Through the dedicated efforts and donations of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's International Students Club, UMPI staff and friends, and a generous anonymous donor, the University's Foundation has established an International Students Scholarship and Work Program.
The scholarship and work program were established in honor of all International students who have attended UMPI and in recognition of Emeritus faculty member Guy Gallagher, staff members John Harrington and Bonnie DeVaney, and all those who have advocated for and supported International students. Both will provide International students with financial assistance for their tuition, and the work program additionally will give these students the opportunity to gain employment experience on-campus.
"We are so pleased to see this scholarship established and to recognize our International students, and those who have been their strongest advocates, in this way," President Don Zillman said. "Both the scholarship and the work program are going to provide some very important opportunities and support for the International student recipients and also further strengthen the ties we have as a University with our students from around the world."
The International Students Scholarship will be available to full-time, on-site International students committed to completing a degree at UMPI. Preference will be given to students who are leaders on campus and who are involved with at least one club, team or organization on campus. This scholarship is exclusively for students who are citizens of a country other than the United States and Canada.
In time, the intent of the Foundation is to have the scholarship fund three types of scholarships; those for:
- A new student from a country not represented on the UMPI campus;
- A current student; and
- The employment of non-North American students in the on-campus work program.
The International Students Work Program will be available under the same criteria as the scholarship. Officials strongly believe that working on campus will facilitate the International student's connections to the University as well as provide students and staff the opportunity to interact with someone from a different country. Providing this type of financial assistance is especially important because International students are not eligible for U.S. financial aid and cannot legally work off campus without authorization.
"The establishment of this scholarship for our International students is a wonderful example of how the staff, faculty and community recognize the importance of welcoming foreign students to this region, introducing them to Aroostook County, and ensuring they have a great experience while they're here," Keith Madore, Director of University Development said. "That's so important because it enriches all of us – our International students go on to share their great experiences in northern Maine with their family and friends, and our campus and community have the opportunity to experience the diversity and different cultures these students share with us."
International students also are pleased with the newly established scholarship and work program.
"I am very excited that this International Students Scholarship and Work Program has been established. UMPI is a great place to get an education and to learn about the people and culture of the U.S.," Lijing Zhou, President of the International Students Club, said. "International students, like other students, face financial challenges and having this new scholarship and work program will be very beneficial to international students who will receive the award. On behalf of international students, thank you."
For more information or to contribute to the fund, please contact UMPI's Office of Development at 768-9568.