College of Idaho senior Aleah Lowber has dreamed of studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country since her first exposure to the language as a junior high student visiting Acapulco, Mexico. Lowber’s years of devoted study and academic excellence have earned her recognition from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest collegiate honor society—which recently awarded her its prestigious Study Abroad Grant to help fulfill her ambition.
Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi covers all academic disciplines and is historically selective, only extending membership to the top 10 percent of the nation’s seniors. The society established its Study Abroad program in 2001, and has since awarded more than $600,000 in grants to deserving students to travel the globe.
Lowber, a Spanish and business double major from Boise, is one of only 50 students to be awarded the $1,000 grant this year. She is using the grant to help fund her trip to Alicante, Spain, where she has been studying since mid-May. She is enjoying the opportunity to further improve her skills with the Spanish language.
“I’m most excited to be in a culture where English isn’t the primary language and I’m forced to use my Spanish every day,” she said. “This is my first time ever being to Europe, so I’m very excited to see how life is different from the U.S. and even other Spanish and Latino cultures.”
Lowber is one of C of I’s strongest students both in academics and in athletics. She serves as a tutor for the Academic Support Center and is a starter on the Coyote women’s basketball team, for which she averaged 10.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. Her extra-curricular activities leave her little free time, but she’s learned to balance her responsibilities.
“It is definitely a challenge, and I would say it comes with a lot of hard work,” Lowber said. “I do a lot of studying on road trips, homework in hotels and continuous communication with my professors. However, now that I am entering my senior year, I’ve become accustomed to managing both at the same time. I’ve learned what I need to do to be successful in both areas.”
Lowber finishes her term of study in Alicante at the end of July.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.