Travel Scholarship Encourages World Exploration

Apr 26, 2016 by

Travel Scholarship Encourages World Exploration


Hostelling International USA Encourages World Exploration With Travel Scholarship

by Heather Cassell

Hostelling International USA plans to help 81 young people travel the world with its new Explore the World Travel Scholarship.

Launched in March, the scholarship was created to encourage Americans between the ages 18 – 30 years of age to travel outside of the United States in 2016 and 2017.

Awardees who are inspired to experience other people and cultures through international travel and make the world a better place will be awarded $2,000 to help fund their voluntourism projects.

The deadline is May 15. Awardees will be announced June 25.

“This trip to India truly changed my life,” says Amelia Menton, who is from Chicago, on the hostelling website.

Amelia traveled to Mumbai where she conducted research about equitable work environments by interviewing garbage collectors in the city about their work conditions.

“This trip not only made me feel more connected to humanity, it also taught me so much about who I want to be as a social worker and as a person trying to make change in the US.”

Diana Ventura of Austin agrees.

“Volunteering with such a poor community in Peru satisfied my heart in a way that I can’t express with words – it is a feeling,” says Diana, who is a middle school art teacher who volunteered with the Light and Leadership Initiative in Peru before continuing her travels in Brazil and Colombia to pursue her interest in dance learning the Salsa and Zouk.

At the initiative she taught reading, assisted with homework, staffed the teen center, and led art workshops for children and women, according to the HI USA website. In addition to her work, she taught women how to make crafts to sell in the marketplace.

“As someone who sincerely cares for the well-being of others, there is no price to giving to those less fortunate, especially when it comes to knowledge,” she says.

Blair Brettschneider, founder of GirlForward, an organization that helps empower refugee girls connected with GirlForward Rwanda during her scholarship trip to Rwanda. (Photo: Courtesy of HI USA)

Blair Brettschneider, founder of GirlForward, an organization that helps empower refugee girls connected with GirlForward Rwanda during her scholarship trip to Rwanda. (Photo: Courtesy of HI USA)

Blair Brettschneider, founder of GirlForward, an organization that helps empower refugee girls in Chicago, the scholarship helped her realize she could travel solo.

“This trip taught me that I could do it!” says Blair, who traveled to Rwanda for three weeks where she explored the country’s history and culture and connected with GirlForward Rwanda. “I realized that I am good at it and can be pretty resourceful when I need to be, which makes me feel I could travel to other faraway places on my own.”

The scholarship will be awarded to residents in regional areas of California (Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco), Washington, DC; Illinois (Chicago), Massachusetts (Boston), Maryland (Baltimore), Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Oregon (Portland), Texas (Austin and Houston), Virginia (Richmond), and Washington (Seattle).

The program is similar to its Explore America Hostel Scholarship which encourages 18 to 30-year olds from Chicago, Austin and Houston to explore traveling the United States by staying at hostels with a $500 travel stipend. The young people need to also have an interest in learning about other people and cultures through travel. They also have to travel within six months of being awarded the scholarship.

For more information, visit www.hiusa.org/programs/travel-scholarships/explore-the-world.

Book your next voluntourism adventure with Girls That Roam Travel. Contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel in association with Travel Advisors of Los Gatos at 408-354-6531 or 415-517-7239 or at .

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