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Grant established to fund study abroad trips to European Union

By Shoham Geva, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 8, 2014

Students looking to study abroad in Europe will now have more options, as a new program on campus will provide funding for classes, research and internships in several countries admitted to the European Union in the past decade.

The newly created Kabcenell New Europe Initiative Fund, established in late December through a gift from University alum Nicholas Kabcenell, will fund summer experiences in what the fund is labeling as ‘New Europe:’ Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and other countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia.

Any full-time University undergraduate not graduating in the winter term can apply for funds. The grant amounts will range from $1,000 to $5,000.

New Europe primarily refers to countries that joined the EU in 2004 when it underwent a significant enlargement. Although the countries are grouped for the purposes of the grant, History Prof. Brian Porter-Szücs suggested that grouping them together remains confusing since they are not particularly new EU additions.

The grants will be administered through the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, a member of the University’s International Institute, starting this year.

Marysia Ostafin, the Center’s program director, said the new grants align the Center’s focus on expanding opportunities for students to engage this group of countries and Kabcenell’s personal connection to the region.

“(Kabcenell) lives in Hungary, works in Hungary and is very attached to that part of the world,” Ostafin said.

Political Science Prof. Anna Grzymala-Busse, the academic program director of the Weiser Center, said the grants allow exploration of Europe through several unique lenses.

“The European Union is of course a major power, there’s a whole post-Communist side of Eastern Europe, there are places like Prague and Poland which are very different.” Grzymala-Busse said. “It’s a great way to explore Europe if you don’t know much about it.”

The grants also shed light on lesser-known areas of Europe, she said.

“The beauty of it is that there are these places that are undiscovered gems,” Grzymala-Busse said.

Applications will be due in March for the first summer cohort. The center also provides several other grant opportunities for research and internships in Europe.