Going forth: Gilman scholarship winners take Loyola lessons abroad

January 23, 2018

Loyola students Natalie Morris, ’19, Devin Maus, ’19, and Joy Kelson, ’19, have each been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad—the most Gilman scholarships awarded to Loyola students at one time. The students will study in their country of choice for the spring 2018 semester. Loyola magazine asked the students about this exciting opportunity to travel overseas, what they hope to gain from the experience, and how Loyola has prepared them for life abroad.

Natalie Morris, '19

Natalie Morris, ’19

Natalie Morris, a biochemistry major from Devon, Pa., was awarded $3,000 to study in Denmark at the Danish Institute of Scandinavia.

What prompted you to apply for the Gilman Scholarship?

I received an email from Dr. Andrea Giampetro-Meyer, interim director of National Fellowships, asking if financial assistance would ease my mind while I was abroad this spring. My answer was “Yes!” Her guidance and support made the application process much more manageable. A close friend of mine also received the Gilman Scholarship when she went abroad and she also encouraged me to apply as it had eased her financial burden during the experience.

In addition to coursework, how has Loyola prepared you for the study abroad experience?

Loyola is small and because of this it has been easy to be involved in many opportunities. The ability to try new things has pushed me out of my comfort zone. While I am abroad I will have many experiences that do the same. However, because I have had new experiences at Loyola, I know that being uncomfortable is not a bad thing and usually leads to growth. My time as an intern with CCSJ during my sophomore year also prepared me for the study abroad experience. I received extensive training on interacting with people of different backgrounds and cultures. That training has given me confidence to engage in cross-cultural dialogue while I am abroad.

Is this your first time studying and/or traveling abroad?

I have never studied abroad, but I have traveled to Croatia with my church. I am hoping to visit Croatia again while I am abroad. I will also travel to Germany and Poland as part of my class’s study tour.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?

I truly hope to gain knowledge of other perspectives. Interacting with many cultures different than my own will definitely push me out of my comfort zone, but I know it will help me grow as a person. Also, I am taking a class on the many approaches to health care in Europe. Through this class, we will travel to Danish and other European hospitals. My hope is that I will carry this experience with me as I become a health care professional.

How do you think studying abroad will prepare you for life after Loyola?

I think that this experience will prepare me for life after Loyola because I will be aware of more than just my own culture and nation. By having a greater perspective on issues, I think I will be better prepared to work and engage with future colleagues that come from different backgrounds. Additionally, this experience will require a lot of independence which I know will be useful moving forward after Loyola.

 

Devin Maus, '19

Devin Maus, ’19

Devin Maus, an advertising and public relations major from Madison, Conn., received $3,500 to study in Athens, Greece at the American College of Greece.

What prompted you to apply for the Gilman Scholarship?

I have always desired to study abroad. Dr. Giampetro-Meyer encouraged students who received Pell Grants to apply for the Gilman because the scholarship allows students with limited financial means the opportunity to study abroad. Without the scholarship, I may have not been able to experience Greece and the country’s culture.

In addition to coursework, how has Loyola prepared you for the study abroad experience?

Loyola’s study abroad program has fully prepared me for my study abroad experience. My study abroad advisor, Kaileigh Jolliffe, has ensured that my peers and I feel comfortable, safe, and eager to be students at The American College of Greece. Furthermore, Dr. Giampetro-Meyer, encouraged me to apply for the Gilman Scholarship, which made it possible for me to have this experience.

Is this your first time studying and/or traveling abroad?

This is my first time studying and traveling abroad. I have always had a passion for learning about other cultures, and I am looking forward to being able to immerse myself into a culture unlike my own. As a political science major, I look forward to studying in Athens, where the first democratic political system was established.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?

I hope to take in and experience a new culture while I study in Greece. I want to gain a new understanding on different atmospheres, traditions, and customs. I believe that by studying abroad, I will personally grow from my experience. I look forward to being in an atmosphere that I am unfamiliar with, and allow myself to learn from others. By doing so, I will have the opportunity to become familiar with a country different than mine, and reflect upon my own culture.

How do you think studying abroad will prepare you for life after Loyola?

I think this experience will prepare me for life after Loyola because I will be aware of more than just my own culture and nation. By having a greater perspective on issues, I think I will be better prepared to work and engage with future colleagues that come from different backgrounds. Additionally, this experience will require a lot of independence which I know will be useful moving forward after Loyola.

 

Joy Kelson, '19

Joy Kelson, ’19

Joy Kelson, a biology major, who is originally from Maplewood, N.J., won $5,000 to study at Newcastle University in Tyne, United Kingdom.

What prompted you to apply for the Gilman Scholarship?

I received an email informing me I was eligible for the Gilman based on my financial aid. I had saved up money to go abroad over the summer, but not as much as I would have liked. I decided to apply for the Gilman because I did not want the opportunity to fully enjoy my time abroad pass me by.

In addition to coursework, how has Loyola prepared you for the study abroad experience?

Loyola’s study abroad program helped me prepare through workshops and training. I also got the chance to hear from other students who have gone abroad about their experience. They gave me great insight and helpful tips about the process.

Is this your first time studying and/or traveling abroad?

This is my first time traveling and studying abroad, but I will get to visit several other countries while I am away. My class will take a 10-day study tour to Spain, Germany, and Denmark. I will also do service in India.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?

My hope is to gain a better understanding of the world and other cultures. I also want to learn more about myself, and explore a lot of different opportunities that I may not have the chance to do if I were in the U.S.

How do you think studying abroad will prepare you for life after Loyola?

I think this experience will prepare me for life after Loyola by making me a more well-rounded person who better understands the world and other cultures. I am excited about this opportunity to learn and grow as a person and a student.

Read more about the Gilman winners and what they plan to study while abroad here.

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