Scholarship Recipient Story: Heather Ewart

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Heather Ewart Heather Ewart cropped 2

University of California, Santa Barbara 

University of Edinburgh, Spring 2016

Melanie Woiwode Memorial Scholarship – Cheerleading

Being involved in a sports team can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding aspects of a young person’s life.  As for me, I have been cheerleading for as long as I can remember and it was and continues to be one of the most important areas of my life.  Having the chance to compete nationally in the United Kingdom with the University of Edinburgh Cheerleading team was probably one of the most satisfying things I’ve done regarding sports.  It made such a difference in my study abroad experience as it provided me with a strong connection to the people and the place in which I studied.

Cheering for the EUCC Vixens allowed me to open myself up to the foreign place I had just become a part of.  This sports team not only provided me with a strong purpose for my year abroad in Scotland, but it also taught me more than I’d ever learned about teamwork, commitment, and hard work through the eyes of my international teammates.  In this sense and many others, this program is vastly important to me because it provided me with the once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience of becoming national champions in a foreign country while also instilling in me the values and dedication required to earn this title.  Cheering and competing in a different country also provided me a different perspective towards a sport that I have been involved in for the majority of my life.  If I had not received the UCEAP Melanie Woiwode Scholarship, some of the expenses would not have been covered, and it would have been immensely harder to pay for the program.  For that reason, I would highly recommend applying for this scholarship as every dollar counts.  Having a sport, club, or activity that you are involved in at home, let alone, in another country that you’ve chosen to live part of your life can only provide you with more accomplishment and satisfaction and can truly make a study abroad experience a once in a lifetime experience.