In a world where higher education is increasingly globalized, fostering diversity and expanding access to transformative study-abroad experiences is a priority. It’s a dream for many students, yet financial barriers may hinder this becoming a reality. During the pandemic, a symbol of hope and commitment emerged for some Temple students: the Access to Temple Rome Scholarship.
Dean Emilia Zankina, the driving force behind this scholarship, firmly believes in the life-changing experiences Temple Rome offers students. She emphasizes that it enhances their skills and employability and broadens their horizons, making them more aware of diverse cultures and perspectives. Her vision for the Access to Temple Rome Scholarship crystallized during the pandemic, as she sought to provide hope and support to students during challenging times as a brand-new dean.
“I had just joined Temple Rome, and as the new dean, I wanted to symbolize my commitment to the program and its students. I also wanted to show them my faith that we would get out of this pandemic and have a vibrant campus and that I would make sure that we do it together.”Emilia Zankina, Dean of Temple Rome and Vice Provost of Global Engagement
She thought it was very important to establish something meaningful, but not in her name. Instead, she aimed to establish a scholarship with as few restrictions as possible to serve the program beyond her tenure and echo Temple University’s dedication to access and diversity. Zankina emphasized flexibility because study abroad students often have financial barriers beyond tuition. This scholarship provides students with financial need with the funds for things such as housing, airfare, visa processing fees and all other expenses related to studying at Temple Rome to provide more opportunities to a more diverse population of students and ensure that financial constraints don’t hinder their international education.
Temple Rome, one of Temple’s flagship international programs, prides itself on being one of the most diverse programs in Rome. There are over 80 American programs in Rome. Out of 150 American programs in Italy, Temple Rome’s commitment to diversity stands out. For 57 years, Temple University has carved out a special place in Rome that’s not just a campus but a gateway to a world of discovery and experiential learning opportunities for a broad group of students across various disciplines. Every year, over 600 students, including many from outside the Temple community, gain an immersive experience at Temple Rome that’s both academically enriching and profoundly life-altering.
One of these students and Access to Temple Rome Scholarship recipients is Samantha Brennan, a senior communications and social influence major with an Italian minor. Brennan’s journey embodies the life-changing opportunities provided through this scholarship.
“This scholarship helped me pay my tuition while allowing me to immerse myself in the culture through food, exploration and interactions with locals. Living in Rome taught me to respect other cultures and values, deeply reflect on my own, appreciate the differences and adapt to different situations. These are lessons I’ll carry with me everywhere I go.”Access to Temple Rome Scholarship recipient Samantha Brennan
Support for the Access to Temple Rome Scholarship can enable more students like Brennan to experience Temple Rome and return home not just with academic knowledge but also valuable intercultural experiences and a broader perspective on life. This experience drives personal growth and transformation so students become global citizens who can make their mark in a diverse, interconnected world.
“Students go abroad thinking they’re going to learn about the world, but they learn about themselves and how they can contribute to a better world. It’s one of the most valuable learning experiences a U.S. student could have, and donors make that possible,” says Maureen Gordon, director of education abroad and overseas campuses.
The scholarship’s endowment is currently close to $100,000, growing in perpetuity. Contributions from donors, no matter the size, ensure that there’s funding available every year to support deserving students. It’s not just a gift; it’s a commitment to Temple’s mission of access for all future generations of Temple Rome students.
“By making a gift to the scholarship, you can very easily help change the lives of many students and help shape a brighter tomorrow for everyone,” says Zankina.
Your gift to the Access to Temple Rome Scholarship Fund is an investment in the future, a way to empower students to explore the world, discover themselves and make a lasting impact on our global society. Please join us in this transformative journey. Together, we can unlock opportunities and change lives.
By Jessica Jewel Tyler
This Article originally appeared as a story for Temple University’s Institutional Advancement Office
Photos provided by Temple University