13 UNL students receive scholarship to study abroad
Sophomore Tyler Matson stands inside the Nebraska Union for a portrait on Dec. 2, 2017, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Matson is one of 13 UNL students to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Thirteen undergraduate students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were recently awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring 2018 semester.
The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The scholarship gives financial support to undergraduates to study or intern abroad.
Students who have or are going to receive the Federal Pell Grant are eligible to apply for the scholarship. This year, over 2,900 scholarships of up to $5,000 were given to students across the country.
Grace Bornschlegl, a sophomore advertising and public relations major, received the scholarship and will travel to Seville, Spain, next semester. She said she plans to finish the credits to fulfill her Spanish minor.
“[The scholarship] has been such a huge blessing for me,” Bornschlegl said. “It allows me to just focus on what I’m there for: Spanish. Now I can go over there without having to worry or stress about how I am going to pay for all this.”
Bornschlegl said it takes dedication to apply for the scholarship due to its long process. Two essays are required, and coming from thousands of applicants, she said they must stand out.
Tyler Matson, a sophomore global studies and political science double major, received the Gilman Scholarship, along with the additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Award to study an extensive language.
Matson said he applied for the additional award because he is going to learn how to speak Russian while he studies in St. Petersburg, Russia. He will also focus on Russian foreign policy, particularly on how to work internationally and be culturally and racially sensitive, Matson said.
“I hope to gain an international perspective and a better understanding of their culture,” he said. “In the past, both our governments have always made it sounds like we’re enemies, so I’m curious to see the truth.”
Without the scholarship, Matson said he wouldn’t have been able to afford studying abroad in Russia.
“It was amazing to hear I had received it,” he said. “Honestly, because I had applied so late and in such a short time, I wasn't expecting it — let alone to get the additional money for the critical language.”
Matson said he is excited to gain a new perspective on the world and to further his skills for his career in foreign services. To him, receiving the scholarship is receiving an opportunity to experience the world wholeheartedly.
Bornschlegl said she believes the Gilman Scholarship is a huge opportunity for all students across the country. She said many students want to experience other cultures and languages, but aren’t able to afford trips abroad.
“It helps any kind of person to fulfill their dreams,” Bornschlegl said. “There are so many students who want to go abroad, so this way, it allows them to have those opportunities they wouldn’t get to experience without it.”