College of Agricultural Sciences Global Engagement Funds

Application Form Instructions For

  • The Joseph Cordivano, Sr., Memorial Award
  • The Dr. Marion P. Cullen International Travel Endowment in Animal Science
  • The Diane Cressman Blanton GO! The Global Opportunity Award
  • The Boyd E. Wolff GOTCHA Fund in International Agriculture
  • Earl and Kay Harbaugh Endowment for International Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • MAP! The Marilyn McPheron Around the Planet Award for International Experiences for Undergraduates in the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • The Terry and Adriana Muth Ag Sciences Global Support Fund in the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • George Settlemyer Fund for International Agriculture Experiences
  • The Elaine and Howard Steele Fund for Agriculture Adventures
  • The Ronald and Dorothy Young Fund in International Agriculture
  • Undergraduate International Research Competitive Grants Program

Application Instructions:

Please read and follow the instructions carefully, and if there is anything you do not understand, email Ketja Lingenfelter, with any questions. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Note: Students use this application to apply for funds from all of the endowments above. The award committee will determine from which fund the award will be given (based on student academic major, type of international experience and amount of award to be given).

Applicants must have a major in the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS).

If the experience being applied for includes travel to a country with a State Department Travel Warning, contact Ketja Lingenfelter at before applying to determine if these funds can support your travel. Current travel warnings are here:

Any of the above funds may be used toward semester study abroad, international internships, international research, international service learning, or short term study abroad opportunities. Awards for semester, summer, and internship programs typically range between $450 - $1000.00. Awards for international research, service learning and short term programs typically range between $400 - $600. Students who drop out of a program for any reason will be asked to return their full award immediately.

The number of awards made from the above endowments vary by year according to how many students are traveling, types of experiences, length of experiences, travel costs, etc. As the endowments increase due to student contributions, number of awards per year will increase. In general, students may not receive funds more than once; however, this is determined on a case by case basis. Awards will be made at the discretion of the Director of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Ag Sciences Global Office, the Assistant Director for Student Global Engagement, and the ASG Awards Committee. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need via the following application process.

To apply for global engagement funds, fill out the on-line application below by the appropriate deadline for your program.

Application Deadlines:

  • January 31: Spring and Summer embedded course travel.
  • March 15: Summer programs (not with an embedded course), Fall semester long programs, and September embedded course travel. 
  • September 30: Spring semester long programs, and Fall or Winter Break embedded course travel. 

NOTE: Late applications will be considered for funding depending on the amount of funds remaining in the endowments for that given academic year.

Students are notified of awards approximately three weeks after the above deadlines and will be deposited into Bursar account approximately the same time as notification.
Students must be accepted in the international program at time of award deadline.

All awards are deposited into the student's Bursar's Account.
To prevent an "overaward" of federal student aid, students can increase their cost of attendance by notifying the Office of Student Aid of any miscellaneous additional educational expenses beyond their tuition, mandatory fees, and room and meals. If all mandatory tuition and fees are paid at the time this award is deposited, the student can receive a refund of any awards made to cover travel or other miscellaneous educational expense.

Students do not need to request a refund. The bursar will automatically process a refund. It depends on whether students signed up for the "Rapid Refund" through LionPATH if the refund is deposited into a bank account or a check is cut and sent to their home address. To sign up for Rapid Refund - the student does so by using LionPATH. This is the quickest way for a refund. If the student isn't registered for Rapid Refund, a check is cut and sent to the student's permanent address (which may take 1-2 weeks). Refunds can happen sometimes in 48 hours.

Student Awardee Obligations

Students awarded funds from any of the above endowments are asked to donate back 10-15% of funds received within two years after graduating from Penn State. This can be done here:, or by sending a check payable to Penn State to Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 240 Agricultural Administration Building, University Park, PA 16802 for GOTCHA. This give back will enable the funds to grow, thus providing more opportunities for additional students to have an international experience. In lieu of the 10% giveback, a student may designate their senior gift to the GOTCHA (Give Others The Chance to Have an Adventure) fund. Award notification will include instructions for give-back.

Awardees are required to send the benefactor(s) of the award a thank you note upon award notification and a post card thanking the benefactor(s) while at their study abroad destination if your application is for study abroad. In addition, a travelogue or impact report (a short, 1 to 2 page essay), is required. It must be in Microsoft Word (due to formatting guidelines to put it on our website). It must include two photos of your trip, with captions, and with at least one of you in it. Please include a title for your essay, your name, major (and minor), the country you traveled to and/or project, program, or course you participated in, and a featured "quote" from your essay that we will list on the website to entice people to read it!

In addition to sharing the highlights of your experience, please incorporate answers to the following two questions into your travelogue/impact report:

  • What new skills have you gained from this experience? (for example, skills in communication, decision making/problem solving, self-management, teamwork, professionalism, leadership, etc.)
  • How might you describe this experience to a potential employer?

Examples of student travelogues can be seen at: Please email your travelogue/impact report to by the end of the semester following your travel experience. It will be added to our website for students to read to learn about your experience, and we will send it to the donor who funded your award, so please make sure to proofread for proper grammar, sentence structure, and spell-check.

Students intending to study abroad or who have studied abroad are encouraged to be available for class presentations and event assistance upon return from study abroad program.

Student Information
Budget Information
Application Essay

Thank you for your award application submission. You will not receive a confirmation email, but you are welcome to check with to confirm that it was received. You should be notified about your award status within approximately 3 weeks after the application deadline.

Following are examples of two types of budgets.

Please note: awards given are not generally for the entire amount of unmet need. Also, we are unable to fund the entire cost of a program.

