Scholarship recipient pursuing international career dreams
By Alexa Abrams '13
Samantha Bolan '13 had a strong love for Binghamton University even before she enrolled as a freshman in 2007. She is pursuing her educational dreams at Binghamton, thanks, in part, to the Alumni Association Scholarship.
Since 1989, the scholarship has been awarded annually to financially deserving students in good academic standing, who have demonstrated a commitment to the University through service to the campus community.Bolan grew up in Endwell - just outside Binghamton - and worked in the University's Financial Aid office in the summer just before freshman year. As a student at Binghamton, she is historian of the Nukporfe African Dance & Drum Ensemble and works with international students in the English Conversation Pairs program. She is also a teaching assistant for an ESL class on campus and works in the Office of International Programs.
Her fire for exploration was fueled by Binghamton University's diverse programs and people. During her freshman year, she lived in Hinman College and her roommate was a Turkish exchange student.
"Being paired with my freshman year roommate was just the starting point," she says. "I was intrigued to learn so much more about the Turkish culture."
This friendship led to Bolan's first travels to Turkey. Upon coming home, she was strongly resolved to return and really "live" there and immerse herself in the Turkish language. So, during both the spring and fall semesters in 2011, Bolan took part in a Binghamton Exchange Program and studied abroad in Turkey at Bosphorus University.
By making connections through Binghamton, Bolan found off-campus housing in Turkey while she attended Bosphorus University, which she fondly remembers as having an incredible view of the sea.
Bolan came to feel that Turkey was truly a second home. She has applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English abroad, and hopes to eventually move to Turkey and live there permanently.
"I'm interested in working in the non-profit sector," she says. "I am also exploring graduate programs in anthropology. My ultimate dream is to be a travel photographer and writer. Going to Binghamton University has been the best thing for me. I can't imagine what life would have been like if I went to school somewhere else. I'm very grateful for the support of the Alumni Association."