Biochemistry major Kevin Gallegos said, “If I could do an internship for a pharmaceutical company in Japan, that [would be] amazing.”
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides the opportunity to study abroad to intern in a different country or learn a critical need language.
The scholarship offers $5,000 for study abroad and internship opportunities are up to $8,000 for languages such as Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.
An orientation was held on Friday, Sept. 23 to discuss the requirements for the application and deadlines.
Students that are highly considered are those that have a high financial need, first-generation college students, students with disabilities, students who come from community colleges & minority-serving institutions and major in underrepresented fields of study such as STEM majors.
The eligibility requirements are as follows:
· US Citizen
· Undergraduate student
· Federal Pell Grant receiver
· Academic credit
· No travel warning (Mexican states not currently on a travel advisory are eligible)
Gallegos said, “I don’t think I’d want to go to Europe […] because [ Director of Scholars Honors Program Timothy] Juntilla mentioned to stay away from Western European countries.
“Also, I feel like that is very cliché; everybody wants to go to Europe. I want to do something a little different.”
Juntilla said, “Students who get the scholarship […] have to be decent students. There is no GPA requirement on the scholarship so it’s open to anybody, but realistically, a B-average student is probably the bottom for this.
“If you’re at a 2.7 [GPA] and you’re saying ‘I’m a Spanish major and I want to go to Spain to study Spanish and I look at your transcripts, because these are things you would upload, and I’m seeing you are getting C’s in Spanish the question comes up to anybody reviewing the essay ‘Do we really want to send someone to Spain to get C’s in a Spanish class in Spain?’ That person doesn’t seem as passionate or compelling.”
He mentioned that if students can’t find important information on the Gilman website such as eligibility and deadlines, he advised them to email him and he can send them the right information.
Juntilla encourages students to think more about study abroad opportunities. This is the first scholarship he is promoting.
Gurpreet Ubbu, a business information management major, was at the scholarship workshop.
She applied to the study abroad program to study business economics in Shanghai, China.
She also applied to the Benjamin A. Gilman study abroad scholarship.
She said “It was not a lengthy process however, it does take time to write a compelling and persuasive essay about how the Gilman scholarship will help you study abroad and how studying abroad will help in your future endeavors and career goals.”
Gallegos acknowledged that he would want to study abroad for experience. “It just sounds so interesting. On paper it is hard to describe yourself, so something like this is pretty big.
“It highlights your personality [and] it describes you as outgoing and actually involved and interested in your field.”
Ubbu said studying abroad helped her focus, “Studying in the states is difficult because I have so many roles that it distracts my focus in school. The Gilman scholarship gave me the opportunity to only have the role of a student and to just learn and study. There was honestly nothing I disliked about the study abroad program and my travels. What else is better to do in the summer than explore another country and study abroad?”
Kaser Flower, sociology and kinesiology major, said, “I thought [the presentation] was informative. I found it useful for the exposure to the topic. However, I asked a lot of questions because it didn’t address my concerns the way I would have liked it to. I will be visiting Juntilla and I do plan on doing this.”
He is unsure of where to study abroad.
“Perhaps Africa or Singapore. [There are] different reasons for every place [because of] insane poverty and being a sociology major, I want to change the world. Maybe [I will] learn a new language in Morocco. Arabic is a close language to that of my mother tongue and the more languages someone knows the better,” he said.
Application deadlines for spring 2017 and summer early application for 2017 is Oct.4. The deadline for summer 2017 and fall 2017-18 is March 7.
Apply at www.iie.org/gilman.