UIC students, alumna awarded Gilman study abroad scholarships

Six students and one alumna from the University of Illinois Chicago have been awarded U.S. State Department Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships to study abroad.

The UIC recipients are among more than 800 American undergraduate students from 335 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected for the honor.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, aims to diversify the group of students who study abroad and their destinations. To be eligible for the award, students must demonstrate financial need by receiving a federal Pell Grant for their studies.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s awardees can defer their travel grants and switch locations through the end of 2021, or arrange a virtual international experience. 

“We will be working with the recipients to help them identify a new program if their original program option is no longer a viable option,” said Kyle Rausch, executive director of the UIC Study Abroad Office.

Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. Since 2006, UIC students have won nearly 180 Gilman scholarships totaling approximately $725,000.

The recipients, whose major areas of study are based in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Public Health, and their original destinations are:

Mariam Ali, an Honors College senior in applied psychology from Homer Glen, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in Rabat, Morocco

Nabil Asmar, a junior in public health from Waukegan, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in London, England and Amsterdam, Netherlands   

Bhagvat Patel, an Honors College senior in biological sciences and history from Des Plaines, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in Seville, Spain

Sarai Ruiz, a senior in applied psychology from Beach Park, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in Madrid, Spain

Kayla Schneider, a 2020 UIC graduate in biological sciences, from Alsip, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in Quito, Ecuador

Jelena Stojadinovic, a sophomore in teaching education, from Burbank, Illinois, who was scheduled to study in Seville, Spain

Abigail Zurita-Calvario, an Honors College senior in political science and Spanish from Chicago, who was scheduled to study in Paris, France       

The Gilman program is funded through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and is administered by the Institute of International Education’s Southern Regional Center in Houston. The program honors former U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, who was chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Follow the UIC Study Abroad Office on Facebook and Instagram, as well as #StudyAbroadisUIC to learn more about study abroad and scholarship opportunities, receive updates on upcoming workshops and read testimonials from past study abroad scholarship winners.

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