UTSA students
From left, UTSA students Christina Hatch, George Cahlik
and Kelsi Arvin

UTSA students win national study-abroad scholarships

By Holly Hill
Assistant Director of Study Abroad and Exchanges

(June 18, 2007)--Three UTSA students will undertake the adventure of a lifetime as they study abroad during the fall 2007 semester, thanks to financial help from the Gilman International Scholarship Program. Three UTSA students, Kelsi Arvin, George Cahlik and Christina Hatch, were awarded the prestigious national scholarship.

Kelsi Arvin is a San Antonio native majoring in political science. In her first travels outside of the United States, she will study Arabic at Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco. She was awarded a $5,000 Gilman international scholarship.

"I am very excited about my opportunity to study abroad in Ifrane, Morocco. because it will offer the chance for language immersion and I will be introduced to a new culture and meet many new people," said Arvin.

George Cahlik, a senior from Corpus Christi, Texas, first went to Russia last summer in a UTSA faculty-led study abroad program. He decided to study abroad for longer periods of time in order to further improve his language skills. He was awarded $3,500 to study Russian language and economics during the fall semester.

"I hope to improve on my fluency in Russian as well as learn economics and political science from a Russian point of view. I think that by spending time there, it will give me better insight on our country's relationship with Russia, which would give me an advantage in my pursuit of a career in the Department of State as a foreign service officer," said Cahlik.

Christina Hatch, a senior from Livingston, Texas, will study abroad for the second time this fall. Her first study-abroad experience to Mexico was last summer. This time around, she will explore Argentina and Spain. Hatch was awarded $3,500 for her program in Argentina for the fall semester.

When asked why she wanted to study abroad, Hatch said, "Traveling is definitely my passion. I chose to study abroad because I am a foreign-language major and I feel that a year, at a minimum, of immersion is the only way I'm going to fully master my Spanish, and hopefully improve my French. Also, I am fascinated with international travel and foreign cultures. Study abroad allows me to experience both while receiving credits at UTSA."

The Gilman International Scholarship Program supports undergraduates who might not otherwise participate in study abroad due to financial constraints. The program encourages students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe and Australia.

The Gilman scholarship especially focuses on helping students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities.

Study abroad programs at UTSA are available to students in any major. Participants must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and be at least a sophomore at the time of participation. For more information on study abroad at UTSA, contact the Office of International Programs, Main Building Room 1.210, 1604 Campus.

Read more about the Gilman International Scholarship.

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