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Monica Galbraith ’20 Receives Boren Scholarship for Study in Korea

May 14, 2018

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Monica Galbraith ’20 has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, during the 2018–19 academic year. Galbraith, an independent scholar from Laramie, Wyoming, was one of 221 undergraduates to receive the scholarship from a field of nearly 800 applicants.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation.

In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. “The National Security Education Program is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures,” said NSEP Director Michael A. Nugent.

“Monica has demonstrated outstanding motivation and a commitment to the study of Korean language and culture, and we are very proud of her for receiving the prestigious Boren Scholarship,” said Stacey Woody Thebodo, associate director of international programs and off-campus study. “Like Middlebury’s goals for study abroad, Boren Scholarships promote linguistic and cultural immersion. Studying in Korea with the Boren Scholarship will facilitate Monica’s career goals of working for the U.S. government in diplomacy and interpretation.”

The Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, says that this year’s class of Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 33 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swahili, and Korean.

“To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America’s future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” said University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. “As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”

Since 1994, over 6,000 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact IIE at or visit