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Tim Lindsey and Aleah Qureshi

Two Wofford students awarded Gilman International Scholarships

U.S. Department of State program assists students studying or interning abroad.

Two Wofford College students are among more than 850 undergraduate students from nearly 360 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the 2017 academic semester.

Aleah F. Qureshi, a junior from Sanford, Fla., will study abroad in the spring of 2017 in Quito, Ecuador, in a program that focuses on development, politics and language. Timothy J. Lindsey, a junior from Spartanburg, will study abroad in in South Africa.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants to U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to thrive in the global economy and interdependent world. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- or four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies – making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship is a great opportunity for me,” says Qureshi, an environmental studies and Spanish major who has not studied abroad before. “I am now able to fully fund my study abroad experience.”

She encourages other students to seek the Gilman Scholarship or other similar opportunities. “Being a Gilman Scholar opens many doors in the future,” she says. “As a Gilman Scholar, you get invited to special events in your country, such as visiting ambassadors. It’s a great way to make connections.”

Lindsey, who will travel to South Africa to study multiculturalism and human rights under the School for International Training, says, “I am grateful to be considered for the Gilman Scholarship, and I thank God that he has allowed me the opportunity to do this.”

He encourages other students to apply for this scholarship as well as to research other scholarships and ways to gain a study abroad experience. “This will be my first time outside the country,” says the junior from Spartanburg who is majoring in government and sociology with a concentration in African/African-American Studies.

“Cost should never be a barrier for a student when considering a semester abroad,” says Amy Lancaster, dean of international programs at Wofford. “The Gilman International Scholarship along with Wofford permitting the transfer of financial aid makes it possible for Tim and Aleah.”

Lancaster credits Kyle Keith, study abroad coordinator, with spearheading new efforts to recruit students of diverse backgrounds and assisting them with opportunities such as the Gilman scholarship. “Kyle’s own experience as a Gilman scholar informed his work in advising both Tim and Aleah. He just joined our team in July, but his impact with student already is very visible.”

Wofford recently was ranked ninth in the Open Doors 2016 Report for the percentage of students studying abroad for credit. 

Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, says, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.” 

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

by Laura Hendrix Corbin