Mar. 24, 2017


Kalamazoo, MI


Est. 1877

Boren Scholarship

Q&A: AJ Convertino ‘18, Boren Scholarship Recipient to Study Abroad in China

AJ Convertino to study in China as Boren Scholarship recipient [Janay Johnson / The Index]. AJ Convertino to study in China as Boren Scholarship recipient [Janay Johnson / The Index].

1) What exactly is the scholarship and how did you receive it?

The Boren Scholarship is an initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP). Boren Scholarships provide funding for students to study less commonly taught languages worldwide that are vital to United States national security interests. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars must commit to working in the Federal Government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Department of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, or any Intelligence agency, are all priority agencies. I believe what put me over the rest in my application is that I am a member of Kalamazoo College’s football team, as well as a member K’s all-male acapella group, The Kalamadudes.

2) What do you hope to learn in Beijing? Culturally and with the language?

My main goal for studying abroad is to gain fluency in the language. On top of that, learning the culture and experiencing the different lifestyle in China are also goals of mine.

3) Can you speak to the personal significance of the scholarship?

Personally, this scholarship is very important. Not only is it providing me funding for my study abroad, but it is also providing me with a path that I will take after graduation. Being labeled a Boren Scholar is a very prestigious honor and will follow me for the rest of my life. I hope that receiving the Boren Scholarship will help propel me to achieve my career goal of working in the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.

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