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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Two UM Students Receive Study Abroad Scholarships

from:, Your Gulf Coast Guide

Two University of Mississippi students have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad.

Kerry Nguyen, a senior from Ocean Springs, and Gabriel David Lee, a junior from St. Louis, will travel to their selected countries of study during the spring 2011 semester.

The Gilman program awards more than 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 each year to undergraduate students who are Pell Grant recipients. The program promotes diversity, and students who apply to study abroad in nontraditional locations outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand are candidates for the award.

Nguyen, a double major in biology and psychology, said he applied for the first scholarship he found while browsing the Internet. Nguyen received the full $5,000 Gilman Award and will study at Vrije University in Amsterdam next spring.

“I’m so grateful for the scholarship,” he said. “Now I don’t have to worry so much about the expenses abroad.”

Lee, who is studying Chinese at Ole Miss, is also eligible to receive an additional $3,000 in scholarship money because Chinese is deemed a critical-need language.

A double major in international studies and Chinese, Lee said he did not think he had received the award after applying in October, but the $4,000 scholarship could not come at a better time. Starting in February, he plans to study for a semester at Yunnan University in Kunming, China.

The UM Study Abroad and Financial Aid offices have both sent representatives for training with the Institute for International Education in advising students to be successful applicants for this scholarship. Although 10 of 12 students have received the scholarship in the past four years, both offices hope to have more applicants now that there are additional resources for advising.

UM students fare well for this scholarship because of their diverse backgrounds and majors, their desire to study abroad in nontraditional locations, and the fact that students from Mississippi are traditionally under-represented in study abroad, said Blair McElroy, UM Study Abroad adviser.

“Along with the Study Abroad Office exchange programs and the ability to apply other scholarships and financial aid toward a program, students have amazing, affordable opportunities to study at more than 80 locations in the world,” McElroy said.

The next round of Gilman International Scholarship applications for summer, academic year and fall semester begins in January 2011, and the deadline is March 1.

Diversity of background, major, location of study and language study is considered. There is no GPA requirement.

Students interested in applying, should contact Blair McElroy at 662-915-1508 or on how to apply and how to make an application competitive.

For details on the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, visit