The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, created by the Department of State in order to foster friendly relations with other countries, gives out scholarships each year to college students to travel to different countries to study or intern. These scholarships number in the few thousands, making the scholarship incredibly competitive for the hundreds of thousands of university students who apply.
But Jennifer Huerta ’22, a double major in secondary education and Spanish, received one of those coveted scholarships.
“I heard about the Gilman scholarship, from Professor Yuriko Ikeda, who has helped me throughout my study abroad journey,” Huerta said. “I received the good news while at work, to which I was in utter surprise and overwhelmed with emotions. The Gilman scholarship had given me the opportunity to be able to accomplish my dream and goal to study abroad.”
The scholarship allows Huerta to study in La Universidad de Granada, in Granada, Spain, and complete a part-time internship, in preparation for her future in teaching Spanish at the high school level, post-graduation. But due to COVID-19, she won’t be going this upcoming fall semester.
“Initially I had planned to study abroad Fall 2020, but due to COVID-19, I have decided to set it back to Fall 2021, during the fall of my senior year,” Huerta said. “I hope by this time, everything has gotten better; it will also allow me to have more time to prepare for study abroad.”
The scholarship takes care of costs such as program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, international airfare, passport and visa fees; something that’s hard to pass up as a college student.
“The application itself was simple, I had to share my experience as a Marian student in the U.S. and share that experience in Spain with my program and internship; as well as share my experience abroad once I return,” Huerta said. “The goal of my project is to bring awareness not just to study abroad and the Gilman scholarship but to also bring cultural awareness.”
Students who are thinking/planning of studying abroad during their college tenure are encouraged to visit gilmanscholarship.org and apply for the competitive scholarship or meet with Wendy Westphal, Ph.D., director of study abroad for similar scholarship opportunities.