Guillermo Hernandez, a junior majoring in management, received the email while he was coming back to UTSA from his home in Houston. He learned that paying for his planned study abroad this spring to Brazil was going to be a little easier.
He was one of two College of Business students and eight UTSA students who received grants from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. The congressionally funded program is sponsored by the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It offers awards for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.
“It’s an awesome feeling not to have to worry about the money anymore,” Hernandez adds, explaining that he had to wipe the tears off of his face while he was riding the MegaBus back to San Antonio. He’s counting the days until he leaves for the Universidade do sul de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, in Florianópolis, Brazil.
Fluent in Portugese and Spanish, Hernandez plans to take international economics and cultural studies courses in Portuguese.
Maria Munoz, a senior majoring in management, went to Abu Dhabi this past summer with the College of Business on one of its international immersion programs.
“Going to Abu Dhabi was kind of a spontaneous thing,” Munoz explains. She applied last-minute and, “I thought, ‘Well, why not, if they say no, then I’ll just live my life the way I’ve been living it,’ but they said ‘yes’ and it changed my life.”
The summer immersion gave her the confidence she needed to apply for a full semester exchange program with Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
UTSA had more Gilman recipients than neighboring Texas institutions, including The Univeristy of Texas at Austin (7), Our Lady of the Lake University (1), Texas A&M University (4), Texas Tech University (3), Trinity University (1), University of the Incarnate Word (2) and University of North Texas (1).
The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell grants and are planning to study abroad. Students interested in applying for the Gilman Scholarship Program should visit http://iie.org/gilman and discuss possibilities with UTSA staff in Education Abroad Services.
Sherrie Voss Matthews—
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