CU Evans Scholars abroad

Allison Evans
  • Sophomore Sydney Bates is currently studying abroad in Granada, Spain.
  • Sophomore Cassandra Marquez studied abroad in London, UK.
  • Alex Atwater, Kaitlin Cahalane and Peter Evans studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in 2015.
  • Soren Fuchs studied abroad in Budapest, Hungary in fall 2017.

The notion of spending a semester studying in a foreign country is undoubtedly appealing to any college student. Studying abroad allows for once-in-a-lifetime cultural immersion that promotes empathy, learning and leadership. Consequently, it is a great resume builder that quickly attracts employers. According the the University of California - Merced, graduates who studied abroad are twice as likely to find employment within one year after graduation. In the past three years, nine Colorado Evans Scholars were able to study in five different countries all thanks to Chick.

Since 2015, Colorado Evans Scholars have studied abroad in Spain, Italy, Hungary, Argentina and England.

Sophomore Sydney Bates is currently studying in Granada, Spain. Sydney, a much loved member of the Colorado chapter, has been sorely missed in her absence, but she has been sure to make the most of this incredible opportunity. Though living in such a foreign city has certainly been an adjustment, she is fully immersing herself in the culture - living with a host family and speaking nothing but Spanish outside of her conversations with people back home.

In fall 2017, four Scholars, Soren Fuchs (junior), Michael O'Hearne (junior), Cassandra Marquez (sophomore), and Allison Evans (sophomore) studied in Budapest, Buenos Aires and London respectively.

Of her experience in London, Cassandra Marquez said, "It was the best time of my life. It challenged me to grow as a person by adapting to a new environment."

When asked about his immersion in Hungarian culture, Soren Fuchs said, "I got to meet incredible people, eat amazing food, and take in the ridiculous architecture of Budapest. I never took a single taxi, I was always on the tram experiencing the day-to-day with locals."

Colorado Evans Scholars Alumni Kaitlin Cahalane ('17) and Alex Atwater ('17) are prime examples of the lasting impressions of a study abroad experience. Both Cahalane and Atwater studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, in 2015.

When recalling the challenges of her experience, Cahalane discussed her initial culture shock and homesickness. "It can be daunting coming from a small town to a city the size of Barcelona, and then being expected to learn the Metro schedule, speak in a different language, and make sure you're watching your back so that you don't get pickpocketed."

Atwater went on to discuss the financial challenges and how it was difficult to learn how to budget and wisely spend money in a foreign country. While challenges were faced, they were undoubtedly overcome, and their overall experiences are seen in a very positive light. While both Scholars had the opportunity to travel elsewhere in Europe, they both spoke about how rewarding it was to become part of the culture of Barcelona and how it has affected them even in their post-grad lives.

"While discussing business with a client from Spain/Europe, I'm always able to relate my experiences of their countries and cultures, which makes a more relaxed meeting moving forward," said Atwater.

Beyond business, Cahalane says, "...somewhere thousands of miles away holds a special place in my heart years later. I feel like I could visit again and still feel at home."

It is important to remember that all nine of these Scholars are from needs-based backgrounds. Few had the opportunities, let alone the financial means to travel prior to their study abroad experiences.

"I had never been out of the country before going abroad, and the Evans Scholarship is the sole reason I was able to do so," said senior Peter Evans who studied alongside Cahalane and Atwater in Barcelona in fall of 2015.

Outside of the financial support, there is an undeniable sense of familial support, especially in the cases of the Scholars who traveled together.

"Besides the fact that without the Evans Scholarship I wouldn't have been able to attend college and study abroad, the Evans Scholarship also affected my experience because I had two other Evans Scholars in the same city with me and Evans Scholars Alumni who were traveling and would come visit," said Cahalane.

Regarding the same topic, Cassandra Marquez said, "It was like travelling with a sister. I always had a piece of home with me."

The Evans Scholars Foundation has clearly gone beyond a means of financial aid. The organization continues to enrich the lives of deserving young adults - taking them places they only ever dreamed they would be able to go.