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Three UI students among 183 given scholarships for study abroad

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Three students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have received National Security Education Program (NSEP) Boren Undergraduate Scholarships to study abroad during the 2003-04 academic year.

The recipients: Nathaniel House, Las Vegas; Brian Phillips, Braidwood, Ill.; and Aisha Williams, Chicago.

The merit-based scholarships are awarded to U.S. citizens for study in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America or the Middle East. The Illinois students are among 183 recipients from a national applicant pool of more than 750. Each scholarship winner will receive between $6,000 and $20,000 to support his or her studies, depending on the cost of the selected study-abroad program.

In accepting the scholarships, recipients enter into a service agreement that requires them to seek employment in a paid position for the federal government in the broadly defined area of national security within eight years of returning to the United States. The students also receive priority-hiring status.

House, a junior majoring in international studies, will spend the year in Morocco, studying at the Al Akhawayn University, where he hopes to improve his Arabic language skills and understanding of the Muslim world. At Illinois, he has worked as a program adviser for the Unit One living-learning community. Upon his return to the United States, House hopes to pursue graduate studies and aspires to work in the U.S. Foreign Service or for the United Nations.

Phillips, a senior who is majoring in international studies and in political science, plans to study at the Intensive Arabic Language Program at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. After completing course work for his degree in Cairo, Phillips plans to pursue an advanced degree in international security or global energy policy. This will be Phillips’ second study-abroad experience; he previously spent a semester at St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

Williams, a sophomore majoring in international studies, will spend the year in Brazil as a participant in the university’s exchange program with Pontifica Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro. Part of that experience includes living with a Brazilian host family. Upon graduation, Williams plans to pursue an advanced degree in Latin American or international studies, in preparation for a career as a Foreign Service officer.

More information about the NSEP Boren Undergraduate Scholarship program is available on the Web, or by contacting David Schug at the Office of Scholarships for International Study at Illinois.