A Western Kentucky University student is studying abroad this spring through support from the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia scholarship program. Keeley Rather, a third-year Asian religions and cultures major from Owensboro, was awarded a scholarship of up to $5,000 to study in Japan. Rather, the daughter of Wayne Rather, is studying at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan, during the spring 2018 semester.
“I believe that studying abroad is an invaluable experience and can help not only to achieve one’s goals but also to broaden one’s view of the world at large,” Rather said. “My goal is to become an English teacher overseas, so this initial trip to Japan will be incredibly valuable.”
Rather worked with the Office of Scholar Development at WKU in preparing her Freeman-ASIA application and with the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning to find the best academic program abroad to fit her goals. “While in Japan, Keeley will be exposed to experiences that enrich her academics and develop her into a global citizen,” Cory Dodds, coordinator of nationally competitive opportunities in the Office of Scholar Development, said. “I am happy that Freeman-ASIA continues to support WKU students like Keeley.” Freeman-ASIA is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in east or southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Award recipients are required to share their experiences with their home campuses or communities to encourage study abroad by others and fulfill the program’s goal of increasing understanding of Asia in the United States. From 2001 through the 2013 academic year, Freeman-ASIA supported 4,500 U.S. undergraduates from more than 600 institutions with their study abroad plans in east and southeast Asia.