Eight Berea College Students Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad


Berea College’s Center for International Education announced that Samantha Robinson, Brandon Mitchell, Niki Clayton, Gerald Thomas, Tiana Moorer, Issac Domenech, Rebecca O’Connor and Chad Runyan are recipients of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. This award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is providing $26,500 to support study abroad experiences for Berea’s students during summer 2018. The eight American students will complete coursework in Jamaica, Ghana, Japan, Costa Rica, Italy and Austria.

These Gilman Scholars receive an average of more than $3,300 per student to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or internships abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies—making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

The late Congressman Gilman served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. 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. 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 program is administered by the Institute of International Education. View the list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country.

“International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries,” said Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE. “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.”


U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) – For more than 50 years the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has sought to cultivate mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, and peaceful relations, as mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. ECA accomplishes its mission through a variety of exchange programs and other initiatives that support mutual understanding by protecting cultural heritage across the globe, and providing educational resources for people interested in learning about American culture and the English language. ECA programs engage participants from a variety of backgrounds and specialties. For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit eca.state.gov.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization. IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State. The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (www.iie.org), publishing the Open Doors Report and operating www.IIEPassport.org for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships. For more information, please contact the Gilman International Scholarship at gilmanscholarship@iie.org.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Berea Abroad, Students, Study abroad

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.