Seven UW-Madison students receive Gilman Scholarships for summer study abroad

Seven University of Wisconsin–Madison students are among 1,150 American undergraduate students from 377 colleges and universities across the United States awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for study abroad during the summer of 2016.

Each Gilman Scholar receives up to $5,000 to apply towards study abroad program costs.  The program aims to diversify the population of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible.

“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,” says Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. “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.”

Five of the UW–Madison students receiving Gilman awards for summer 2016 are enrolled in the UW Intensive Chinese Language in Tianjin, China:

  • Shih-Yi Chao, of Stevens Point, WI, sophomore majoring in management and human resources
  • Kursat Gok, of Madison, WI, junior majoring in Chinese
  • Laura Grulke, of Reeseville, WI, junior majoring in journalism
  • Conley Potter, of McFarland, WI, junior majoring in Chinese
  • Sunny Yang, of Eau Claire, WI, senior majoring in psychology

Also receiving Gilman awards for summer 2016 study abroad are:

  • Hallah Ghanem, of Austin, TX, junior majoring in geography, going to Jordan, CIEE Amman, Jordan Language Intensive
  • Ashlyn King, of La Farge, WI, sophomore, going to Russia, Petersburg, ACTR Russian Language

The Gilman Scholarships program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

“International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries,” says Allan Goodman, IIE’s president and CEO. “It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

  • By Kerry G. Hill