UHD students Brandi Hines, Jacob Hitt, and Sandra Lopez are among more than 1,000 American undergraduate students from 332 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study or intern abroad during the summer 2015 academic term. All three students will participate in UHD’s summer study abroad program in Costa Rica.
“I have never received a scholarship like this before,” said Hines, a marketing major. “This scholarship has made it possible for me to study abroad. It has opened a door that will make me a more competitive job applicant, and allow me to help the Latino culture by translating and assisting those that need help academically. I’m excited to go to Costa Rica and learn as much as I can.”
Hitt, an interdisciplinary studies major who hopes to become a science teacher, is excited to experience new cultures.
“It is far too often that we do not fully appreciate the beautiful differences that this world has to offer,” Hitt said. “We each possess qualities that are unique to us, and in understanding and fully embracing those unique and sometimes foreign qualities, we better not only ourselves but those around us.”
Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and expand the reach of such programs. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after 30 years of service in the House of Representatives, believes study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.
“Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience,” he said. “It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
The Gilman scholarship is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent, nonprofit organization that designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. Program information and a list of recipients is available online.