Junior first at UNA to win prestigious scholarship

Junior James Traywick is the first UNA student to win the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship award to study abroad in Japan.

Traywick will spend two semesters at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies in Nisshin, Japan where he will increase his fluency in Japanese, as well as take courses in Japanese culture, said Matthew Price, director of the Office of Premier National and International Awards.

“My goal is to learn the language,” Traywick said. “I hope that by the end of my year in Japan, I will be able to have a fluent conversation in Japanese.”

Traywick is the first UNA student to win the full $7,000 amount.

“I was completely shocked when I received word that I won the scholarship,” Traywick said. “I never thought I would reach this achievement. It’s an absolute miracle and blessing to me.”

Price assisted Traywick with completing his scholarship application.

“My role as director is to help students apply for competitive national and international awards,” Price said. “I support them throughout the process and help them with each component of the application. The Freeman-Asia scholarship has four small essays.

Together we strategized content for each statement and then I help him edit it for clarity and competitiveness.”

Price said Traywick deserves this award because his application demonstrated is passion for Japan and commitment to working in region long term.

“It has shown me that anything is possible,” Traywick said. “If you really want something, go after it and put all the effort you can into it. Have a goal in mind, ask for help, and do your absolute best.”

Senior Sarah Hartley said Traywick is the nicest guy anyone could meet.

“He is an incredible guy who is thoughtful and caring and it reflects in his ethics,” Hartley said. “He deserves this scholarship because he will not simply experience a study abroad trip for personal gain, but apply what he learns and spread the knowledge that is beneficial to the community surrounding him.”

Price said Traywick has plans to be involved in Japan after he graduates.

“When James graduates, he wants to become of a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program where he’ll serve as either an Assistant Language Teacher or Coordinator of International Relations,” Price said. “This position requires skills in Japanese and a deep knowledge of Japanese society and culture.”

Traywick’s love for Japan began as a child. He said Japanese is the first foreign language he heard. He said the media plays a big role in his love for Japan.

“I once remember watching a travel documentary about Japan and seeing how amazing it looked,” Traywick said. “It influenced me to wanting to go.”

Traywick’s school year begins Aug. 27 and he will return home July 2019.