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Student Spotlights

Hiking in the Forest

Hiking in the Forest
(above) By Kailee Matsumura on the ISP Program: BYU Nursing Czech Study Abroad

Why do most BYU students never intern or study abroad? Cost is a big issue. In 2018, we awarded seventy-two students from across campus a Global Opportunity Scholarship—a unique, needs-based award “of last resort” that helps them with the funds they cannot obtain elsewhere. For the first time since the scholarship’s creation in 2015, last year more than half of qualified students were not awarded a scholarship due to lack of funds. Read about six of the lucky students who did receive a scholarship.


Major: Economics
Minor: Management and international development
Hometown: Bucaramanga, Colombia
Fun Fact: Transfer student from BYU–Idaho
Program: Global Finance Investment Internship

Juan Camargo had a difficult childhood. His father passed away when he was young, and his mother had to leave the country when he was fourteen to find work. Originally a student at BYU–Idaho, Camargo transferred to BYU in 2017. He was determined to participate in the Global Finance Investment Internship, so he applied for and received a Global Opportunity Scholarship. During his internship, he visited eight countries, met with twenty-five companies’ stakeholders and CFOs, and benefited from eighty-five hours of mentoring and learning. His biggest takeaway from the international experience was to see how each person can become an active participant in solving social problems. He now works at the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance.

While overseeing the majestic London City from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, I truly sensed a feeling of urgency to fulfill the Aims of a BYU Education to become an active participant in solving family, professional, religious, and social problems everywhere in the world.
Juan Camargo


Major: Communications
Minor: Advertising Design
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Fun Fact: Recently returned missionary
Program: International Advertising and Awards Show Study Abroad

As a recently returned missionary and part-time nanny, Maddy Thompson didn’t feel it would ever be possible to participate in the International Advertising and Award Shows Study Abroad due to the cost and how selective the program was. At the last minute, someone dropped out of the program, and Thompson’s professor nominated her to go. She was awarded a Global Opportunity Scholarship and visited seven countries, worked with real-world clients such as Spotify and Beats by Dre, and attended the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—an opportunity few professionals ever have. Her biggest takeaway from the program was that she felt empowered to make it in the creative industry.

There was one agency visit in particular that was truly unforgettable. We met with the leaders of Pretty Bird, a production company based out of London, England. The company had a female CEO and is run primarily by women. That visit changed my life. I walked out and I realized something incredible: I can do whatever I want to do. I can be whoever I want to be and, more importantly, whoever I feel that God has created me to be.
Maddy Thompson
The Lights of Reykjavík by Elizabeth Griffiths on the Northern Ireland Field School


Major: Public health
Minor: International development and ballroom dance
Hometown: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Fun Fact: Convert to the Church
Program: Malawi International Development Internship

When Walter Moyo was five years old, his mother moved to the United States for work. Moyo remained in Zimbabwe until the age of ten. When he joined his mother in the U.S., Moyo did not speak English. He later converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, served a mission to Georgia, and then attended BYU. As a BYU student, he applied for the Malawi International Development Internship and, through the help of generous donors, received a Global Opportunity Scholarship. Participating in the internship took him home and helped him more fully value his education.

The Malawi internship gave me the opportunity to go back home and share with them what I had learned here in the United States. After my internship was over, I passed through Zimbabwe and visited family I had not seen in fifteen years. While there, I was reminded of how much my Heavenly Father loves me and, above all, trusted me enough to send me to the States so that I could one day return and be an instrument in building a better Zimbabwe. None of this would have been possible without the Global Opportunity Scholarship.
Walter Moyo
Ancient Mystery by Rachel Beath on the London Study Abroad


Major: Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Fun Fact: Oldest of five children
Program: Huqoq Archaeological Field School

As the oldest of five children, Makayla Bezzant was constantly looking for scholarships, Pell Grants, and other resources to aid with financial obligations as a student at BYU. A study abroad was not really an option. Bezzant has always had a love for ancient history, which led her to major in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. In 2018, she was selected as part of a team to travel to Israel to assist with the Huqoq Archaeological Field School dig as a student archaeologist. She was excited to excavate the ancient village and synagogue, which hadn’t been seen for more than 1,500 years. Thanks to the Global Opportunity Scholarship, her dream became a reality, and both her testimony and education were enriched.

Looking out [over the Sea of Galilee], I could feel that this was a place where Jesus lived. I felt so at home and peaceful there. My testimony that my Savior lived and lives still became so much stronger. I am forever grateful I could go and have an experience such as this. I know there are not many people who get to live out their dreams while gaining academic experience simultaneously, and I consider myself extremely blessed. I could not have gotten there without the help I received, and I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Makayla Bezzant
What Lies Ahead by Jacque Camacho in Iceland on the Photography, Art, and Mountains Study Abroad


Major: Communications
Hometown: Orem, Utah
Fun Fact: Worked four jobs to save money
Program: London Communications Internship

As the Daily Universe metro editor, Sahalie Donaldson has a goal to become a political journalist. An international internship was very important to Donaldson in reaching that goal. She wanted to participate in the London Communications Internship, so she worked at the Boys and Girls Club, took out a loan, received a Communications Department scholarship, donated plasma, worked as a wedding hostess, took reporting jobs, and taught after school to earn her way. Through the Global Opportunity Scholarship, Donaldson interned at the Mandy Network in London and published multiple articles on their news site. She also made helpful contacts, including her mentor—a journalist with connections at the New York Times.

I got to do what I love to do—write and create content that hopefully resonated with others. I got to do this surrounded by intelligent people from all over the world. They coached me. Every day I got to see my material published and sent out to thousands of subscribers. I learned and succeeded and failed and learned again. I got to live out a dream because of [the Global Opportunity Scholarship].
Sahalie Donaldson
1246: The Fountain that Speaks by Davis Lundberg on the Siena Italy Study Abroad


Major: European Studies
Hometown: Norton, Ohio
Fun Fact: Nontraditional Student
Program: Europe Business Study Abroad

As a thirty-one-year-old married student with two children, Brent Zitzman is what BYU terms a “nontraditional student.” Zitzman started his education in his twenties but got sidetracked and began working full-time to provide for his family. Feeling that something was missing, he took the plunge and went back to school. Zitzman had developed a deep love for Europe on his mission for the Church to Rome, Italy, so when he heard about the Europe Business Study Abroad, he wanted to go. Thanks to the Global Opportunity Scholarship, he participated in the program. Being older than most of the students in the group, he mentored them as the “grandpa.” And he gained direction for his future.

When I was notified that I would be receiving the Global Opportunity Scholarship, it felt like a miracle. It truly made me feel that I was supposed to take this opportunity, and it has turned out to be a life-changing experience. Throughout the process I came to realize that I was not satisfied with the opportunities that would be available to me through receiving a bachelor’s degree. I will be taking the GMAT in the next month and hope to be attending an MBA program next fall.
Brent Zitzman