Twenty-five Education Abroad Program (EAP) students at UC Santa Barbara have received Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for study abroad beginning in fall 2012. UCSB ranks third behind UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University in the number of scholarships received by any college or university in the United States for the 2012-13 academic year.
The Gilman Scholarship Program offers grants to U.S. undergraduate students who are also receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at two- or four-year colleges and universities to pursue academic studies abroad. The goal is to prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
"The Gilman International Scholarships are an essential resource for making study abroad available to all our students, especially in a time of increasing costs for higher education," said Juan E. Campo, director of UCSB EAP. "We are very proud of what they have achieved, and expect that their academic and career portfolios will be greatly enhanced as a result of all they learn and experience abroad."
Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department, the program is designed to broaden the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who otherwise might not participate due to financial constraints. However, the program also supports community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.
Assisting students from public and private institutions from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the program encourages students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, particularly those outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. UCSB students will study in a number of different countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Barbados, Sweden, Brazil, India, and Chile.
Scholarship recipients are chosen through a competitive selection process and must use their awards –– from $2,500 to $5,000 –– to defray study abroad costs such as program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, and international airfare.