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Eight UI students received Gilman Scholarships in 2020 Study Abroad

Selected from thousands of applicants from colleges and universities in the United States, eight University of Iowa students received Benjamin A. Gilman’s competitive international scholarship, sponsored by the Department of State Department of Education and Culture. Gilman Scholars receive up to $ 5,000 to apply for study abroad or the cost of the internship program. Fellows will have the opportunity to better understand other cultures, countries, languages, and economies and better prepare themselves to take on leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Meet this year’s recipients:

Allison Steger is a fourth year history major (minor in German and certificate in museum studies) from Dubuque, Iowa.

“I want to work in museums, especially in collections management. I have a passion for studying German Cold War history, especially for the social and economic impact of life in divided Berlin and life after reunification. Germany seemed very good to me I would experience and see Berlin instead of just reading about it in a book, I also decided to do an internship in Germany because they have one amount from museums, so that I can learn in a practical manner on a topic I’m interested in and improve my German when I’m there.
Studying abroad is important to me because it helps to increase awareness of cultures other than your own. It also gives you the opportunity to be independent and develop your skills, which in turn helps build the future. I’ve never been outside of the US so I was very excited to use my German skills there, learn more about the culture, and see what I want to do for a career. Unfortunately my internship was canceled due to COVID-19. “”

Anissa Forero is a double major in genetics and sophomore Spanish from Cedar Falls, Iowa.

“The program I chose was CIEE Summer Community Public Health. I chose this program because it was a great bridge between my love of science and my love of Spanish. The Dominican Republic offers one too rich culture and diverse perspective that i haven’t really seen this program to get in touch with my grandparents who are colombian immigrants i thought if i could learn to adapt to the dominican republic it would be me nothing stop you from finding another home in Colombia. That is why studying abroad is important to me, but I also encourage others who can travel to do so. There are many ways of life other than our own, and just because they are different that is not that they’re wrong, we have a lot to learn from each other and studying abroad is one of the ways we connect the can. When we embrace others and their cultures instead of forcing them to assimilate, we all benefit from the identity of diversity. “

Joycelyn Jorbedom is a third year public health student (minor in Spanish) from Burnsville, Minnesota.

“I decided to study abroad in the Dominican Republic for a number of reasons. Mainly because I was always fascinated by the rich culture of the DR. The fact that the program was also taught in Spanish and I was in a Spanish-speaking country living was a big factor too, I knew it would be an amazing opportunity for me to practice Spanish within my public health major and learn how to communicate colloquially.

Studying abroad is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in another country, its culture and way of life. It is an invaluable experience as it would force me to face a new perspective on life and to adapt and find other ways of approaching life and situations. This program would also give me a glimpse into another healthcare system and its approaches that I may not have thought of before. For me, studying abroad is not a resume builder, but an opportunity for me as a student and as a person to develop and grow. “

Rebecca Lara is a sophomore major with a specialization in English and a minor in Spanish from West Liberty, Iowa.

“The study abroad program I had attended was the Iowa Hispanic Institute, which would have taken place in Spain. The reason I chose to study abroad in Spain was to improve my Spanish and my understanding of the culture of Spain I knew that when I was in an environment that was a great language, I could immerse myself in the language to the full, and studying abroad is important to me as it is a great way to learn new things Learning about cultures and making connections with others that you would have From thousands of miles away, this has never been possible. When you live in a new environment and explore a new country, you can learn more about yourself and also gain independence. Overall is Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to gain self-knowledge and at the same time to gain knowledge from Kla sweets that are tailored to your interests. ”

Julie Weng is a third year neurobiology student from West Des Moines, Iowa.

“I chose to study abroad in South Africa because I was interested in how healthcare works around the world and how it adds to my passion for helping others. In this program, I can shadow doctors and volunteer in health-related settings I can also learn more about the HIV / AID epidemic emerging in South Africa. In addition to health care, I can also experience the culture and typical lifestyle of South Africans, which are valuable experiences that I could never get anywhere else.

If, as a doctor-to-be, I can learn more about medicine in a foreign environment, I can recognize the diversity of medicine and its global practice. I know this experience will change the way I hopefully practice and view medicine in the future. Studying abroad also allows me to grow and develop interpersonal skills that will help me all my life. It will also affect my view of healthcare globally, not just domestically.

Studying abroad is important to me because it is a unique experience for me to learn and immerse myself in another country. It will also open doors to opportunity and allow me to connect with people I didn’t have before. As a student in the United States, going overseas for an entire summer can be difficult. This may be due to financial or time constraints, but because of this, studying abroad is a gift and one of the few opportunities to travel the world while learning and affecting other people’s lives. “

Linette Leng is a third year multidisciplinary science major from West Des Moines, Iowa.

“I really wanted to be in the motherland of the Spanish language. Spain has a mix of many different Spanish cultures and I was very excited to be able to experience and immerse myself in a place that is second to none. I am a great lover of history, culture and Languages, and Spain seemed like the perfect place. I hope to become a doctor one day. I believe that studying abroad would help me gain a deeper understanding of people. Additionally, hopefully I would learn more about different cultures and societies that would lead me to empathize with and better care for the health of future potential patients. Studying abroad is important to me because I wanted to achieve a new level of independence and learn through first-hand experience outside of the classroom. I really wanted to improve my Spanish skills and grow as a person and a member of society. Studying abroad is perfect for broadening your perspectives on a global scale. “

Ruth Madison is a fourth year international relations major from Clinton, Iowa.

“I was studying my last trip abroad in Georgia to improve my Russian. While I was there, I fell in love with the culture, the people and the food. I wanted to go back this summer with my internship to get work experience, but also about giving back to Georgia in a little way. I think you can learn a lot more from sharing and experiences than you would in a classroom. It is extremely beneficial to talk to other people about their culture and misconceptions about them to learn American culture. “

Leena Taha is a fourth year Global Health Studies major from Coralville, Iowa.

“I believe this experience will allow me to apply cultural humility in many different communities and expand my ability to work as a global citizen to overcome language and cultural barriers and provide culturally sensitive care. Studying abroad is for important to me because it creates independence and an opportunity where you can expect to experience the rewarding challenges of research in an international environment while leaving your comfort zone.I believe that studying abroad can also provide an environment in where you can conceptualize the social determinants of health directly with vulnerable communities. “

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