Students Selected for Study Abroad Scholarships

PARAMUS, N.J. – Four Bergen Community College students had the opportunity to study abroad in France during a two-week summer program this month. As part of “Bootcamps in France” offered through the Cultural Services French Embassy in the United States, students receive high-quality experiential learning opportunities tailored to the needs of community college students.

All four Bergen students also earned the French Embassy scholarship, which reduced their participation fees to $1,000.

“I am excited to see Bergen Community College represented in this initiative sponsored by the French Embassy,” International Student Counselor Amparo Codding said. “This is a life-changing experience for all of them.”

Students Shiwa Yangzom, of Fair Lawn; Kara Davy, of Bergenfield; Bryan De Silva, of Monroe, New York; and Paloma Vizcaino, of West New York, recently returned from their time abroad. Speaking for her peers, Yangzom beamed with enthusiasm.

“I am so excited to have been selected into the program and be granted the opportunity to study abroad my first year in college,” Yangzom said.

The students studied in different areas of the country, with Yangzom and Davy heading to Rennes, while De Silva traveled to Lorraine and Vizcaino visited Lyon. Each destination focused on a different piece of sustainability education. For example, the Rennes bootcamp featured meetings with local companies pioneering ecofriendly packaging, visits to eco-parks and an introduction to sustainable food options. Meanwhile, the Lorraine location featured learning centered around turning the metropolitan area into a “smart city” via sustainable technology practices.

At Bergen, the students have distinguished themselves as members of Phi Theta Kappa, the Student Government Association and Cerullo Learning Assistance Center. Additionally, they have participated in activities such as the Bergenstages theatre troupe and the STEM Club.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

Photo caption: Shiwa Yangzom, Bryan De Silva, Paloma Vizcaino and Kara Davy.

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