More Gilman Scholarships Available for Studying Abroad
5 CU Denver Awardees for Summer Study Abroad Programs
With the recent change in the Gilman Scholarship program and the commitment of CU Denver faculty and the Global Education: Study Abroad team, more students than ever before are now able to apply for scholarship assistance. Five CU Denver students have been awarded substantial Gilman scholarships for their Summer 2018 study abroad programs. One student received $5,000, which is even more than her program fee.
“I know this experience will help me on my professional path,” said Christina Clouse, a Gilman scholarship recipient who is headed to Valladolid, Spain for the one-month program, CU Denver in Spain: Venga, Vale, Vamos. “It is possible to study abroad, even if you struggle financially, and no one should limit themselves for this reason.”
Clouse chose the program to accelerate her Spanish language skills. A short-term, six-credit hour program, it will be held at the city’s university, which was founded in the 13th century by Alfonso VIII, King of Castile. The Centrol de Idiomas of the university is well known for its Spanish language immersion program.
“I live five hours from CU Denver’s campus, am a solely online student, and have taken all of the Spanish courses that are available,” said Clouse. “And since I have three children, the program has a time frame that works for me!”
Another Gilman recipient, Marcia Maxson, is traveling to Sevilla, Spain for the CU Denver study abroad program, Serving Families, Schools, and Communities. As a public affairs/public service major, she thought the program was an ideal match for her degree plan. Students will contribute to serving families and schools in Spain as well as gain an understanding of Spanish lifestyles and the current impacts of immigration, economics and community services on families and children.
“Gaining a global perspective is indispensable; the experience will teach you much more than only being a bystander in a classroom,” explained Maxson. She found the study abroad team to be easily accessible by email and online scheduling, the professors helpful to her as a first-generation student, and the TRiO office to be a “lifeline”.
“They helped me to brainstorm essay topics, connected me with other individuals from a similar background to give me tips for success, and walked me through things when I felt like giving up.”
She also learned everything a student needs to know to apply for the Gilman and other scholarships. Previously, applicants to the Gilman Scholarship had to be going on a study abroad program of four weeks in length. Now they are eligible if their program is three weeks long.
“The Gilman Scholarship is the largest national study abroad scholarship, and its main goal is to give under-represented students program support,” explained Meghan Atherton, Senior Study Abroad Coordinator. “The study abroad team offers assistance for the application process and helps students prepare for their study abroad experience.”
The Gilman is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; its implementation is supported by the Institute of Higher Education. It offers grants of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students of high financial need participating in credit-bearing study abroad programs or international internships.
“We live in an age of a shrinking globe; I feel like we all need to be working toward international cooperation,” said Clouse. Her ‘dream job’ is to be a counselor for low-income individuals, with an emphasis on Applied Positive Psychology.
Maxson’s goal is to critically analyze the issues facing this specific region in Spain and gain insights on the development and implementation of successful service models, to be better prepared to replicate efficiencies and strategies.
For other students who are considering studying abroad, she advises, “Just do it! Don’t let your socioeconomic situation or what others tell you prevent you from following your dreams – set an appointment with your study abroad advisor.” She added, “I know the price can be off-putting, but there are funds available to make studying abroad a reality.”
Her final advice: be proactive, start early, write your scholarship essay, and “save your tax refund and pick up extra hours at work.”
Both students agree: “It will all be worth it in the end.”
And the end of the road this summer for five Gilman student recipients will be in beautiful, engaging Spain. It also respresents a new beginning for their lives and careers.
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