Madison Lapole of West Virginia Wesleyan College has received the Bly Family Scholarship for International Travel. She is a junior history and political science major from Inwood, WV.
The Bly Family Scholarship Fund was established in 1991 by Suzan E. Bly ’68 in honor of her parents, Margaret and Shirley Bly, of Winchester, VA. In 2012, the Scholarship was amended to support overseas travel. The Bly Family Scholarship for International Studies is a permanently endowed scholarship fund intended to foster a global perspective.
Lapole will spend four weeks in Japan studying postwar and contemporary Japan, as well as the Japanese language. “Last summer, I spent two weeks in China, my first time traveling outside the United States,” Lapole remembers. “I fell in love with the Asian culture, and I knew I wanted to go back, knowing that if the opportunity presented itself to explore a different part of Asia, I would take it. Japan seemed like the country that was unique but where I knew I could live, study, and thrive.”
Lapole will study through Waseda University in Tokyo June 22 through July 20. She will take a beginner language course, a course she feels is vital for her transition.
“Learning the language will be an awesome experience and challenge that I hope will improve my communication skills and allow me to function more independently in Japan, in needed,” she said, “especially because I will have to utilize public transportation and go grocery shopping on my own.”
She also chose to study history instead of political science “because the history classes sounded more interesting, there are more field trip opportunities, and the professor works in Singapore, which I thought would give me a unique perspective that would be hart to obtain at a small American college,” Lapole said.
“I am most excited to see another part of the world and how another culture lives,” Lapole commented. “There is so much out there for us to see, and a big part of life is taking opportunities like these when they are presented and making the absolute most of the situation. I cannot wait to be thrown out of my comfort zone in the best way possible.”