Patrick Gourley, an assistant professor of economics at the University of New Haven, is passionate about traveling and experiencing the world, and he created a scholarship to enable students to do just that.
August 8, 2019
When Rachel Clavette ’21 was working on a national security memo about Bosnia and Herzegovina for a class assignment, she realized she wasn’t just curious about the country’s civil war. She wanted to learn more about its culture, and, most of all, she wanted to visit.
The inaugural recipient of the University of New Haven’s Cultural Enrichment Study Abroad Scholarship, Clavette used the award to take a trip last spring from the University’s campus in Prato, Italy, where she spent the 2018-19 academic year, to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"Receiving this scholarship was very meaningful to me because it enabled me to have a unique travel experience that I would not have otherwise been able to afford," said Clavette, who has also visited several European countries, including Greece, Spain, Croatia, and Hungary. "I experienced a completely different culture, and the Bosnian people taught me about the war and the genocide that they all have lived through."
The scholarship, which was created by assistant economics professor Patrick Gourley, supports students who are spending a semester abroad, enabling them to travel outside of their program location and to participate in a culturally enriching experience before returning to the United States. Gourley, who has traveled around the world, hopes the scholarship will open doors for students, enabling them to experience more of the world.
"Studying abroad can be a watershed moment in a person’s life."Patrick Gourley
"Studying abroad can be a watershed moment in a person’s life," said Gourley, who credits the semester he spent in Prague as an undergraduate student for changing his view of the world. "I came back a different person, in large part, because I traveled extensively while I was there. From Irish villages, to the Moroccan desert, to the European metropolises, I learned far more through firsthand experiences than I ever could in a classroom. I want other students to be able to experience the same growth that I did."
After returning from their trip, scholarship recipients write a brief report, including photos. A binder containing these reports will be available to students in the University’s office as an inspiration for future trips.
Students applying for the scholarship are urged to pursue a unique experience – for example, to visit lesser known cities or countries or to take part in a local festival. Gourley hopes the scholarship will encourage students to be "global citizens."
"Global citizens try to make the world a better place, regardless of who will see the benefits, and they recognize the common elements of the human condition that we all share," said Gourley. "The goal of this scholarship is to show students a part of the world they would not have visited, so they may further understand what the human condition entails."
"Studying in Italy further fueled my passion for national security and international diplomacy."Rachel Clavette ’21
The next scholarship will be awarded in the fall, and the hope is that one student will receive the scholarship each semester.
Clavette says that her experiences abroad have been life changing.
"Studying in Italy further fueled my passion for national security and international diplomacy," said Clavette, who also hopes to visit Romania and Georgia. "Studying abroad is important because it gives us, as students, many opportunities to become more open-minded, more culturally educated, and more independent. I have developed a self confidence that I never would have imagined."