Note: If this is for an internship, please be sure to note whether it is paid or unpaid, and approximately how much you will receive (this should be noted under the Sources of Funding section). If there is no cost to your project (i.e. international research on campus, etc. please note that in this section).

Budget Example: Semester Abroad Budget

(for Univ. of Melbourne, Australia)

Expected expenses not including tuition:

  • Program Fee $1,617 (includes administrative costs and international insurance)
  • Administrative Fee $250
  • Insurance Fee (UHCG Insurance via PSU) $140
  • Airfare, round trip $1,900
  • Visa Fees $390
  • Housing $3,000 (on campus housing)
  • Meals $2,200
  • Books and Supplies $350
  • Total $9,847

Sources of Funding: Applications not showing Sources of Funding will not be considered.

  • Parents/Grandparents/Assorted Relatives $2,000
  • Personal Contribution $1,500
  • Other Scholarships $1,000
  • Loans $4,000

Unmet Need $1,347

Budget Example: Short Term Embedded Course Budget

(Comparing US/French Agricultural Systems, May 15-28, Paris, France)

Expected expenses:

  • Program Fees, if applicable $900
  • Insurance Fee (UHGC Insurance) $30
  • Visa (if required) n/a
  • Airfare $900
  • Lodging $1000
  • Food $500
  • In-country transportation $50
  • Total $3380

Sources of Funding: Applications not showing Sources of Funding will not be considered.

  • Parents/Grandparents/Assorted Relatives $1,000
  • Personal Contribution $1,000
  • Other Scholarships $1,000

Unmet Need $380

Example of Application Essay

The Study Abroad Application Essay should cover:

  • why did you choose the study abroad program you will be attending
  • what educational and professional objectives are you fulfilling by participating in this study abroad experience
  • how will you bring back what you learn abroad to enhance the college community
  • how do you think this experience will benefit your future
  • If you are submitting a proposal for an internationally related research project, please include a 250 - 500 word research proposal describing your project rationale, background information/review of literature, methodology, timeline, and impact of research.

A Passion of Agricultural Knowledge

Jane Smith, Junior in Agricultural Extension and Education, Pennsylvania State University

As a child I grew up in a rural area on my family farm. When I was old enough I eagerly became active in our county 4-H program and would eventually become a dependable farm hand on my grandfathers' farm. As I approached my high school years I realized that agriculture was in my blood. After experiencing the turmoil and pleasure of agricultural life I decided to enroll in the agricultural education program at my high school. This is when I truly found my passion in life.

Participating in the National FFA Organization and working behind the scenes in my local agricultural program fueled my desire to major in agricultural extension and education. As a student, I was able to hold positions of leadership within the FFA on a local and state level. Working with my peers, as a chapter officer and later as a state FFA Officer, enhanced my knowledge of agriculture throughout the state and provided insight into many different agricultural programs. Consequently, majoring in agricultural education was an easy decision because I love the agricultural education family, have a passion for the preservation of agriculture, and providing youth the opportunity to excel inside, as well as outside, of school is a rewarding experience.

My experiences at Penn State have aided my decision to study abroad, particularly in Australia, for several reasons. I was eager to begin at Penn State in the College of Agricultural Sciences, not only to be with people who have the same interests as I do, but also to study how agriculture can be brought into urban areas. This desire led me to focus on environmental sciences because I feel that it is important to be aware of your natural surroundings, but also to understand the importance of agriculture in your life, regardless of where you may live. I have had the chance to participate in numerous environmental community service activities funded by the CAS which has made me wonder how agriculture influences people and their environment in various parts of the world. Consequently, I have picked up a minor in international agriculture and spent last spring break administering a participatory rural appraisal in Costa Rica as a part of an INTAG class.

Choosing to continue my international studies by spending a semester at the University of Western Australia will benefit me academically in a variety of ways, and will enable me to meet my educational and professional objectives for this experience. My educational objectives include

  • to enhance my understanding of environmental issues on a global level
  • to gain understanding of teaching methods in agriculture in other cultures

My professional objectives include

  • to develop global competency
  • to enhance my teaching methods

Australia is the only country to hold seven of the eight ecosystems in the world; the only ecosystem missing is the tundra. Four of these seven ecosystems in Australia can be found within reasonable distance of Perth. Inevitably, this environmental phenomenon is essential to the success of the UWA agricultural program and also one of the main reasons that I chose to study at UWA in Perth. Studying in Australia will also provide me with another opportunity to experience agricultural life in a different setting. Agriculture in Costa Rica varies greatly from U.S. agriculture and I am excited to gain insight concerning the economical, environmental, and cultural impact of agriculture in Australia. Most importantly, spending a semester studying agriculture in Australia is an international experience that will enhance my ability to teach agriculture in a classroom upon graduation.

While I am studying in Australia I will be taking courses such as aboriginal culture, viticulture, and wildlife management. I have chosen a wide variety of topics to increase my understanding of the heritage of the country and also the current agricultural practices. This variety of course topics will build a foundation of knowledge that will be useful when teaching in an agricultural program. Not only will I be more able to understand various agricultural practices, agricultural theory, culture differences, and natural history; but I will also be equipped to share this information with my students. When teaching agricultural practices in a classroom the students will be encouraged to go out into the world and practice what they have learned and research answers to questions that they may have. This hands on approach requires much background knowledge and a passion for agriculture, both of which I will continue to grow as I study agriculture in Australia.

Travelogue/Student Impact Report To Be Submitted After International Experience

In addition to reflecting on the cultural and touristic aspects of your experience, please be sure to give an overview of the academic component and how this experience impacts your education, future plans and/or career possibilities.