Ayesha Bhola, Jawad Rashid, Najeebah Williams and Kelly Yu Win Summer 2017 Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

CUNY BA students Ayesha Bhola (Brooklyn College), who studies Health Equity and Social Justice, Jawad Rashid (Citytech), who studies Vulnerable Populations, Najeebah Williams (Brooklyn College), who is pursuing her degree in Editing and Publishing, and Kelly Yu (Hunter College), who studies Behavioral Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind and Science, are four of approximately 1,200 American undergraduate students from 354 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected 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 or intern abroad during the summer 2017 term. Rashid will pursue coursework and participate in an international internship in Moldova, Bhola and Williams will study culture and literature in Ghana and Yu will study psychology in Amsterdam.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or internships abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.  Scholarship recipients 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.

The late Congressman Gilman, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.  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.  The list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on their website: gilmanscholarship.org. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries.  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.”

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U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA)For more than 50 years the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has sought to cultivate mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, and peaceful relations, as mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. ECA accomplishes its mission through a variety of exchange programs and other initiatives that support mutual understanding by protecting cultural heritage across the globe, and providing educational resources for people interested in learning about American culture and the English language. ECA programs engage participants from a variety of backgrounds and specialties. For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit eca.state.gov.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (www.iie.org), publishing the Open Doors Report and operating www.IIEPassport.org and www.studyabroadfunding.org  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.  For more information, please contact the Gilman International Scholarship at gilmanscholarship@iie.org.

CUNY BA is the University-wide, individualized degree. It is an exciting, versatile, rewarding degree route for highly motivated, self-directed students whose academic goals transcend traditional majors. Students create their own degree plans working directly with faculty mentors and academic advisors.