Three UI undergraduates awarded prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Three University of Iowa undergraduates have been awarded 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.

These students are three of just 950 American undergraduate students from 332 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the scholarship.  Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  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:

Ana Arzate

Ana Arzate will participate in an IES international internship in Paris, France.

Ana Arzate - IES Internship Paris, France  
                           
Major: international studies

Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa

What will be the focus of your internship?

The focus of my internship is researching and marketing. This is something completely new for me, and I'm excited to do something I've never done before! I will be interning with a small startup called Archive Valley based in Paris, where we'll help connect international clients (buyers) and researchers (sellers) in exchanging archives for different projects (i.e. documentaries).

How do you envision this experience impacting your future?

I envision this experience impacting my future enormously because, as a French and International Studies student with a focus on International Business, I get to utilize both of my majors in a real-life setting before I even get to graduate! After my internship, I will gain valuable experience in these fields, which could make me a more competitive candidate for future job opportunities.

Why is studying abroad important to you?

Studying abroad is important to me because I get to learn new ideas, and experience a different culture outside of the academic setting.  I will get to utilize my foreign language skills on a daily basis, which I can't do so here at school/home, and I will get to interact with people of my host country (France) who will show me authentic food, customs, traditions, and their way of life.  Studying abroad will allow me to immerse myself in a new culture, and will let me see the world through a new perspective.

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Gilman Scholarship?

The best advice I have for students interested in applying for the Gilman Scholarship is to not focus so much on the travel aspect of being abroad, but instead on how this experience will impact your future career and academic goals, and the value that studying abroad holds. Also, deadlines are extremely important, and work ahead if possible because the application process is pretty demanding.

Reanna Barlow

Reannan Barlow will participate in an IES international internship in Sydney, Australia.

Reannan Barlow - IES Internship Sydney, Australia

Major: pre-veterinary medicine

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

What will be the focus of your internship?

The focus of my internship is to help me get more hands on experience with animals. Mainly with socializing them so they are ready for adoption!

How do you envision this experience impacting your future?

This experience will impact my future, because I want to be a veterinarian and any experience and knowledge I obtain in the animal field will benefit my future.

Why is studying abroad important to you?

Studying abroad is important to me because, as a first generation college student and high school graduate, it is something I wouldn't have been able to experience. I also want to learn about and experience different cultures.

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Gilman Scholarship?

My advice for other students pursuing the Gilman Scholarship is to not let the statistics prevent you from trying. Also, when writing your essays don't hold back. Put everything into them, and take advantage of the writing center and the people at the study abroad office who will read them for you!

Jacob Ohrt

Jacob Ohrt will participate in an IES international internship in Shanghai, China.

Jacob Ohrt - IES Internship Shanghai, China

Major: mechanical engineering

Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa

What will be the focus of your internship?

I will be interning at a company called YingChuang 3D Printed. It sounds like the primary focus of my internship will be to act as a communication bridge between the company's engineers and their overseas customers. 

How do you envision this experience impacting your future?

My experience in China will provide me with a deep understanding and respect for the Chinese culture and allow me to work more effectively with people from China. This incredible opportunity will also allow me to stand out from other candidates when I begin applying for graduate school and help me land a more influential job by demonstrating my willingness to continuously develop myself professionally. Finally, having lived and worked in a foreign country might also allow me to work as a foreign relations specialist for a company or the United States Government. 

Why is studying abroad important to you?

Studying abroad is important to me because it will allow me to gain a deep sense of respect and understanding for another culture that would be simply unobtainable from a vacation. In today's ever-expanding global marketplace, I find it more important now than ever for countries to be able to understand and cooperate with each other. 

Would you have any advice for future students interested in pursuing a Gilman Scholarship?

I would sincerely advise starting as early as possible and make sure to go to the informational meetings. Starting early will allow you to make multiple revisions to your essays and perfect them. I would also strongly suggest to have your essays reviewed by multiple people. I believe gaining other people's perspective on what may or may not be important to include in your essays is vital to developing a strong essay. There are plenty of great writing resources available on the University of Iowa campus.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is a congressionally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and has been administered by the Institute of International Education since program inception in 2001. For more information about the Gilman and other scholarship programs, visit Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad. 

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