Eleven UC Riverside students have been selected for two prestigious national scholarships to study or intern outside of the United States.
With financial support from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and the Freeman Asia Scholarship, students will be participating in Education Abroad programs in South Korea, Taiwan, France, Norway, Thailand, Denmark, and Tanzania. Scholarships range from $3,000 to $7,000 per student. These awards are for students participating in summer, fall, or year-long programs during the 2021-22 school year.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic had paused travel and changed the way students experienced education abroad opportunities, students are on standby to fulfill their education abroad experiences while adhering to all UC, international travel, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, said Shanon Langlie, director of marketing and communications for UCR’s International Affairs office.
“This next phase of travel will be different, and we want our students to be safe,” Langlie said. “But we also want to create new educational opportunities for our students as they become more competent global citizens.”
Before the pandemic, the Education Abroad office typically had 320 to 430 students traveling each year; this summer and fall there are 55 students participating in international programs, Langlie said.
Here are what students had to say:
“The Gilman Scholarship has given me the opportunity to experience something that I never thought would have been possible for a person like me,” said Elisa Soto, an education major traveling to France this fall. “The financial burden that I faced to fund my trip has now been lifted because of The Gilman Scholarship.”
“Being able to receive this scholarship is such a pivotal point in my education. Coming from a first-generation household, I was not always aware of many opportunities, like studying abroad or scholarships,” said Tracy Ngo, a psychology major who received both the Freeman Asia and the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships to travel to South Korea this fall. “This scholarship will fuel my educational endeavors by allowing me to attend school abroad. As a psychology major, being able to witness firsthand these different perspectives is a vital aspect for my future career as I interact with diverse groups of people.”
“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship will help me pay for my dorm, food expenses, travel expenses, and many more things in South Korea. I am relieved to have gotten this scholarship; without it, I would have had to take out a loan,” said Samantha Acosta, a biology major currently completing her summer stay in South Korea.
“To be honest, I really didn't think I was going to get the [Gilman] scholarship. If there's anything to be taken away from this, it’s don't be afraid to try,” said Jason Xiong, who will be spending the 2021-22 academic year at the University of Oslo in Norway.
“By receiving the Gilman Scholarship, I feel one significant step closer to an experience of a lifetime. While my financial situation served as a concern for studying abroad, opportunities like the Gilman Program pushed me to apply and provided me with the resources I need to achieve my goals while abroad,” said Madison Reichhold, an environmental science major who will be studying at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark this fall.
Meet the recipients:
- Aileen Andrade, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Comparative literature and languages major participating in the Institute for the International Education of Students program in France.
- Amanda Lee, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Public policy major participating in the University Studies Abroad Consortium in Seoul, South Korea.
- Andrey Yu, Freeman Asia Scholarship. Political science major studying at Yonsei University in South Korea.
- Camila Nalvarte, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Theatre, film, and digital production major conducting field research and an internship in Paris.
- Elisa Soto, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Education major learning about food, history, and culture in Paris.
- Jason Xiong, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Microbiology major studying at the University of Oslo in Norway.
- Jordan Smith, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Anthropology major participating in the University Studies Abroad Consortium in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Madison Reichhold, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Environmental science major studying at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
- Samantha Acosta, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Biology major participating in the Yonsei International Summer School program in South Korea.
- Tiffany Jia, Freeman Asia Scholarship. Comparative literature and languages major studying at National Taiwan University in Taiwan. NOTE: Tiffany was notified of the award after this story was published. She is now one of 12 students who received these national scholarships.
- Tracy Ngo, Freeman Asia Scholarship and Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Psychology major studying at Yonsei University in South Korea.
- Violetta Price, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. African American studies major learning about culture, wildlife, and activism in Tanzania.