Nicolas Miguel Orjuela, Spring 2014 Marcel and Clare Gloriot
Foundation Scholarship and USF One Stop Scholarship Recipient,
PUC-RIO Rio de Janeiro, Brazi
Study Abroad (SA): Please tell us a little about yourself.
Nicolas Orjuela (NO): My name is Nicolas Miguel Orjuela and
I am a Colombian student that has been living in the United States for the past
nine years. Currently, I am an Undergraduate transfer student working to get my
BA in International Business with a Minor in Economics. I transferred from the
University of Minnesota in the fall of 2012 and will be graduating from USF
after the Fall semester of 2014. During the upcoming Spring 2014 term, I will
be studying abroad at PUC-RIO in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I will be taking
intensive Portuguese classes, as I plan to become fluent, and will be taking 16
credits at the university.
SA: Is studying abroad going to delay your graduation?
NO: Studying abroad will not delay my graduation and I will still
be able to graduate in four years. I do advice students to leave some of their
electives and core classes open if they are planning to study abroad as late as
their junior and senior year. Doing this makes your schedule abroad more
flexible, especially if classes are taught in a foreign language. Trust me, you
don't want to be taking major courses abroad.
SA: Great! Why did
you choose this program?
NO: I chose this program because the University of San
Francisco sponsors it. After attending the study abroad fair last semester, I
decided that studying abroad would be the best experience for me before
graduation. I explored different destinations and after research I decided
Brazil was the best fit. Going through a USF sponsored program made the process
much easier than it would have been if I had chosen a private study abroad
program. They offered me useful instructions, trainings, and did all of the
paperwork processing between PUC-RIO and me. Also, my USF financial aid
transferred to pay USF tuition and for the study abroad program.
SA: Besides financial aid, did you receive other sources of
funding to pay for your study abroad?
NO: Yes, I have received two scholarships so far and am
currently waiting for a final response from another one. As a low-income
student going through college on my own, these types of scholarships are
necessary and true blessings. The first scholarship I received was through the
One Stop office at USF. I demonstrated my financial needs, educational merits
and wrote an essay in order to get additional financial aid for my study abroad
trip. I also applied to two private outside scholarships. I applied through the
Marcel and Clare Gloriot Foundation, and I successfully received a scholarship
from them. I also applied through the National Society of Collegiate Scholars
(NSCS), an honors society that has a chapter in our campus for which I am the
current VP. I am still waiting to hear from them, but their scholarships are
great! They range from $3,000-$5,000.
SA: It's great to hear about different opportunities
available for scholarship to help students with the costs to study abroad. Who told you about these scholarship
NO: I found out through these scholarships mostly by being
involved in several clubs and organizations throughout campus. I am currently a
member of 6 clubs on campus such as the NSCS and the Entrepreneurship Club at
USF. I was able to find many resources by participating and attending events. I
also contacted some of the staff in the financial aid and study abroad
departments here at USF. They gave me guidance and led me to resources that
offer hundreds of scholarships. Also, just by doing research on my own on the Internet
I was able to find legitimate scholarship opportunities such as the Gilman
Scholarship. Networking is probably one of the best ways to go about it.
SA: Networking is so important in life. Besides earning credit towards graduation,
what other goals do you have while in Brazil?
NO: As an International Business major, I plan to become
fluent in my fourth language, Portuguese. I will be living abroad for 7 months
and my goal is to come back as fluent as I can. I am also hoping to make good
connections that might help me evolve in my career as an international
businessman. I would also like to explore different industries that make up the
economy in Brazil and search potential multinational companies that I could
potentially work for. I hope that I can submerge in the culture and come back
with a part of Brazil in my heart. Finally, after I finish my semester, I will
be attending the World Cup 2014 that will take place in many different
Brazilian cities. This will be a dream come true.
SA: World Cup will be amazing! Good luck to you and have a great study