • Preference shall be given to applicants who are studying abroad for the first time or in a country or region to which they have never before traveled
  • Awards are based on academic merit and seriousness of purpose
  • The applicant agrees to be an ambassador for Asian Studies at UB by sending occasional posts and photos of their experiences while in-country for use on the Asian Studies Program’s social media and website. The applicant must also be willing to talk with other students about their study abroad experience upon returning to UB.

Application Materials and Guidelines:

Please submit the following 4 items:

  1. The application form.
  2. A personal statement no longer than 3 pages double-spaced, 11 or 12 point font following the outline below:
    • The Program. Describe the program: what is the length of the program, the course of intended study, and the language focus? You may include a program info sheet or brochure as supporting paperwork if one exists.
    • The Language. What language training have you acquired prior to the study abroad program? What is your expected proficiency at the end of the study abroad program? What is your goal in learning this language?
    • Academic Purpose. Describe your academic reasons for selecting a particular program and explain in detail how the study abroad program will fit into your overall academic program and goals.
    • Development. Describe how the program benefits your personal, academic, and professional development.
    • Candidacy. Why are you a particularly strong candidate for this award?
  3. One letter of recommendation from a professor who has taught you in an Asian Studies-related course. The letter of recommendation must be emailed as an attachment directly from the professor.
  4. A current copy of your unofficial transcript.

All application materials must be submitted no later than 4pm on Monday, March 30, 2020. 

Submission Guidelines: 

Email Asian-Studies@buffalo.edu with “Study Abroad Award Application: [your name]” in the subject line. Attach the completed application form, your personal statement, and your transcripts. Ask your professor to email their letter of recommendation as an attachment to Asian- Studies@buffalo.edu with “Study Abroad Recommendation: [your name]” in the subject line.

Please contact the Asian Studies Program at Asian-Studies@buffalo.edu if you have any questions.