Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

IU Undergrad Awarded Euroculture Scholarship

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013

Lauren Bridges, a senior at Indiana University and a student assistant in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, was selected as a recipient for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship for the Master of Arts “Euroculture- Europe in the wider world” program. The award offers funding for EU and non-EU students to gain expert knowledge of the European Union while spending their studies in at least two European countries.

The MA program explores cultural, social, and political developments in European integration, values, citizenship, and identity. 150 European and non-European students, from countries around the world, are currently active in the program. Erasmus Mundus scholarships are funded by the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union that represents European interests as a whole.

Bridges graduated in May 2013 with a double major in Sociology and Communication and Culture. She minored in Economics and Psychology and was in the Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP). She was treasurer of the LAMP Student Advisory Board, and in 2011 she interned with Themester, an initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences. She grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Mason High School.

“Studying in Europe opened my eyes to new ways of living and understanding the world,” Bridges said. “I’m excited to meet the students and professors, immerse myself in new cultures, and begin my research.”

Bridges wrote her senior thesis in sociology, interviewing members of aspiring ecovillages in Indiana and North Carolina. As a graduate student, Bridges will be placed at University of Olomouc in Czech Republic for the first and third semester and at the University of Deusto in Spain for the second semester.

“[She] has a wonderful time ahead of her as part of the program,” says Annika Frieberg, visiting lecturer in the Department of History, who teaches courses on Eastern Europe in the 20th Century. “It will open all kinds of doors, regardless of whether she decides to work with international relations or continue with some kind of other education.”

For her graduate studies, Bridges is interested in researching the spread of capitalism and democracy in post-communist countries. She also hopes to seek opportunities for tutoring English students while studying the local languages.

“The passion and intelligence of the professors at IU has been truly incredible,” she said. “I must give a big thank you to the professors who have mentored me and encouraged me to work hard. I must also thank my parents for their constant encouragement and support.”

The MA program is offered through a consortium of eight European and four non-European universities, coordinated by the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Students may be placed at universities in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Italy, or Sweden. Participating non-European universities include Osaka University, Japan, University of Pune, India, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is the only participating university in the United States.

The 2012 recipient of the award was Michael Dimanshteyn from IUPUI. He spent fall semester at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany and is currently at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain.

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