Gilman scholarship offers students a chance to study abroad

Chyna Inez Davis, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Alexandra Hicks, junior, Michelle Huang, sophomore, and Cammi Roberts, junior, were recognized by the University for being awarded The Gilman International Scholarship.

“I think studying abroad gives students a broader perspective of life in so many ways,” Roberts said.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsor this prestigious scholarship program, providing the up to $5,000 in aid for students studying abroad.

Roberts said she is honored to receive the scholarship.

“I think that even going through the application process, opened my eyes so much more to the potential of this experience and has driven me to make much more of it,” she said.

This semester she has had the opportunity to work within Rome’s elementary schools partnered with The School of Education.

“I teach an eighth grade math class as well as an eighth grade science class,” Roberts said. “It is a unique opportunity to see the Italian culture through a different lens as well as to help me develop my skills as a future teacher.”

The scholarship program is designed to provide U.S. undergraduates with financial need for studying abroad–especially non-traditional study abroad destinations.
“The Gilman scholarship helps make study abroad so much more feasible financially,” Roberts said. “Beyond that, it gives you the opportunity to focus on your goal for your time abroad and to accomplish something as a result. The Gilman Scholarship also is awarded to about one in four applicants, so it’s a scholarship you have a real chance at.”

According to the University, Matthew Pucciarelli, Associate Provost for Global Studies, believe Roberts, Hicks and Huang are perfect candidates.

“We can’t wait to see how they take advantage of their time in Europe–and how it impacts their future,” Pucciarelli said.

Hicks, a criminal justice major, is a part of the Discover the World: Europe program. She will be living in Rome, Paris and Seville on St. John’s campuses, according to the University.

“I want to be a homicide detective, possibly an FBI agent,” she said. “So having international travel experience and an understanding of other countries are great assets. It’s not unusual for FBI agents to be placed into a country with a U.S. Embassy. This experience is excellent preparation for that.”

Even Huang, a pharmacy major, said it “helps to broaden your horizons.”

“But the best thing is meeting new people, seeing how culture affects everyone’s daily life-no matter what country we call home,” Huang said.

Like Hicks and Huang, Roberts hopes to gain experiences for her career.

“I hope to immerse myself in the culture and to learn about the historical, cultural and religious elements that make this city and the country so unique,” Roberts said.