Published on May 12, 2014
Updated on Aug. 21, 2017
Two University of Missouri students have earned the opportunity to spend the upcoming summer in the United Kingdom. Kiersten Kuc and Samantha Franks have garnered positions in the Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K.
Each year the Fulbright US-UK Commission supports undergraduate students from the United States and the United Kingdom in participating in a six-week academic and cultural summer program at leading institutions in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.
“As a Fulbright Summer Institute participant and journalism student, I am endlessly curious about the world that surrounds me,” says Kuc, a sophomore majoring in journalism and business. She is from Chesterfield, Mo., and conducts undergraduate research in the Psychological Research in Information and Media Effects (PRIME) Lab.
In the Wales Summer Institute, Kuc will study at Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Bangor universities.
“Traveling over 4,000 miles to a new country, academic institution, and economic and political infrastructure will open my eyes to cultural differences,” Kuc says. “Similarly, traveling to three different universities within Wales will provide insight into the variation across different regions of the small nation.”
Studying at Cardiff University will allow her to explore industrial and economic change in the valleys and coastal ports of South Wales, while the program at Bangor University will discuss identity and how the small nation of Wales can uphold its traditions, culture and language. At Aberystwyth University, Kuc will learn about the environmental implications of economic development.
Franks will travel to the University of Bristol, where she will study international trade and the transatlantic heritage of slavery. She will have the opportunity to meet members of Parliament, while studying at one of the leading schools in the United Kingdom.
“I think this will give me a unique view in that field,” she says. “I really, truly want to learn as much as I can about British culture. I’ve never been abroad and I hope to see all I can of Bristol and to travel within England.”
A sophomore from Nixa, Mo., Franks is majoring in English and political science, with a minor in history. She plans to pursue a career in international law with her sights set on becoming a human rights lawyer.
“I think that this trip can provide me a foundation of understanding pertaining to international culture,” Franks says. “We’ll be studying American-British-African relations, and so I will get to learn a lot about cross-cultural impacts. I hope that it will make me a better lawyer, and help me figure out what kind of programs I want to apply to for law school.”
The US-UK Fulbright Commission is the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship program, offering awards and summer programs for study or research in any field, at any accredited university. Fulbright Summer Programs cover all participant costs. In addition, Fulbright summer participants receive a distinctive support and cultural education program including pre-departure preparation, enrichment, opportunities in country, and opportunity to join Fulbright alumni networks.