The University of Iowa

Naomi Gunderson Scholarship for Foreign Language Study Abroad


Naomi Gunderson earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1916 and her master’s degree in 1919. She went on to teach Latin, Spanish and English in Iowa and California high schools. Upon her death at age 92, Naomi Gunderson left a bequest to the University of Iowa to provide scholarships to students who wish to spend at least a semester in the country whose language they are studying. This award is a fitting tribute to a remarkable teacher who, in order to prepare herself for teaching Spanish, made several trips to Mexico to study.

This Naomi Gunderson scholarship is specifically designed for undergraduate students who are committed to developing advanced language proficiency. Up to two (2) scholarships awards, $1,000, may be awarded each semester.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant must:

  • be an undergraduate, full-time, degree-seeking UI student in good academic standing
  • be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident
  • have completed at least one year of language study prior to the application deadline
  • have a minimum 3.33 UI cumulative GPA as reported on your unofficial UI grade report
  • completed a minimum of 24 s.h. by the application deadline
  • propose to study abroad for at least one semester during the academic year
  • clearly demonstrate an intention to develop advanced proficiency in the language of study

Selection procedure and criteria

This is a merit-based, competitive scholarship; applications are reviewed by members of the Study Abroad Scholarship Committee. The following criteria are used in recommending awards:

  • academic and personal objectives which are clearly defined and realistic
  • academic achievement and preparation
  • quality and completeness of the essay submissions
  • demonstrated interest in language learning in addition to cultural advancement
  • contribution of the study abroad experience to the student’s overall academic program
  • evidence of maturity, motivation, and adaptability to a different cultural environment

Students may enroll in a formal academic study abroad program sponsored by the University of Iowa or by another accredited U.S. university or exchange organization or may enroll directly in a foreign university. Preference will be given to students who are studying one of the languages taught at the University of Iowa and who propose to study abroad for an academic year at a foreign university.

Application Procedure

Students may enroll in a formal academic study abroad program sponsored by the University of Iowa or another accredited US university or exchange organization or may enroll directly in a foreign university. Students who meet the requirements listed above are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. The application packet includes the application form, two essays (Statement of Proposed Study and Personal Statement (each 750 words or less), UI Award Letter, and an unofficial grade report (both available from MyUI), and two letters of reference (UI faculty/Teaching Assistants).

To apply for this merit scholarship, complete ONE Semester Merit Scholarship Cover Sheet and ONE Semester Merit Scholarship Application, marking the scholarship along with any other requirement(s) listed specific to the scholarship. This process will result in the submission of ONE application, required essays, required reference letters, and grade report. Incomplete application packets will NOT be accepted.

Cover Sheet and Application

Submission Deadline

Spring 2022  - Thursday, October 14

Fall 2022 - TBA

The final deadline listed for the corresponding application submission is the date listed above. No applications will be accepted after this deadline!