NTID AlumniNews

Graduate Sarah Sabal receives Fulbright award to pursue graduate education in Taiwan

Sarah Sabal ’24 (applied modern language and culture: Chinese option and marketing) will study at National Cheng Kung University
six college age students appear together for a photo in two rows of three. There is a white building in the background.
Provided photo
Sarah Sabal ’24 (applied modern language and culture: Chinese option and marketing), center, looks forward to reuniting with her friends at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan.

Studying abroad can open doors to new adventures and experiences for any student. For Sarah Sabal ’24 (applied modern language and culture: Chinese option and marketing), her experiences helped solidify and reinforce her sense of self.

Sabal received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her graduate education at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan. She is one of a record six Fulbright U.S. Student awardees this year from RIT.

Prior to her Fulbright award, Sabal received a Boren Award Scholarship to complete a study abroad experience at NCKU. In 2021, Sabal studied at NCKU virtually as a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar. She eagerly anticipates reuniting with the friends she made through these previous experiences when she returns to complete her master’s degree in creative industries design.

“Creative industries design is a multidisciplinary study that incorporates marketing, the innovation processes, business, sustainability, and artistic and creative elements,” said Sabal. “I want to go into a global business field, and I’m most interested in people-based and creativity-driven work.”

Sabal shares that studying abroad in Taiwan helped her become more confident in her own cultural identity. Sabal lived in Chengdu, China, until she was adopted and moved to Stafford, Va. She explains that, at times, it was difficult to truly understand how she fit into the world.

“I’ve always had a passion for art and creativity since I was a kid. I lived in China for seven years, so I started developing my artwork there. My art has really helped me navigate my identity and my style, and a lot of my art is influenced by Asian culture,” said Sabal. “Even though I’m not Taiwanese, going to Taiwan really helped me bridge that identity and cultural gap.”

Sabal shared that her Fulbright award was made possible, in part, due to years of forming connections abroad and support from her faculty mentors throughout her time at RIT, including Associate Professor Zhong Chen in the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Once she graduates from NCKU, Sabal plans to return to the United States with the goal of pursuing a career in digital and social media marketing.

This story originally appeared in RIT News

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