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USF student awarded scholarship to study in Africa

TAMPA, Fla. -- University of South Florida student Lauren Richardson was recently awarded a Boren Scholarship through its African Languages Initiative. Richardson will spend the 2012-2013 academic year studying Swahili and East African history, arts, culture and political science in Tanzania, Africa.

Richardson is triple majoring in international relations, history and economics.

“During my first year at USF I met some influential professors and friends, and took a class called International Wealth and Power, which is basically [an] introduction to political economy. I discovered economics, and really began to love it.”

Richardson desired to attend college in the northeast, but after visiting USF she was struck by the energy and the opportunities she saw for herself.

“I have always been someone who goes after things, and there is such a wealth of opportunities at USF that you can immerse yourself in from the get go,” Richardson said.

As a freshman, Richardson attended a workshop hosted by the Office of National Scholarships, and the Boren Scholarship immediately caught her attention.

“I had always wanted to study abroad for a long time, and I had been looking for a way to go to Africa, so I bookmarked the Boren website on my computer and I knew that this was the year to do it,” she said.

Richardson is one of 161 students in the U.S. to study abroad through the Boren Scholarship.

“I had been anxiously awaiting and stalking my email for days, and when I found out, I had to read it twice to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood,” she said. “I guess I was in disbelief.”

Richardson said she is looking forward to the whole experience ahead of her.

“Tanzania has some of Africa’s best parks and scenery, so I am excited to explore that, as well as the beaches along the coast and on Zanzibar,” Richardson said. “I’m hoping to gain a fresh perspective [on] what ‘development’ really means, and hopefully discover some similarities and common humanity between myself and the USA and people in Tanzania.”

Before her departure on Aug. 31, 2012, Richardson will spend the summer at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., to learn Swahili and prepare for her adventure.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Government and International Affairs History Economics Student Success 
Author: Ella Farnsworth