Skip to Content

### Explore Uncommon Paths: Scholarships for Travel at Hanszen and Wiess

Virginia Liu / Thresher


3/26/24 10:56pm

Embarking on a journey beyond familiar territories opens up a world of unique experiences, whether it involves exploring a tobacco farm in Cuba, savoring culinary delights at a Michelin-starred bistro in Paris, or immersing oneself in the urban gardens of Spain. While the Rice Office of Study Abroad provides various scholarships for students keen on academic travel, the travel scholarships offered by Hanszen and Wiess Colleges remain relatively undiscovered.

Wiess College oversees the administration of the Dr. John E. Parish Fellowship for Summer Travel, accessible to all students. This fellowship, established in 1982 following the passing of John Parish, an esteemed English professor and former Resident Associate of Wiess College, aims to support students in their travel endeavors.

Partially funded by the Parish Fellowship, Kenna Dixon, a biosciences major, spent her post-freshman year summer exploring urban gardens across six countries.

Dixon’s fascination with urban gardens was sparked by her conservation biology course, which delved into the management of biodiversity in urban environments.

Initially drawn to Spain to explore parks and gardens, Dixon’s itinerary expanded to encompass city parks, historical gardens, and other biodiverse settings, aiming to understand the coexistence of biodiversity and beauty in these spaces.

Submitting a detailed budget outlining expenses such as airfare, accommodation, meals, daily activities, and garden admissions, Dixon found the fellowship covered most of her travel costs, though she supplemented it with personal funds to extend her journey.

During her travels, Dixon engaged with urban gardeners, including a community garden organizer in Prague who shared insights on reclaiming contaminated land for green spaces.

While Dixon’s itinerary was meticulously planned, serendipitous encounters enriched her experience, such as meeting a like-minded American student passionate about ecology and exploring projects aligned with her research interests.

Dixon is set to present her research findings at the upcoming Wiess College awards ceremony in April.

On the other hand, Hanszen College offers scholarships exclusively to its students, supported by endowed gifts. The Richard and Lisa Smith Travel Scholarship facilitates semester or year-long study abroad experiences, while the Ed and Carol Monarchi Scholarship caters to academic travel of any duration.

One recipient of the Monarchi Scholarship, Beth Buchanan ‘21, utilized the funding for a summer program in Scandinavia, focusing on organizational power and discrimination issues in gender-equal countries like Sweden and Denmark.

The Klaus and Eugenia Weisenberger Award, named in honor of former Hanszen magisters, sponsors students interested in exploring regional cuisines, allowing them to delve into culinary traditions worldwide.

Selection for Hanszen travel scholarships involves a rigorous process led by college faculty and staff, emphasizing presentations upon the students’ return. Preference is given to applicants with limited prior international travel experience, fostering transformative experiences for those venturing abroad for the first time.

Both Wiess and Hanszen travel scholarships offer students the opportunity for personal growth, academic exploration, and cultural immersion, shaping their perspectives and enriching their educational journey.