The following are the most common questions we receive about travel grants. If you have further questions, please contact the Dean Rusk Fellow at 704-894-2170.
Generally, students who wish to receive a travel grant for winter break, spring break, or the entire spring semester must apply by the fall application deadline. Students who wish to receive a grant for summer break, the fall semester, or year-long travel must apply by the spring application deadline.
For the fall application deadline, the applicant pool is limited to seniors who have not been abroad during their Davidson career, seniors who need to conduct research abroad for their thesis or capstone project, or students applying for select Davidson summer study abroad programs. For the spring application deadline, all students who are not graduating in May of that year can apply for a travel grant.
Grant amounts vary considerably – the average award is around $1,000, but grants ranged from $100 to $5,000. There is no representative sum because applicants' requests vary, many factors contribute to the amount different applicants receive, and we don't have enough money to fund every worthy application fully.
The mission of the Dean Rusk Program is to immerse students in a foreign culture for an extended period of time. Therefore, the longer you plan to spend abroad, the more likely it is that the International Education Committee (IEC) will take your proposal seriously.
Yes, the Dean Rusk Program does give some financial support to students who are studying on traditional study abroad programs. If you are participating in a Davidson-sponsored semester or year study abroad program, the cost of the program is equal to the cost of studying on campus at Davidson. Therefore, you probably will not need any additional financial assistance from Dean Rusk. Your financial aid should transfer to a Davidson-approved study abroad program through another university. If you are participating in a summer program sponsored by Davidson or another university, you are responsible for covering the entire cost of the program and may wish to apply for money from Dean Rusk for some assistance. However, please realize that independent projects have a higher priority and generally receive more funding than group trips. Also be aware that Davidson-sponsored summer programs will receive higher priority than study abroad programs through other schools or institutions.
The Director of the Dean Rusk Program MUST approve any changes in your project after it has been submitted. In some cases, adjustments to your project will cause the amount of your grant to be changed (for example, if you plan to travel for three weeks instead of six, you may only receive half your original award). CHANGES IN YOUR PROJECT THAT ARE NOT APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR MAY RESULT IN THE FORFEITURE OF YOUR ENTIRE GRANT. If you are going on a study abroad program or group trip that is canceled, the Dean Rusk Program will work with you to apply your grant money to a different program.
It is important to share your experience with others after your return. Accordingly, you may be required to do so through such activities as talks, participation in panels, or visits to schools, at the request of the program. While you are putting together your proposal and during your trip, you should reflect on the nature of a presentation when you return. You are also required to write a three to five page report on your experiences on your return. We hope that you will provide photos.
If you are currently abroad, you should email your grant application directly to the Dean Rusk fellow. You may also have a friend turn your application in for you, but be aware that you are ultimately responsible (not your friend) for making sure your application is on time (Remember - no late applications for any reason!). The deadline is the same for everyone both on and off campus, so be aware of time differences.
Awards are not given to seniors whose travel will take place after graduation. By awarding a student a Dean Rusk grant, the college is investing money in the grant recipient, and the return on that investment is the contribution to internationalism on campus that the grant recipient makes when he/she returns. Any student's application should address the issue of how the project will benefit the student, the Davidson community, and the broader international community.
Of course! The committee does take into account past grant rewards when making their decisions, but if you've put together a good project that either builds upon past research or takes you somewhere new for a new set of experiences, you shouldn't worry about a past grant award hurting your chances of receiving funding a second or third time. Nevertheless, if you apply for and receive a significant grant award the first time you apply, don't expect the award to be as large in the future.
The International Education Committee (IEC) decides grant awards, a committee composed of professors from different disciplines who are interested in international issues.