Two UNT students earned Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this spring. Alacia Cheney and Aimee Saldivar, both UNT juniors, are two of 850 outstanding American undergraduate students from more than 357 colleges and universities across the U.S. who were offered the scholarships.
Cheney, an international studies major from Sanger, will be studying French in Caen, France, through UNT's French Co-Op program, established by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Saldivar, a native of Brownsville, will be studying Spanish, radio/TV/filmand anthropology, her three majors. She will study in Seville, Spain, with the "Integrated Studies With Spaniards" program of Academic Programs Abroad. She was also a participant in UNT's 2009 Emerald Eagle Scholar Study Abroad program in Costa Rica. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 toward their study abroad program costs, and a limited number of Critical Language Scholarships are given each year for a total award of $8,000.
The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions in which they study. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairsand administered by the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Southern Regional Center in Houston.
Since the establishment of the Gilman International Scholarship Program by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, more than 5,200 students nationwide have received the award.
"Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates," says Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. "Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator, in the international community."
Recipients of the scholarship have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies -- making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector. According to IIE President Allan Goodman, "International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace."
Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.