After graduating in spring 2022 with a degree in International Relations and Economics, Emma Santini spent ten months in Indonesia on a Boren Scholarship. Emma won the nationally competitive scholarship, which funds the intensive study of language abroad for U.S. university students, with help from Lehigh’s Office of Fellowship Advising (OFA) staff. 

Santini’s program was the Indonesian Regional Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) offered by The Boren Awards. She studied Indonesian at the State University of Malang, learned traditional Indonesian dance and textile-making, and lived with a host family, all part of the IFLI. This program lasted until December, but after successfully applying for an extension to her scholarship, she remained in Indonesia until May and interned with the International Pediatric Association (IPA) in Jakarta. “My language skills grew very fast,” said Santini. She lived, worked, and made friends in the Malang and Jakarta communities, which she says was “really impactful, not only personally but also professionally.”

While at Lehigh, Santini earned a Global Citizenship Program certificate and was heavily involved in the Lehigh/United Nations Partnership as a UN Youth Representative for the NGO Caring and Living as Neighbors (CLAN). Her connection with CLAN was pivotal in finding an internship at IPA, which helped her extend her stay in Indonesia. 

Santini attributes much of her success abroad to the resourcefulness of the OFA staff and her engagement with the Office of International Affairs. “Take every single opportunity that comes your way,” advised Santini for anyone searching for international experiences at Lehigh.