| WMU News
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University student recently received a prestigious scholarship to study foreign languages overseas during the 2014-15 academic year through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.
Deanna Dudley of Matteson, Illinois, is among the 800 American undergraduate awardees from 356 colleges and universities across the United States selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship. It provides up to $5,000 for American students to pursue overseas study for college credit. Sixteen WMU students and more than 14,000 students nationwide have received the award since the program's inception in 2001.
The scholarship program helps diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. It is administered by the Institute of International Education and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Dudley received a $4,000 Gilman Scholarship. A graduate of Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, Illinois, she is a junior majoring in criminal justice and sociology. She will study Spanish language and international law in Costa Rica during the 2015 spring semester and plans to graduate from WMU at the end of that semester.
Benefits of overseas study
Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation is a special experience for every student who participates, says retired U.S. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, who sponsored the legislation creating the scholarship program that now bears his name.
"(It) not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience," Gilman says. "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."
Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education, adds that the returning students are better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
"It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business," Goodman says, "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."
Assistance provided by WMU
Dudley was advised and supported in applying for the Gilman Scholarship by Ann Ganz, WMU study abroad specialist senior, and Dr. Michelle Metro-Roland, WMU advisor for the Gilman program and director of faculty and global program development in the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education.
Students receiving a federal Pell Grant who are planning to study abroad are encouraged to visit iie.org/gilman to learn more about the scholarship. Eligible students interested in applying should first contact the WMU Gilman advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 387-5890.
For more information about WMU's study abroad programs and scholarships, visit wmich.edu/studyabroad or call (269) 387-5890.
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