Three students have received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in spring 2014.
Chul Kim, Christopher Nguyen, and Gena Reynolds were each awarded up to $5,000 to defray the cost of travel, study abroad tuition, books, local transportation, and insurance. The Gilman Scholarship supports undergraduate students of limited financial means, and those who have been traditionally underrepresented in education abroad. The program also encourages students to choose nontraditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kim and Nguyen will both study abroad for a semester at Waseda University in Tokyo.
Nguyen, a third-year student with a double major in economics and East Asian studies and a concentration in international studies, says he hopes to explore as much of Japan and East Asia as possible. “The program is language-based, so I will be taking two courses in only Japanese. However, I will also be taking additional courses in English that can range from literature, economics, or math, among others,” says Nguyen, who is from Chicago. Because the Japanese semester system is scheduled differently, the program will run February through July 2014.
Kim will attend Waseda University through a program affiliated with Earlham College. Kim, who is from Granville, Ohio, is a third-year East Asian studies major with a chemistry minor. “I hope to take several courses on Japanese language and East Asian topics while experiencing a Japanese university in an urban setting,” he says.
Reynolds is an Oberlin native and a graduate of Oberlin High School. A junior, majoring in history, she plans to complete Oberlin’s peace and conflict studies concentration. Reynolds will study abroad in South African and Namibia through a program called Nation Building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind. This particular study abroad program is run by the Center for Global Education at Augsburg College.
“The courses I'll be taking are based around issues of social justice, development, and globalization, with a focus on the southern African region. There is also an internship component to the program, which I'm really excited about, since there are lots of government programs and NGOs in the area,” Reynolds says. Most of the semester will be stationed in Namibia's capitol, Windhoek, but she will spend about a week in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as about a week on a rural home-stay in Namibia.
“I think it's going to be great for gaining a broader perspective and getting some on-the-ground experience for the information we'll be discussing.”
In addition to the Gilman Scholarship, all three students were awarded funds from the college to support additional travel costs, says Ellen Sayles, Oberlin’s director of programs for international study.
The Gilman Scholarship program received more than 2,600 applications and awarded 700 students funds to participate in study abroad and international internships this spring. The congressionally funded program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.