Trio of UMSL students earn Bond International Scholars Awards for study abroad programs

by | May 24, 2019

YuJin Hur and Molly Motes will study abroad in Japan for the entire 2019-20 school year, while Sarah Thompson will study in Ireland in the fall.
Bond International Scholars

George Sipos (left), UMSL’s senior international officer and executive director of the Office of International Studies and Programs, and Chancellor Tom George (right) were on hand to help honor Bond International Scholars Molly Motes (center left) and YuJin Hur (center right) at a May 10 reception at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Hur and Motes will study abroad in Japan next school year and Sarah Thompson (not pictured) will study in Ireland in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Ningyuan Hu)

University of Missouri–St. Louis students YuJin Hur, Molly Motes and Sarah Thompson were honored as part of the six-member spring 2019 class of Bond International Scholars during a May 10 reception at the University of Missouri–Columbia.

The Bond International Scholars program, launched last fall, provides students at UMSL and MU with the opportunity to earn $5,000 toward study abroad opportunities. The program is named for Christopher “Kit” Bond, a native Missourian who served two terms as the state’s governor and four terms in the U.S. Senate.  The award stems from an endowment created by the Bond’s friends upon his retirement in 2010.

Hur and Motes will be studying abroad for the entire 2019-20 school year, while Thompson’s program runs through the fall semester. UMSL Chancellor Tom George and George Sipos, the university’s senior international officer and executive director of the Office of International Studies and Programs, were on hand for the reception.

“I feel beyond honored to be welcomed into the community that is being built by the Bond Scholarship,” Motes said. “I’ve always been fascinated by learning about other cultures, so it is wonderful to not only be given the opportunity to study at Toyo University but also to be introduced to many other global students like myself. I am very thankful to both UMSL and Senator Bond for this chance, and I cannot wait to learn and grow while in Japan.”

Here is some more information about the UMSL awardees:

YuJin Hur is a Korean-American from St. Louis County studying international business with a minor in music. She first came to UMSL as a vocal music education major but saw her passion change toward business over the summer as she was working as an UMSL Orientation Leader. Hur chose to study abroad at Rikkyo University in Tokyo because she felt the need to put herself in a new and unfamiliar environment to challenge herself. She also knew that she could take the opportunity to study abroad and still take classes for her degree program.

“Growing up, my mom has always told me that ‘Well begun is half done,'” Hur said. “This quote helped me to be motivated and apply to many programs and scholarships. The process might seem long and complicated, but looking back it brought me a step closer to being an adult and independent.”

Molly Motes, from St. Charles, Missouri, is currently serving as president of the Japan-America Student Association at UMSL. She is double majoring in English and Japanese, which she chose because she’s always been passionate about languages. Her current goal is to become a literary translator. Motes was drawn toward Toyo University in Tokyo not only because she wants to become fluent in Japanese but because its program would allow her to continue her English degree while abroad. The university also has an attractive program for international exchange students that provides in-depth Japanese language and culture classes along with many other programs for international students.

Sarah Thompson, from Robertsville, Missouri, is an actuarial science and math double major with a minor in communication. After spending her freshman year as a communication major, she realized how much she enjoyed math while taking Calculus II. This has led her to the decision to focus on becoming an actuary. She will experience this type of work firsthand this summer as an intern for Reinsurance Group of America. She chose University College Cork in Ireland because it was a perfect fit for the classes she needed. Since making her decision, she has fallen in love with the idea of living in Ireland for four months.

For more information about the Bond International Scholars program, contact UMSL’s Office of International Studies and Programs at 314-516-5753.

David Morrison

David Morrison