Two Allegheny College students have been awarded Gilman International Scholarships in order to help defray the costs of their participation in studying overseas during the 2019 fall semester.
The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program reviewed more than 3,000 applicants nationwide for 2019-20 academic programs, and just over 800 students were offered awards to participate in credit-bearing study abroad programs and career-oriented internships in countries around the world, according to the organization.
Yadira Sanchez-Esparza, an Allegheny sophomore from Salem, Oregon, says she will use her $5,000 grant to help pay the cost of the program in Argentina. “I will be studying abroad with the Council on International Educational Exchange Liberal Arts Program, which allows me to study at three different universities in Buenos Aires, depending on my interests,” she says.
Sanchez-Esparza is an international studies and Spanish double major with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean. “I hope to focus specifically on gender in sexuality in Latin America, which has encouraged me to do an internship while abroad with a nonprofit that advocates for victims of femicide and domestic abuse,” she says. “After spending a year in Buenos Aires, I hope to have not only mastered writing in Spanish but gained a more intimate understanding of the geopolitical pressures that influence gender and sexuality within Argentina.”
Sydney Francis, an Allegheny junior from Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, has received $2,500 for her study away program this fall in Jordan. She is a double major in international studies and community and justice studies.
“Our recent run of success with both the Gilman and Fulbright awards shows that Allegheny students are ready to compete at the national level,” says Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising in the Allegheny Gateway. “The projects that Sydney and Yadira proposed to do while overseas were compelling enough to an audience of interested strangers that they’ve been awarded several thousand dollars to carry them out. That’s a big deal. I would encourage any Allegheny student interested in accessing the various government programs that support study abroad — Gilman, Boren, Fulbright — to go ahead and apply.”
The Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security).