Tashi Sherpa ’21 has won a 2020–21 Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) A. Rewari Family Scholarship to help fund her fall semester study abroad to Aarhus University in Denmark. Sherpa is an economics major and the third Geneseo student to win the award (Waderlie Mendez ’20 won it in 2018, and Tshering Sherpa ’21 in 2019).
FEA is a non-profit organization established in 2010 to provide scholarships for international experiences to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population. It supports minority, community college, and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.
Born in Nepal and raised in the United States, Sherpa credits her multicultural background with sparking an interest in the contrast between the “developing” and the “developed.” “As a child, I experienced first-hand the day-to-day realities of living in a developing country, an experience that made me want to understand better the problems these countries attempt to address in their economic, social, and environmental policies,” she says. “I have often questioned how Nepal’s economy functions with such instability and chaos, despite having a multitude of natural resources.”
Presently, Sherpa remotely teaches English to young girls in Lucknow, India, through the SoCC Buddies program of Asia Initiatives, Inc. Interacting with the students has been influential. “Hearing about their lives makes me realize that I want to pursue a career in economic research,” she says. “I hope one day I can help to narrow the gap between developing and developed countries and learn how economic policies affect women’s decision-making about family, children, and finances in different countries.”
At Aarhus University—Denmark’s largest higher education institution—Sherpa will study at research centers dedicated to her core interests in economics, public leadership, and international relations. Her courses will offer insight into European and global perspectives through cultural values, education systems, and collaborative interactions. Sherpa, who speaks Nepali, Hindi, and some Urdu and Sanskrit, looks forward to learning the Danish language. And she values the semester’s potential for personal growth. “I hope to gain a greater sense of independence and self-assurance as I dive out of my comfort zone, into the unknown, to increase my awareness and be more assertive, responsible, and courageous one step at a time.”
For additional information about the FEA Scholars program and other scholarship and fellowship programs, visit Fellowships and Scholarships and the Center for Integrative Learning or contact Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships Michael Mills at email@example.com or 585-245-6002.