Buckman Fellowships for Study Abroad
The Buckman Fellowships for Study Abroad provide opportunities for outstanding students from any academic discipline to study abroad for a semester or an academic year. The award is in the amount of $10,000. Interested students must make an appointment with a Buckman Center staff member well in advance of the application deadline.
Please note: eligible applicants who are not awarded a Buckman Fellowship will automatically be considered for a Need-Based award; being considered for a need-based scholarship does not guarantee that a need-based award will be offered to the applicant. Applicants should be aware that, if awarded, it will be one type of award only. It is possible that applicants may not be granted either type of award. Applicants should budget carefully and plan to have an affordable backup program.
To be considered for the Buckman Fellowship, applicants must complete each of these items by the scholarship deadline:
1. Buckman Fellowship Application through the Online Portal
2. Off-Campus Study Application through the Online Portal
3. Application to the program provider
Characteristics of a Buckman Fellow
The Buckman Fellowship is highly competitive and merit-based. While there is no single formula for obtaining a Buckman Fellowship, the successful candidate should:
Student Qualifications and Application/Selection Procedure
- Demonstrate outstanding performance in the classroom (though scholarship selection is not based solely on the basis of GPA)
- Choose a program which well complements his/her major/minor area of study and/or personal and professional goals
- Be able to articulate the reasons for choosing his/her particular program
- Understand current political, cultural, and economic issues relating to the host site
- Possess the willingness and ability to adapt to their new situation/environment and the flexibility to rise to unexpected challenges if such challenges present themselves
- Maintain the ability to represent Rhodes as a study abroad student and serve as an ambassador for both study abroad in general and the Buckman Scholarship in particular
Qualified applicants will maintain sophomore, junior or senior standing (at the time the applicant plans to study abroad) with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. By the time of application, applicants need to have read and understood all Rhodes policies regarding Off-Campus Study, including the Rhodes Travel Policy for countries on the Department of State Travel Warning List. Successful candidates will also have discussed their study abroad plans with both their academic advisor and their primary faculty sponsor for the purposes of studying abroad. Applicants must submit their complete Off-Campus Study Application with all components by the scholarship deadline. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
Two important components of a Buckman Fellowship Application are:
1. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members. One of these faculty members will be identified by the student as their "primary faculty sponsor"
2. A formal letter of interest from the student applicant
Primary Faculty Sponsor
From the two faculty recommendation letter writers, a Buckman Fellowship applicant will designate a "primary faculty sponsor" with whom the Fellow is expected to maintain regular communication prior to and throughout the study abroad experience. Students should confirm a faculty member's willingness to act as a sponsor well in advance of the application deadline. A faculty sponsor is expected to be one of the two recommendation letter writers and to mentor the student throughout the study abroad experience, facilitating the reflection process.
Formal Letter of Interest
A. Provide a rationale for the chosen study abroad location, specific study abroad program, and program provider
B. Articulate the steps taken to prepare for this particular off-campus program/experience
C. Detail the skills and personal goals hoped to be gained from the experience
D. Identify the primary faculty sponsor
Helpful information regarding Faculty Letters of Recommendation:
Academic references should be faculty members. The most appropriate faculty referees will, in most cases, be those professors who can speak about your motivations, maturity, and independence, as well as those from whom you have received high grades. You will, therefore, be best served by selecting referees who know you fairly well. One of these letter writers should be designated as the applicant's primary faculty sponsor.
Students who do not know their potential referee(s) well should visit them during their office hours to discuss your interest in the award. Providing the referee with a résumé or short biography will give your referee a definite idea of what your goals are. It will also allow the referee to understand what the award is and why you are applying for it.
Finally, make certain to give the referee adequate time to complete the letter. Referees who do not have ample time may neglect valuable details when writing the letter or may fail to submit the reference on time. It is your responsibility, as the applicant, to check in with your referee prior to the deadline to inquire about the status of your letter. You can send a friendly reminder, voice mail, or drop by their office hours to ensure that your letter arrives on time.
Expectations for Buckman Fellows
As part of the Buckman Fellowship, recipients will be expected to make contributions at several junctures of the study abroad experience, including prior to departure, while away studying in the host country, and upon return to the Rhodes campus. Buckman Fellows are expected to complete the following tasks:
During the Study Abroad Period
- Maintain a regular communication with the primary faculty sponsor both prior to and throughout the study abroad experience regarding the course of study.
- Attend a pre-departure session led by a member of the Buckman Center staff to prepare for the study abroad experience.
During the Immediate Semester of Return
- Represent Rhodes College with the highest standards of personal and professional conduct and integrity.
- Report to the broader Rhodes community in either a one-time event such as video cast using Skype or on a regular basis by posting blog entries to the Buckman Center website. Reports are intended to be reflective in nature.
- Make a presentation to the Rhodes community to convey an aspect of the study abroad experience. This presentation may occur during a designated time or during the annual URCAS symposium.
- Submit a 1,000 word written description of the academic experience encountered while abroad.
- Participate in at least one promotional event for the Buckman Fellowship. For instance, returning Buckman Fellows may make a presentation to visiting parents and families during Parent’s Weekend; to fellow students at the SACK fair; and/or to the entire Rhodes community during a specially scheduled study abroad informational program.
- Serve as an ambassador for the Buckman Fellowship through willingness to speak with other students about the study abroad experience.