The Application Period for the 2013 Travel Grant is now open. All materials must be submitted to the Los Angeles Council of HI-USA by March 15, 2013
Download an application here.
If you are between the ages of 17 and 26 and live within the greater Los Angeles area, HI-USA can help make your travel dreams come true!
The Los Angeles Council of Hostelling International USA presents an annual Travel Grant in the amount of $1,000 to an individual who is just beginning his or her travel experiences in life. It is the goal of the Los Angeles Council to encourage and promote the pursuit of world exploration and experiential learning (i.e. learning from direct life experiences) through this grant. The applicant’s abilities to learn from his or her unique real-world experiences and to share these experiences with HI-USA members upon returning from the trip play a large part in the selection process.
To be considered for the 2013 Travel Grant, candidates must:
- Be between 17 and 26 years of age
- Live within the greater Los Angeles area (Kern, Los Angeles, northern Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties)
- Use at least one of the approved media to communicate his/her experiences (art, photography, film, and/or writing)
- Submit to HI-USA a proposal and application describing the medium(s) that will best demonstrate the achievement of his/her personal goals, as well as a plan to communicate with the Los Angeles Council during and after the trip
- Be planning a unique trip to take place after May 1, 2013
- If selected, provide periodic updates on his/her travels throughout the trip via email, blog, or other media for publication in Council print and electronic media
- If selected, submit final material within 90 days of returning from travel for publication in the Council’s newsletter and on its website
*The $1,000 award will be split into two payments: an initial $500 payment prior to departure, and the remaining $500 upon the recipient’s return and submission of his/her completed project.
2012 HI-Travel Grant Winner: Jenna Tico
The Los Angeles Council of HI-USA congratulates Jenna Tico of Santa Barbara, CA on receiving the 2012 Travel Grant. Jenna will be using the grant to pursue her passion of helping to strengthen communities abroad while volunteering at the Slukat Learning Center (SLC) in Bali, Indonesia. Arriving in late September, she will immediately begin teaching English and basic computer skills for SLC’s free after-school programs.
After a month in Bali, Jenna will continue her travels on to Samoeng, Thailand. While in Samoeng, she will spend two weeks learning about sustainable living, organic farming, and self-sufficiency at Mindful Farm. Jenna will also be working the crops on the farm in exchange for homemade, vegetarian meals, as part of a “workaway” program.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to follow Jenna’s journey abroad through her blog and look forward to seeing her visual narrative upon return. Congratulations Jenna!
Follow Jenna over at her blog: http://balinesedream.blogspot.com/
Past Travel Grant Recipient Projects
- Bryan Bujarski of Cypress, 2011 Travel Grant recipient
A student at California State University of Long Beach, Bryan began his adventures in South America in July, 2011 to continue his education in Latin American Studies and Spanish at the University of Belgrano. Following a three-week backpacking trip through Chile and Argentina, Bryan spent the next four months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a student and scholar. Upon his completion of the program, he continued traveling into Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Peru. As an aspiring firefighter, one of Bryan’s main goals was to meet various emergency response professionals in South America and experience their life and work. Bryan realized that his adventure was “not just a trip to get away from reality,” but that it expanded his reality. Read more about Bryan’s incredible experiences through his photo journal or on his blog.
- Stephanie Sherwood of Long Beach, 2010 Travel Grant recipient
Stephanie Sherwood -- a student from Cal State Long Beach and the 2010 HI Travel Grant recipient -- departed for Guangzhou, China in August 2010 to study for ten months at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Like many young travelers studying abroad, Stephanie experienced the “impact of absorbing another culture” for the first time. “Living like a Chinese university student helped me understand what aspects of my life are inherently American,” she said. As a student of oil painting, Stephanie was able to express her life in China through her art. Following her return home, she shared this expression through an exhibit of her work, titled From Los Angeles to China, at HI-Santa Monica. To see more of Stephanie’s art and read her experiences, please visit http://jandsblog.travellerspoint.com/.
