Students awarded scholarships to study abroad


Sergio Zamora

Senior political science major, April Rumgay was awarded $5,000 to study in Turkey with an additional $3,000 supplement to study the Turkish language during her study abroad trip this summer.

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

This semester, a few UTEP students were awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad. The scholarship is awarded to more than 2,700 students every semester nationwide. The scholarship’s purpose is to aid students to study abroad by providing them with the funds they need.

The Gilman Scholarship helps undergraduate students who intend to complete courses or an internship in their field of study in a foreign country and is awarded three times during the year.

It was founded by Benjamin A. Gilman, former U.S. Republican representative and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The scholarship is awarded to students who are studying in a foreign country for at least four weeks and demonstrate a positive scholarly identity.

April Rumgay, senior political science major, was awarded $5,000 to study in Turkey with an additional $3,000 supplement to study the Turkish language during her study abroad trip this summer. Rumgay said studying abroad will impact her in many ways.

“I’ve heard that students gain independence, international experience, new perspectives and friendships,” Rumgay said. “I’ll consider myself lucky to acquire even one of these things.”

Studying abroad can help students gain independence and improve their work ethic.

“It’s no secret that studying abroad will enhance my educational and professional opportunities,” Rumgay said. “I don’t underestimate the value of sharing my experience in Turkey.”

Rumgay hopes her experience in Turkey inspires her friends and family.

“I’m more interested in considering the legacy that I can leave with my family, local community, and country,” Rumgay said. “It could inspire my family, empower my community and encourage more Americans to become global citizens.”

While in Turkey, Rumgay said she wants to leave a positive impression on the Turkish community.

“I hope to present an image of the U.S. outside of foreign policy and outreach,” Rumgay said.

Students at UTEP said they would study abroad if given the chance. Josh De Luca, sophomore microbiology major, said if he could study abroad, he would study somewhere in the United Kingdom.

“I’d be away from home, but I would still feel a connection,” De Luca said. “I would want to study and complete research in microbiology.”

Although he most likely will not study abroad while at UTEP, he said it is still a great thing for students to do.

“Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity–to be exposed to a new culture and way of life,” De Luca said.

Natalie Delgado, senior education major, said studying abroad anywhere would be a great opportunity, but specifically she would like to study in China, Norway or Finland.

“I love to travel because of the thrill of entering a whole new journey that I have never been to before,” Delgado said. “Being able to experience the culture, the lifestyle, the food and interacting with people along the way is an honor.”

   To apply for the scholarship students must complete an online application, which includes submitting official transcripts and online certifications from their study abroad and financial aid advisors.

“I took advantage of the fantastic resources available to me at the Study Abroad Office on campus,” Rumgay said.

The students applying for the Gilman Scholarship began the application process by going to an information session conducted by Corinne Peschka, the resident Gilman Scholarship advisor at UTEP and an English professor.

“She (Peschka) begins by giving an informational session that introduces students to the application process,” Rumgay said. “Students sign up for independent sessions with Ms. Peschka to have their questions answered and, more importantly, receive feedback on the two essays required as part of the application.”

Applicants must write two essays and were encouraged to seek editorial help from their study abroad advisor.

“Ms. Peschka was previously an official application reviewer for the Gilman Scholarship Program and is well aware of what they look for in the essay,” Rumgay said. “Her expertise in editing enhances the level of writing in each student’s essay.”

Rumgay said the Gilman Scholarship and being able to study abroad will help her in a number of ways.

“Studying in Turkey will ease my fear so that I can pursue graduate school and a career in humanitarian development without any hesitation,” Rumgay said. “Students who are willing to put in the time and effort, certainly have the support and resources on campus to make studying abroad with the Gilman Scholarship a reality.”

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]