picture of sarah bortis

University of Montana student Sarah Bortis has won a Freeman-ASIA Award that will pay up to $3,000 for her to study in Taiwan this summer.

Bortis, a junior from Lincoln City, Oregon, who majors in East Asian studies with a minor in Chinese, will attend an eight-week intensive language program in Taipei at the National Taiwan Normal University Mandarin Training Center in July and August. While there, she hopes to find volunteer work in urban agriculture and food security.

Before enrolling at UM, Bortis worked for 11 years directing a nonprofit farm for Garden City Harvest in Missoula. She hopes to combine her experience in community agriculture with her passion for Chinese language and food to build a career exploring, researching and documenting Chinese food and farm culture.

Freeman-ASIA awards provide need-based funding to assist recipients with the cost of study abroad programs and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation and books.

Freeman-ASIA is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, whose major objective is to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia. Through education and educational institutes, the foundation hopes to develop a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories and economies in the United States and a better understanding of the American people and institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia.

Click here to read the the essay Sarah wrote about her experience, "How Lucky to Be Lost."