Four students from the University of Wisconsin–Madison are among more than 800 American undergraduates from 330 U.S. colleges and universities awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
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.”
The four UW–Madison recipients, who are studying abroad during the fall 2014 semester, are:
- Joseph Evica, of Milwaukee, WI, senior majoring in sociology and psychology, studying in South Africa, University of Capetown Exchange
- James Jahn, of Greendale, WI, junior majoring in chemical engineering, studying in Denmark, Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby
- Nissa Vang, of Woodbury, MN, senior majoring in computer engineering, studying in South Korea, Yonsei University Exchange
- Padone Yang, of Madison, WI, junior majoring in international studies, studying in Brazil, Pontificia Universidade Catolica-Rio Exchange
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