Kimberly Fuqua is taking full advantage of the study abroad opportunities offered at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
The senior special education major recently returned to Robeson County after studying for a semester at Canterbury Christ Church University in the United Kingdom.
She became fascinated with studying abroad following a two-week stint in Berlin in 2017.
“That experience changed my life,” Fuqua said.
While her Canterbury University experience was life-changing, Fuqua was forced to overcome several obstacles in order to make this dream a reality.
She received financial support from Alex Brandt, UNCP’s interim director of Global Engagement. He was instrumental in her process by outlining several scholarships that were available as well as taking time to answer questions about living outside of the United States. Brandt encouraged her to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship, a highly competitive scholarship for minorities and students who come from low-income backgrounds.
She was notified that she was awarded the scholarship on the day of her oldest son's high school graduation. After arriving at Canterbury, Fuqua made the most of her overseas experience.
“Canterbury is literally the oldest, quaintest, prettiest place that I have ever been.
“I had to learn to adjust to living in a city because all I have ever known is country life.”
Fuqua has a love for Zumba and she was able to showcase her talent by teaching Zumba at the university, as well as becoming a member of the show choir. She got the chance to visit several popular destinations including Dublin Ireland, Edinburgh Scotland, Dover Castle, Bruges Belgium, London, Stonehenge, and the famous Canterbury Cathedral. A highlight to her studies was a chance to showcase her Lumbee heritage and teaching others about her tribe and preparing southern meals.
Receiving the Gilman International Scholarship opens the door to many new studying abroad opportunities to UNCP students, like Fuqua. She gives much praise and honor to UNCP and the Gilman Scholarship for helping her achieve her dream.