- Jessica Lah of Brea, 2009 Travel Grant recipient
After spending a year of exchange at the Academy of Fine Arts in Guangzhou, China, Jessica Lah was inspired to travel to the site of the catastrophic 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan province. While there, she investigated the process of demolition and reconstruction of the roads, cities, and communities, along with the positive and negative effects of the healing stages of recovery. Jessica collected hundreds of notes, drawings, watercolors, and photographs during her days in Wenchuan. Upon her return, she composed paintings based on her investigative material. The painting process became a way to organize her thoughts and make connections between her visual accounts, personal interactions with people, and outside research. As the painting came into clarity, so did her understanding of her experience in Wenchuan. To see some of Jessica's photos and paintings, and to read more of her story in her own words, click here.
- Samuel Byker of Los Angeles, 2008 Travel Grant recipient
Sam is a nineteen year old Economics and History double-major at Brown University. With six of his classmates, Sam traveled four weeks in the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam. Their goal was to collect footage for a documentary about a newly created non-governmental organization, The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), that pioneered the Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) initiative. Sam and his team immersed themselves in towns and remote villages, illuminating the impact that artificial light has on communities and individuals. Sam stated in his application that "LaBL provides a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, satisfying a fundamental need for electricity while also stimulating entrepreneurial activity. Its innovative model is replicable throughout India -and beyond- but the organization remains in the early stages of growth." This project will boost TERI's international presence. See Sam's photo journal colorfully depicting his trip and commentary explaining what he witnessed. In the 2008-2009 school year, Sam and his classmates will create media for LaBL, such as videos, podcasts and slideshows. Additionally, a shorter documentary will be presented at the Clinton Global Initiative Summit. After university, Sam wishes to pursue a public service career.
- Sarah Holden of Claremont, 2007 Travel Grant recipient
Sarah is a graduate from Scripps College with a major in Studio Art and a minor in Religious Studies. Sarah planned a European trip, focusing her time mainly in Italy. She viewed this trip as an opportunity to enrich her understanding of what she pursued in college “in person rather than on a page.” Throughout Italy she stayed in convents and monasteries that operated also as hostels. With her sketch book in hand, Sarah recorded images for future reference in her art-making. After her three month journey Sarah submitted this essay and two-dimensional mixed media art examples, documenting the lives of the Italian nuns she met and the various sacred spaces she traveled to along the way.
- Kimberly Bautista of Pasadena, 2006 Travel Grant recipient
Kimberly was a student at Pitzer College with a double-major in Media Studies and Spanish. She participated in a Study Abroad Program in Ecuador, and planned an independent study project where she interviewed Colombians living in Ecuador to see how they had assimilated to Ecuadorian culture and society. Kimberly used her travel grant money to visit Colombia. She was able to compare the cultural challenges of those she interviewed for her documentary, on Colombian identity, to her own struggles of being a person "struggling to be accepted as Colombian and gringa (North American) at the same time." Kimberly stated in her application that she "would love to receive a grant to travel from Ecuador to Colombia to explore the theme of a displaced people, ‘mis compatriotas,’ more deeply." Footage she shot in Colombia served as the material she used for her senior theses.
- Kim Kurcab of Irvine, 2005 Travel Grant recipient
Kim is a graduate from UC Irvine with a career objective to work in ecological restoration and conservation. She joined the Global Volunteer Network to work on an environmental community service project in New Zealand. This was the perfect trip to compliment her years of university education and give her fieldwork experience in a volunteer capacity. Her volunteer program was based in Wellington and the southern part of the North Island. Kim helped in a variety of projects from wildlife surveys, native species restoration to areas that have been invaded by exotic alien species and national park environmental maintenance. In addition, Kim worked with a team of volunteers from all over the world, learning about indigenous and immigrant people from the area. Upon the return from her two month trip, Kim created a detailed photo journal of her experiences in New Zealand.