The University of Iowa

UI student chosen to represent Department of State's Gilman International Scholarship program

August 7th, 2018


Visiting the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., during her Gilman Scholarship Program training


After studying community health in South Africa on a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, UI global health major Emily Smith has been chosen to serve as an official representative of the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Chosen from thousands of applicants, Smith, along with several dozen other Gilman recipients, traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to receive training from the Gilman Scholarship Program.

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.

In her role as a Gilman Alumni Ambassador, Smith, a first-generation college student, will share her Gilman experience at campus presentations, offer application tips, and inspire other students to consider studying abroad through a Gilman Scholarship.

"I'm so appreciative of the support I've received from the University of Iowa. Iowa has made me the person I am today!"

Emily Smith


While studying abroad through SIT's South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy program, Smith focused on the diverse forms of healthcare in South Africa and the methods and ethics of research. For fifteen weeks she traveled across the country, visiting a range of rural and urban hospitals, school, and government facilities, to try and better understand the various dimensions of South Africa’s society. 

"I’ve been granted an incredible opportunity to receive a higher education and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program," says Smith. "Now I want to use my position to help empower those who are equally deserving of my opportunities but don’t have the access."


Smith with her fellow 2018-19 Gilman Alumni Ambassadors after the completion of their training workshop in Washington, D.C. 



Learn more about the Gilman Scholarship Program and how you can receive up to $5,000 to study or intern abroad!  

Applications are now being accepted for the Spring and Summer 2019 sessions