Record number of CSUMB students get help to study abroad

Studying abroad can bring a variety of benefits: immersion in a new culture; the opportunity to master another language; and an enriching academic experience with career benefits. But it can also bring hefty expenses.

FlagsThirteen CSU Monterey Bay students – a record number – will use financial aid from the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program to help cover the costs of their overseas study starting in the fall.

Established in 2001, the program supports travel by students who have been traditionally underrepresented, including those with financial need, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and those with disabilities. To qualify for the scholarship, students must be Pell Grant recipients.

Applicants must be headed for countries other than Western Europe or Australia. Students from all fields of study are eligible.

The competitive program offers grants of up to $8,000 to defray the costs of tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and airfare. Congressionally funded, the program awarded more than 2,300 scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for these students,” said CSUMB’s international programs manager Holly White, who has seen the number of awards grow over the last few years. Last fall, seven CSUMB students received scholarships.

“Many of these students would not be able to study abroad without the financial support this program provides.”

The belief that international study better prepares American students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world is central to the vision of CSUMB’s Office of International Programs.

In the academic year just concluded, 81 students spent at least a semester studying abroad. For next academic year, 110 students will spent one or two semesters studying in another country.

Most scholarships are worth $5,000. Tyler McGee received an additional $3,000 supplement awarded to exemplary students studying a language on the government’s strategic needs list. He will study business in China.

McGee also received a $4,000 Wang Scholarship awarded through the California State University system.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipients for next academic year, their hometowns and their destinations:

• Erik Barbosa, Woodland – Germany
• Stuti Desai, Monterey – United Kingdom
• Jenna DeVries, Gilroy – Japan

• Akira Sugita-Vasquez, Fresno – Japan
• Terry Tan, Salinas – Japan
• Rachell Hester, Cambria – Japan
• Carolina Liemola, Auburn – Spain

• Kyle Lipscombe, South Lake Tahoe – Japan
• Rodney Harmon, Highland – Chile
• Amanda Esswein, Cupertino – Japan
• Tyler McGee, Fountain Valley – China
• Jordan Sanchez, Hollister – Japan
• Nereida Macias, Modesto – Italy

Learn more about the Gilman scholarship program here.

Learn more about the international programs at CSUMB here.