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The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Attention: Leaving Chickasha!

USAO offers three study abroad opportunitues over next two years
Photo provided by Chelsea Fuston
Chelsea Fuston, the most recent recpient of the Brad Henry International Scholar Award, prepares to board a flight in Norway.

The college experience promises nothing if not opportunities: opportunities for academic success, for thoughtful exploration of complex ideas, and, perhaps most importantly, opportunities for employment once students enter the much anticipated “real world” of the global job market. For some, these are the hallmarks of higher education. For others, no college experience could possibly be considered complete without taking the chance to study abroad. Regardless, USAO has a myriad of avenues through which students can travel and explore the world beyond Chickasha. Whether one is a certified globetrotter or a homebody hermit, the door to the world at large is open if one chooses to walk through it.

One such opportunity for travel comes in the form of the Brad Henry International Scholar Award. Named for Oklahoma’s former governor, the scholarship not only allows students to study without any financial burden, but it also sends them to Swansea University in Wales for the entirety of the spring trimester of 2024. The scholarship, which has existed for over fifteen years, offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to qualifying undergrads.

“It’s life changing,” Brenda Brown, dean of the school of IDS and Humanities, said. “My oldest daughter went when she was here. She was selected, and she went on to get her masters in international studies, and she is now the associate director of study abroad at the University of Tulsa. It totally changed where she was going with her life.”

The potential of scholarships like this to alter one’s life trajectory is not to be understated. Much like Dr. Brown’s daughter, many students who have received the scholarship felt it was beneficial not only to their academic journey but also to their personal development. The most recent recipient of the Brad Henry Scholar Award, senior multidisciplinary studies major Chelsea Fuston, had a similarly influential time during her stay in Europe.

“My experience was incredible,” Fuston said. “I visited 13 countries and met a lot of once in a lifetime friends. It was challenging to uproot my entire life here and move to an entirely new place without knowing anyone, but I feel more confident now that I’ve faced that level of uncertainty.”

While this is an academically based award, the overseas adventure includes much more than just going to classes as Fuston’s experience can attest. As the term begins in early January with the recipient set to return in early June, the entire month of April is set aside to satisfy one’s traveling desires. During this time students can travel all around Europe and see the sights so many students have learned about in the World Thought classes taught at USAO.

The application deadline for the Brad Henry International Scholar Award was Wednesday, Sept. 20. The informational page also includes details about Dr. Brown’s summer 2024 trip to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as professor of biology, Dr. Jason Shaw’s summer 2025 trip to Cuba. Learn more at:


Gabi Merchen is a fourth-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Gabi Merchen, Senior Writer
Gabi is a fourth-year transfer student from the University of Oklahoma (OU), now Gabi is looking to obtain her bachelor's degree in communication at USAO. She is from Yukon. She loves writing and has been contributing to local and scholastic publications since 2015. Gabi also participates in two choral groups on campus. When she isn't in class, Gabi likes to spend her time crafting, crocheting, and rewatching the same three sitcoms over and over again.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Jan. 2023 - Apr. 2023