SFS Student Awarded Boren Scholarship

Will Riley ’16, an International Politics major in the SFS was recently awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship for his upcoming yearlong study abroad in Santiago, Chile. Will was one of 165 recipients out of 868 total applicants. We asked Will about his interest in Latin America and its relation to the Boren Scholarship:

“I have had an interest in Latin America since my first trip to Mexico in 2002 at the age of eight. I’ve returned every year since, but have not been able to explore other Latin American nations until now. As an international politics major, I am passionate about US national security, global development, population growth and resource straining, economic competitiveness, and trade – in short, issues of interest to the Boren scholarship committee. I think all of these areas are under-emphasized in our relations with other Western Hemisphere states as crises in Ukraine, Syria, the South China Sea, and elsewhere command our attention. I hope to one day work for the US government in a foreign affairs position and change the unfortunate perception of our interests in Latin America as largely an afterthought. There is much to be gained from robust and friendly relations with our neighbors to the south – and I see too many opportunities going unexploited with the status quo. My studies in Chile will enrich my cultural exposure to the region and enhance my understanding of the history, the people, the customs, and the language. The classes I am taking in Santiago will allow me, upon graduation, to better fulfill the Boren federal service requirement in an agency with national security responsibilities. These include courses such as Chilean Foreign Policy, US-Latin American Relations, Latin American Politics, and Chilean-Peruvian Relations. I am incredibly excited for this year-long opportunity and tremendously thankful for the Boren scholarship that has made it possible. It is humbling to have been chosen out of a large crop of extremely deserving candidates.”


The Boren Scholarship is a federal initiative designed to encourage undergraduates to study languages and cultures that are critical to national security. The scholarship provides up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, in exchange for a year of service with the federal government. For details on the Boren Scholarship, please visit the Boren website.

The Office of International Programs regularly provides support to potential applicants through information sessions, individual advising and an on campus review process. Sessions are generally held in the fall semester and advertised on the OIP website, as well as Facebook and twitter. For more information contact the OIP Scholarship coordinator Tineka Lebrun at tll27@georgetown.edu.