Hello future study abroad colleagues!
My name is Felicia Garcia and I’m a fourth year International Relations student. I’m currently studying in Sweden and I will be here for the full academic year. I never thought that I would be able to study abroad for financial reasons, but with the help from my family, friends, and the advisers on campus it was made possible.
My absolute recommendation for those who are interested in studying abroad, please talk to the advisers on campus, you will not regret it. They will help guide you on your search for the perfect school, and once that decision is made, they will be there to assist with the application process. Also, the majority of students are required to apply for the Gilman Scholarship which promotes education abroad by providing financial assistance to the grantees.
The Gilman Scholarship application consists of two essays: a personal statement and a follow-up essay. The personal statement requires the applicant to provide information about his/her educational, professional, and personal goals while studying abroad. The second portion of the application is the follow-up essay, and within the essay they want the applicant to explain how they will promote studying abroad. The Gilman Scholarship website offers many examples such as: writing a blog, conducting a presentation about his/her time abroad, serving as a mentor/peer to potential study abroad students, and etc. Their website provides all of the information that you will need for this application process, but if you are needing further assistance, they are quick to respond via email/phone and the study abroad office on campus was very helpful. The advisers on campus helped me with the brainstorming of my essays and even went above and beyond by reading through both of my essays.
I understand that applying for a studying abroad program is a long and strenuous process, and to add another requirement to the application process sounds like it may be much, but trust me when I say, “It is worth it!” I am incredibly happy that I applied for the Gilman Scholarship, it has made my trip to Sweden possible.
Work hard on your applications because it will be well worth it! I am just 2 months into my time abroad and I do not want to go home anytime soon. It has opened my eyes to many cultures and it has been great to be able to travel around Europe with ease. Few months of stress and hard work is already been made worth it, and I still have 8 months to go.
Good Luck Future Study Abroad Colleagues!