New scholarship paves way for first-year students to study abroad

group of 40 students holding GVSU Global flag
Participants at the Lakers Go Abroad Scholarship open house are pictured in the Padnos International Center office, Lake Ontario Hall.
Image Credit: Rachael Mooney
students have fun in a photo booth
Image Credit: Rachael Mooney
one man talking with 2 students
Mike Vrooman, interim chief international officer, at left, talks with students.
Image Credit: Rachael Mooney

First-year student Matthew D'Anna has traveled to Europe with his family. The biology major said he now looks forward to going to Great Britain by himself.

D'Anna was among 40 students who celebrated receiving the Lakers Go Abroad Scholarship during an open house September 6 at the Padnos International Center in Lake Ontario Hall.

About 80 students received the scholarship, providing them with $2,000 to use on a study abroad program within four years of their start at Grand Valley. The unique scholarship program was a collaboration between the Padnos International Center and Admissions Office, aimed at attracting students who might select a college based on its study abroad opportunities. 

Established last year, the incoming class of 2023 was the first cohort to receive scholarships. 

Brina Crown, from DeWitt, said she attended the event to learn more about study abroad programs that would fit with her behavioral neuroscience major. 

"I have been to St. Thomas with my family but I would like to go to London," Crown said.

Alissa Lane, PIC coordinator of marketing and outreach, said she hoped the open house served to orient students to PIC resources, staff members and services.

More information about the Lakers Go Abroad Scholarship is online at