Scholarship Recipients Highlight

Oluwapelumi Oguntade

Fall 2021 Wings Scholarship Recipient

How did you decide on your study abroad program?

I have always wanted to visit South Korea since high school. During study abroad fair, I always gravitated towards the South Korean table. I chose the program because I like Korean culture and studying there is a great way to learn and assimilate to the culture with a cohort of fellow international students.  Marquette and Sogang have a great partnership. Sogang offers lots of classes that worked for my major and kept me on track to graduate on time. Communication with the Sogang advisor was also frequent, timely, and amiable.



How was the Wings application and flight processes?

The Wings application was relatively simple. I answered questions regarding how the Wings fund would alleviate financial burden, why I want to attend Sogang and my anticipated gain for this semester. The flight process also went smooth. I searched airline routes and flight times I was interested in and sent them to my study abroad advisor. I was notified by my study advisor once the travel agency found applicable routes and I verified my preference.

How did this scholarship affect your study abroad experience overall?

The WingS Scholarship helped my study abroad experience go smoothly. Getting to the destination is quite vital and I am grateful that the Wings fund helped spread my wings to Korea. I didn’t have to worry about the hassle of booking flights or paying for it. I was informed ahead of time for things that would involve out of pocket costs such as additional checked bag. It allowed me to focus my energy on other details of my trip such as booking quarantine stay.

You studied abroad during COVID. How did you personally navigate this difficult time abroad? 

I utilized my support network which included old and new friends. During quarantine, in order o overcome jet lag and adjust to Korean time zone, I often video called my friends so I can stay awake during the daytime. I connected with fellow students that we were studying abroad together. We navigated new situations together such as scheduling covid tests during quarantine and when returning to the states, overcoming communication barriers, and cultural differences such as adhering to SK’s waste disposal system. My study abroad advisors were also helpful and available. They sent frequent check-in emails and responded quickly (less than 24 hours).

What lessons have you learned from your host country, and your study abroad experience?

This experience really helped me believe in myself. I saw myself in an amazing light. I thrived in new environment, communicated with locals, did my best to translate for my friends with the Korean that I knew. Making effort to learn about Korean culture improved my experience with the locals. They knew I was trying so they met me halfway and often corrected me or navigated me towards where I was going.

Advice/recommendations for prospective students looking at scholarships/awards for study abroad?

Do it! You may not get the scholarship. It’s also possible that you get the scholarship and the human resources that comes with it! Traveling requires a support system, especially if it is your first time. Wings Scholarship provides that and eases airline booking hassles. Applying increases your chances of winning and winning means booking is one less aspect of your trip that you worry about.