The Gunda Sporer Oppenheimer Prize for French Studies Endowment
The Gunda Sporer Oppenheimer Prize for French Studies Endowment is open to George Mason University undergraduate students who are enrolled in French studies at Mason and are participating in a Global Education Office (GEO) sponsored French studies program
. This scholarship was created by Gunda Oppenheimer's family, friends, and colleagues to honor her legacy of hard work and her dedication to her students.
Mrs. Gunda Sporer Oppenheimer was born on August 16, 1943, in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. During World War II, her family was forced to emigrate to Austria, to Germany, and finally to the south of France. Mrs. Oppenheimer came to the United States as a high school exchange student. After finishing high school in France, she returned to the United States. She received a B.S. in French Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1966 and a M.S. in Foreign Languages from George Mason University in 1993. She was a teacher of French and Spanish in the College of Arts and Sciences at George Mason University. The mother of four children, Mrs. Oppenheimer passed away on February 3, 2001.
In order to apply for this scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a degree-seeking, rising junior or senior at George Mason University at time of application
- Must have taken at least 9 credits in French at George Mason University
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 at time of application
- Active application to a Global Education Office (GEO) study abroad program in France for at least one semester by application deadline
To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must electronically submit the following items:
- One letter of recommendation from a supervisor, faculty/lecturer, or employer
- An unofficial Mason transcript
- A 500-1,000 word Scholarship Application Cover Letter
The Cover Letter should include the following information:
Scholarship applicants must also have an active program application before they will be considered for the scholarship.
- Personal introduction and background
- French study abroad program selected
- Identify personal, academic, and career goals and describe how the study abroad experience will strengthen those goals.
Recipients will be selected twice per year:
- Scholarship Cycle 1 – Applicants for spring semester programs
- Scholarship Cycle 2 – Applicants for academic year and fall semester programs
One recipient will be selected per each Scholarship Cycle. The Gunda Sporer Oppenheimer Prize for French Studies Endowment will be in the amount of $1,000 each, subject to availability of funds. The prize can only be spent to defray the costs of studying in France.
Each application is carefully considered by a scholarship committee who looks at applicants with financial need and a passion for studying, and pursuing a career in, French language and cultural studies.
Recipients will be selected based on the quality of their Cover Letters.
Recipients and non-recipients will be notified about the scholarship award decision prior to final exams.
Disbursement and Use of Funds
Recipients must sign and comply with GEO’s Scholarship Terms and Conditions. Once students sign the Terms and Conditions, scholarship awards are processed. Funds are posted to Mason student accounts and become available for the program term according to Financial Aid rules.
If a student cancels participation in the program prior to departure, scholarship funds will not be posted to the student’s account or, if posted, will be removed and the award cancelled. If the program is cancelled, scholarship funds posted to the student’s account will be removed and the award cancelled. In the event that a student withdraws from and fails to complete the study abroad program, the student will be required to return the scholarship in full to the Global Education Office.
Upon return from France, scholarship recipients will submit either a photo album or a 3-minute video (in French) depicting their cultural and linguistic experiences from time abroad. All recipients must participate in one of the promotional events for study abroad programs in France during the following year.
GEO’s Scholarship Policies and Requirement
Students are invited to apply for all of the Global Education Office (GEO) scholarships for which they are eligible. The Global Education Office (GEO) is committed to assisting as many students as possible. Therefore, preference will be given to students with financial need and/or who have not received previous funding from the Global Education Office (GEO).
Upon return from the study abroad program in France, scholarship recipients are required to provide the following in addition to the photo album or 3-minute video:
- Submit one High-Quality video (raw version) or photo(s) representing their time and experiences abroad during their stay (depicting their cultural and linguistic experience) no later than 30 days after their return; AND
- Participate in one GEO activity promoting study abroad programs in France as determined in consultation with GEO/French Language staff. This can include writing a blog post or reflection, sharing photographs, assisting with on-campus events and activities, speaking to future program participants via email, or another activity of the student’s choice.
For questions or additional information, please contact GEO Staff at email@example.com
or Dr. Vincent Chanethom, Assistant Professor, French Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
, 703-993-1220, Aquia Building 318.