Monday, July 1, 2024

Gilman Scholarship increases study abroad opportunities for record number of Roadrunners

Gilman Scholarship increases study abroad opportunities for record number of Roadrunners

Maria Vasquez stands in front of the Milan Cathedral. Vasquez will spend time in Italy as part of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

JUNE 28, 2024 — The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is helping a record number of UTSA recipients enjoy the transformative benefits of a semester abroad. This includes senior Brooke Ellerbe, who will study abroad in South Africa this summer. The biology major and UTSA Honors College student will get to explore how the country’s complex history has shaped its health care system.

“I never had the opportunity to travel abroad before,” said Ellerbe. “I am most excited about the chance to immerse myself in the health care system of South Africa while also embracing the country’s rich cultural heritage. It’s an unparalleled educational opportunity.”

Ellerbe is one of 29 UTSA students receiving a Gilman Scholarship this year. This cohort, the largest class of UTSA Gilman scholars to date, will travel abroad this summer and during the 2024–2025 academic year. In total, the program awarded nearly $100,000 to fund study abroad trips for the selected students, who will travel to countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Brooke Ellerbe

The U.S. Department of State administers the Gilman Scholarship to increase global learning opportunities for undergraduate students across the country. The program awards scholarships to those who may not have otherwise studied abroad due to financial constraints, opening the door for students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Out of this year’s 29 scholarship recipients, eight, including Ellerbe, are UTSA Honors College students and 12 are participating in a UTSA faculty-led study abroad program. The latter is ideal for students who are first-time international travelers. Through faculty-led programs, these students travel with fellow Roadrunners, and they attend classes taught in English. Additionally, UTSA arranges accommodations and travel within each country of study.

Four of the faculty-led students will travel to Dresden, Germany, this summer with Devon Donohue-Bergeler, a professor of instruction in the UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Donohue-Bergeler will lead a month-long program called “The Dresden Experience,” where students will immerse themselves in German life and culture through a combination of excursions, personal reflections and individual projects tailored to each student’s area of study.

The 2024–2025 UTSA Gilman Scholars are anticipated to study in the following countries this summer and through spring 2025. 

  • Ali Azzam, Spain
  • Marina Cabrera, Spain
  • Andres Cantu, Italy
  • Lyriq Castillo, Mexico
  • Bria Collins, Italy
  • Helen Cruz, Italy
  • Mariana Dorantes, Germany
  • Brooke Ellerbe, South Africa
  • Malik Farooq, Japan
  • Brent Allen Hamilton, Finland
  • Jimena Hernandez, South Korea
  • Liberty Laney, Japan
  • Emily Leon, South Africa
  • Pablo Martinez III, France
  • Aliyah Masry, South Korea
  • Christina Morales, Spain
  • Daniela Paniagua, Mexico and Peru
  • Jian Carlo Perez, Germany
  • Grace Rhodes, Germany
  • Maribel Saldierna, Germany
  • Kyle Simon, Japan
  • Miriam Smith, Japan
  • Courtney Taylor, Spain
  • Anna Torres, Taiwan
  • Jesse Torres, United Kingdom
  • Maria Vasquez, Italy
  • Bianca Villarreal, Italy
  • Ramses Villarreal, Italy
  • Kimberly Zapata, Italy

The Gilman Scholarship is open to all UTSA undergraduates in good academic standing who are current Federal Pell Grant recipients. The scholarship has two application cycles each academic year, in October and March. Up to $5,000 is awarded per student, with an additional $3,000 available to those studying in a country that speaks a critical need language like Japanese, Russian or Arabic.

Discover more international opportunities at the UTSA Study Abroad office.
Learn about additional programs offered by UTSA Global Initiatives.

Studying away or abroad provides countless benefits for students and is a key part of the university’s Classroom to Career Initiative. International travel promotes students’ academic and holistic development by broadening their horizons, introducing them to new perspectives and cultures, and expanding their networks. By teaching vital skills that translate outside of the classroom, these experiential learning opportunities help prepare Roadrunners who are equipped for successful careers in an increasingly global society.

The UTSA Office of Nationally Competitive Awards helps students of all levels and backgrounds find and apply for awards to fund these global experiences and other opportunities like research, service learning projects and graduate study.

Chloe Johnson

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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