Six Berea College students—Sophia Winkowitsch, Deshontanae Davis, Joy Leis, Simeon Huff, Manuela Hincapie Vidal and Tyler Goins—have been awarded national study abroad scholarships. They are part of a select group of undergraduates across the U.S. chosen to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study overseas during the Fall 2018 term. These students will complete their coursework in various countries, including Ireland, Spain, Thailand, Chile, Malaysia and Australia.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or internships abroad, gaining skills critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. Students who receive a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions and who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply for Gilman scholarships. The recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies helping better prepare them to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Huff, a senior from Jefferson, TN, is majoring in sociology and Spanish. Davis, a sophomore from Jefferson, AL, is majoring in psychology. Winkowitsch, a sophomore from Dickinson, MI is majoring in agriculture. Leis, a sophomore from Japan is majoring in theatre. Goins, a senior from Hawkins, TN, is majoring in Spanish. Vidal, a senior from Providence, RI, is majoring in peace and social justice.
The late Congressman Gilman, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee.
“Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates,” Gilman said when he was honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002. “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.
“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 the Institute of International Education. “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.”