UIC students awarded Gilman study abroad scholarships

Nine students from the University of Illinois Chicago were awarded U.S. State Department Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships to study abroad.

The UIC recipients are among more than 1,500 undergraduate students from 467 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.

Scholars receive up to $5,000 — or up to $8,000 if they also are a recipient of the Gilman Critical Need Language Award — to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Since 2006, UIC students have won nearly 190 Gilman scholarships totaling approximately $760,000.

Due to COVID-19 and related travel restrictions, this year’s awardees had the option to defer their travel grants to another term, or arrange a virtual international internship experience. 

Jocelyn Ascencio, a senior in biological sciences, received the Critical Need Language Award. She will spend the 2021-2022 academic year studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, which has a Level 2 travel advisory according to the Department of State, so students were able to petition to study abroad there according to the university’s current travel guidance.

Gilman recipients from UIC who chose to defer their Gilman experience to the 2022 spring semester include:

  • Leoncio Estrada, junior in finance, scheduled to study in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Jackie Perez, senior in psychology, scheduled to study in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Chassion Rice, senior in music business with minors in finance and business analytics, scheduled to study in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Mercedes Rios, senior in human development and learning, scheduled to study in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Sarah Shah, Honors College junior in biological sciences, scheduled to study in London, England.

Gilman recipients from UIC who chose a virtual international internship program experience are Adriana Castrillon, Gabrielle Ciuteikis and Christopher Horvath.

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.

Visit the UIC Study Abroad Office website 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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