Learning a language takes a great deal of effort over several years, and becoming truly proficient takes even more effort. Our students work very hard in their classes and practice a lot outside of class. Conversation hours, which provide extra, informal language practice, are the primary function of our language clubs in addition to organizing cultural events and giving students with similar interests the chance to get to know each other outside of class.
But there is nothing like living for an extended period of time in a country where the language you are studying is spoken. Having to negotiate all the tasks of everyday life in another language and develop real relationships with people who don’t speak English makes everything that you’ve learned in the classroom real. Beyond language proficiency, long-term study abroad deepens your knowledge of yourself and the world. You come back knowing another culture intimately and also understanding your own more profoundly.
Unfortunately, the cost of this experience can be prohibitive to many. Every year the Department of Language and Literatures at Oklahoma State University has the privilege of awarding scholarships to students planning to study abroad. These funds often make the difference between staying and having a transformative experience in another country. This is all possible because of generous donations, both large and small, from friends and alumni.
We are grateful to one of our alumni, Brian Ward (1995), who has combined his love of language, travel and aviation to pursue a career as a professional pilot. He is now in a position to give back. While a single donation can contribute to changing one person's life, the real power of these funds happens when they are collected to form a permanent endowment that then generates interest in perpetuity helping one or more people every year. This year we have an opportunity to create a new endowment thanks to a very generous donation. We are just $5000 short of endowing a new fund, the Brian Ward Endowed Scholarship in Foreign Languages.
Help us push the Brian Ward Endowed Scholarship in Foreign Languages over the top to create a permanent endowment to help OSU students study abroad now and in the future.