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Two Students Receive Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad this Summer

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    Jeana Garcia shares her experience as a Gilman Scholar at the fall 2014 Study Abroad Fair. (Photo by Danielle Stapleton)

Chareena Barrows and Jeana Garcia will use their scholarships to study Spanish in Costa Rica

Two Southwestern students have been awarded Benjamin Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this summer. The scholarships, which are highly competitive, are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and designed to help U.S. undergraduate students pursue academic studies abroad, particularly in areas outside of Western Europe and Australia.

Education majors Chareena Barrows and Jeana Garcia plan to use their scholarships to participate in Southwestern’s Intensive Intermediate Spanish program in San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica.

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of an application plus a proposal for a “follow on project” that will be completed after they return from study abroad. For her project, Barrows plans to keep a blog about her experience abroad and encourage other students to study abroad. Garcia plans to participate in several activities that will encourage low-income students and/or non-traditional students to study abroad.

Barrows and Garcia are both non-traditional students. Barrows is married and the mother of three children. Garcia is a participant in Southwestern’s Strengthening Pathways program, which is a partnership with Austin Community College. 

“Until I heard about the Gilman Scholarship, I never imagined that I would get the chance to study abroad or even considered it because I knew that there would be no way possible for me to pay for it, Garcia said. “I think that there are many other students out there that want to study aboard, but do not think they can, and have no clue how to get there. I want to be able to help them understand that they have choices, and it is possible.”

Fourteen students from Southwestern have received Gilman International Scholarships in the past four years.