Erica Jensen, a junior in industrial engineering, and Adam Tyler, a junior in civil engineering, have each been selected to receive a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship toward their study abroad experience this fall and spring semesters.
The Gilman International Scholarship Program is a highly competitive national study abroad program that offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
Jensen is currently studying abroad at the National University of Singapore. She is optimistic about the experiences studying abroad creates for students. “There are many things to gain from studying abroad such as understanding another culture firsthand, providing the opportunity to travel, developing skills that cannot be acquired in a classroom setting, enhancing job opportunities, and expanding a person’s worldview,” she says.
Tyler, who has been taking French classes for five years, is hoping to become fluent in the language through this experience. “You can only practice so much, but the ultimate goal for myself is talking with native speakers and making friends internationally,” he says.
He’s excited about the award for many reasons—especially because it will allow him more liberty to travel to new places while he is abroad, since the costs of his studies will now be covered.
Both Jensen and Tyler agree that the College of Engineering has useful tools to help perspective study abroad students. Erica advises students to “plan ahead to take advantage of this great opportunity and make an appointment with the Engineering International Programs office.” Tyler suggests students apply for as many scholarships as possible, and “when you get stuck or confused with the process, just e-mail or stop by an adviser’s office.”
Jensen plans to study abroad at Swansea University next semester and will return to Iowa State to finish her final year of college where she wants to continue to play an active role within the industrial engineering program.
Tyler plans to graduate with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering and wants to be an international engineer in a French-speaking country within Europe or Africa.