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Record number of UGA students awarded Gilman study abroad scholarships

Athens, Ga. – Eight outstanding University of Georgia students have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate in study abroad programs.

Based on both merit and need, the nationally competitive Gilman International Scholarship aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions to which they go.This congressionally funded program is administered by the Institute for International Education on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs, and a limited number of Critical Need Language Scholarships are given each year for a total award of $8,000.

Among UGA’s fall 2010 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winners and their hometowns, countries of study and areas of study are:

  • Christopher Benton of Norfolk, Va., United Kingdom, English literature and magazines
  • Joseph Winfard Davis of Savannah, Kazakhstan, international affairs
  • Freddie Fuschetto of Massapequa, N.Y., Costa Rica,environmental engineering
  • Charlotte Garvin of Roswell, Japan, Japanese language, literature and linguistics
  • Sean Kester of Norcross, Costa Rica, landscape architecture
  • Amanda Van Tassell of Mariatta, United Kingdom, English

Receiving eight Gilman Scholarships in one application round is “great news,” said Kavita Pandit, associate provost for UGA’s Office of International Education. “This is the highest number we have ever received. The amounts of the scholarships are also much higher than in past years.”

Study abroad participants 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. According to IIE President Allan Goodman, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries.”

Upon their return to the U.S., Gilman Scholars extend their new knowledge to their home campus and community by carrying out a follow-on project of their own design.

“These projects help maximize the impact of the study abroad experience by promoting international education and the Gilman Program itself,” said Colleen Larson, study abroad advisor and scholarship coordinator

U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university are encouraged to apply for a Gilman award. The application deadline for summer and fall 2011 is March 1.

“The Office of International Education can assist students with their applications and help give feedback on the application essays or other questions students have about study abroad scholarships like Gilman.We hope students consider our office as a resource,” said Larson.

UGA ranks tenth in the nation among higher education institutions for the number of students who study abroad every year. Students can choose a study abroad program from more than 100 faculty-led study programs and approximately 50 exchanges in addition to countless programs offered by external providers. Study abroad is possible for all students regardless of major, class year, or desired length of study.

To learn more about UGA’s Office of International Education and study abroad programs and scholarships, see .