"The Gilman Scholarship is set up to assist first-time study abroad students in funding their trips. I found out about the Gilman Scholarship one day before the deadline for that semester. I whipped up a very short essay and filled out the paperwork, but, I was not too optimistic about getting approved since I did not have time to prepare. Despite the brevity of my essay, I still was awarded $3,500 which I used to fund my study abroad trip to Argentina and Chile. My trip was an incredible experience that I will have with me for the rest of my life, and I owe it to the people at the Gilman Scholarship. I would highly recommend that any student considering study abroad apply. They are giving away money for you to travel and have fun with! Take it! " -- Ron Matei ($3,000 Gilman Award winner, Fall 2011, Argentina program)
"Studying abroad took my college experience up a level. Putting yourself in a country where you are unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone enables you to learn in a new and exciting way. I gained so much while experiencing life over seas. I broadened my knowledge of different cultures (including my own), learned a lot about myself, made many new friends, learned how to be independent and resourceful and have some of the best memories that I will cherish forever. Waking up every morning in Florence, Italy for an entire semester was nothing short of amazing. It has been the best opportunity I have ever taken advantage of and can't imagine my life without that experience under my belt."
1. What award did you win?
I won the CCIE Scholarship to go study abroad in Korea, provided by Soonchunhyang University.
2. How did you find out about it?
Actually, it was by coincidence. I had been looking to study abroad with a different program and contacted the study abroad adviser at Mesa College, Leticia Lopez. Just by talking back and forth via email, she let me know that there was a different scholarship available for studying in Korea that might benefit me. She forwarded me the link and from there I was instantly set on trying to get the scholarship.
3. What was the application process?
In order to apply I made sure I read over the rules at least 10 times. I needed to get two letters of recommendation, one from a professor and one from my study abroad adviser. I also had to fill out a standard application which included things such as my gpa, intended major, and picture. Following that, I faxed over a copy of my transcript and a medical form. Finally, I had to write a 500 page essay on why I wanted to go to Korea and how it would benefit me.
4. What do you plan on doing with the language?
My major is international business and a minor in international relations so this will surely benefit me in my future endeavors. It is important to learn another language so that we can expand our ways of thinking to other cultures. Not only will the language benefit me, but also the cultural interaction. It will give me first hand experience going to school in a country full of tradition. At the end of the program I hope to make lifelong relationships with Korean students and be able to use the experience for my resume in the future and for my own personal life long dreams.
5. Why study abroad?
No matter what your major is, studying abroad is important to broaden your horizons and teach you lessons about life that you might not ever get the chance to learn. You will enrich your way of thinking, vocabulary, and maybe even find yourself on an adventure.