CHATTANOOGA—When a Ukrainian former college student who had fled to Poland reached out to Takeo Suzuki to describe just how dire the situation was in her home country, Suzuki knew he had to act.
“She’s twenty-something, and we see twenty-somethings over here all the time. That’s why I thought, ‘There’s something we can do about assisting students overseas,’” said Suzuki, executive director for the Center for Global Education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
That thinking led to the creation of the UTC Global Response Assistantship, opening doors to international students impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.
The program offers two selected students paid tuition, free room and board and a $600 monthly stipend while they pursue a master’s degree in public administration, business administration, computer science or engineering management at UTC from August 2022 through May 2024.
The students’ undergraduate degrees should be in majors similar to the master’s degree concentration.
Preference will be given to students who are Ukrainian citizens living in or who once lived in the affected areas.
Battered Ukrainian university campuses are among the rubble and devastation seen nightly on TV newscasts. The UTC program will equip the students for the vast reconstruction necessary in their devastated home country, Suzuki said.
“I think it’s going to really open doors for the participants after the war. When they decide to go back home to help rebuild the country, what they learn from this master’s program and the experience they gain at UTC will enable them to make an impact in the community redevelopment. At the same time, they will be building bridges between Chattanooga, Ukraine and beyond.”
Recognizing the need for opportunities and helping create them for the good of society is why universities exist, Suzuki added.
“This is about adding to the body of human knowledge and, through it, new solutions or improvements to existing solutions,” he said. “I’m excited about what student recipients of this assistantship will be able to add to their fields of research and about what I believe they will add to UTC. Moreover, UTC students and our campus community will build authentic learning and applicable processes by hosting these Ukrainian students.”
Advocacy for the new program also came from an engaged, impassioned UTC Student Government Association.
“Members of the Student Government Association authored and passed a resolution calling for this kind of University support for students affected by the war in Ukraine,” Suzuki said. “They used their voices in an inspiring manner, and they made an impact. I am so glad to see these students recognize the opportunity they have to use their platform as campus leaders to bring awareness and help bring action to address such important concerns.
“Also, I believe that making a way for the exceptionally well-qualified students who will be selected for this opportunity to reach their full potential as student-scholars is the right thing to do, and it makes me very proud to be part of UTC.”
Application deadline for the assistantship is May 14.
For consideration, applicants must have sufficient English language proficiency to successfully complete the program’s academic requirements. Additional requirements are available at utc.edu/global.
- Proof of English proficiency (Minimum requirement TOEFL IBP=79. IELTS=6.0. Duolingo=100)
- Most recent transcript or proof of completion of bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree
- Copy of passport ID page
- Copy of I-20 or DS2019 (If you are currently in the U.S. with an F1 or J1 student visa)
- Essay: What makes you really happy? (Maximum 800 words)
- Video: Tell us about yourself and explain how your current situation was caused or impacted by the war in Ukraine; how you and your family have been affected. Describe your career goals.