University of Iowa

Three UI students awarded Gilman scholarships to study abroad fall 2019

August 5th, 2019

Chosen from thousands of applicants from colleges and universities across the U.S., three University of Iowa undergraduates have been awarded the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad this fall. Gilman scholarship recipients receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs.  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.

Meet this year's recipients:

Anna Barrera Granillo

Anna Barrera Granillo, a fourth-year student majoring in accounting, from Sioux Center, Iowa, will use her Gilman Scholarship to study abroad this fall in Spain on the CIEE Seville Business and Society program.

"As our world becomes more connected it is important to be aware of other cultures’ business practices."

Why did you decide to study abroad in Spain?
I wanted to be able to take classes in a different language and since I grew up speaking Spanish I decided to go to a Spanish speaking country. Although I grew up speaking Spanish, I have not taken non-language courses in Spanish, so I thought that would be a cool experience. Also to be able to be in a country where Spanish was the primary language and English the minority.

How do you envision this experience impacting your future/career?
I think this experience will provide me with a new perspective. I feel that it is important to experience other cultures and languages in order to be introduced to new ideas and ways of thinking. It will provide me with more experiences and make me more adaptable. It will also provide me with an international understanding of business and how business works in the European Union compared to the United States. As our world becomes more connected it is important to be aware of other cultures’ business practices. 

Why is studying abroad important to you?
Studying abroad is important to me because it will provide me with a new perspective to help me grow as an individual. It is another way to step out of my comfort zone (which is difficult to do at times) and challenge myself to grow as an individual. I hope to gain new skills and life lessons that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. 
 

Paige Grissinger

Paige Grissinger, a third-year public health major and aerospace studies minor from Savanna, Illinois, will use her Gilman Scholarship to study abroad this fall in Denmark on the CIEE Copenhagen Open Campus program
 

"It is important that I do this because my career could take me anywhere and I would like to experience international travel for the first time on my own terms before the military."

Why did you decide to study abroad in Denmark?
I am studying in Denmark because it is the happiest place on earth! I hope to grasp an understanding of their culture and grow as an individual and leader. Being from a very small town I did not ever envision myself as a world traveler, but now that it's happening it feels surreal. I intend to learn as much as I can while in Copenhagen.  

How do you envision this experience impacting your future/career?
I hope that the skills I learn abroad will make me a better leader in the Air Force ROTC program here at the University of Iowa, and eventually as an Air Force officer. Understanding other cultures will make me a better public health professional. 

Why is studying abroad important to you?
I look forward to studying abroad and experiencing a culture different from my own. It is important that I do this because my career could take me anywhere and I would like to experience international travel for the first time on my own terms before the military.  This will allow me to grow as an individual and see new perspectives. 
 

Rebecca Lawson

Rebecca Lawson, a fourth-year neuroscience and Russian major from Spring Valley, Minnesota, will use her Gilman Scholarship to participate in the ACTR Russia Language and Area Studies program during the fall session. 

"As someone who plans to work in the health care field, I think it's really important to be able to understand and communicate with people who are from other areas of the world so as to give them the best and most accurate care possible.  "

Why did you decide to study abroad in Russia?
My mom emigrated from Uzbekistan after the Soviet Union broke up, so Russian culture has always been an important influence in my life. I began studying the Russian language when I started school at the University of Iowa and I’ve enjoyed it so much I decided to major in Russian and study in Russia!

How do you envision this experience impacting your future/career?
Studying abroad is a really good way to experience a different culture in a way that can't necessarily be experienced in the United States.  As someone who plans to work in the health care field, I think it's really important to be able to understand and communicate with people who are from other areas of the world so as to give them the best and most accurate care possible.  

 
Why is studying abroad important to you? 
For me, studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will give me a perspective on the world that I won't get by staying here at home.  I've always been interested in world cultures and I love traveling, so study abroad seemed like an easy choice!  
 
 

Learn more about the Gilman Scholarship program and how you can apply

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