When she first learned about the Gilman Scholarship, during her freshman year in a KC Scholars meeting, Noelia Iribe wasn’t sure if studying abroad was even possible for her due to her financial status.
Now, as a senior studying computer and electrical engineering, and one of the Gilman recipients this past semester, Iribe is heading to Madrid to broaden her scope of real-world engineering applications.
“As a junior, I realized studying abroad can be a life-changing opportunity that I was willing to invest in to fulfill my academic, professional and personal goals,” Iribe says. “The Gilman Scholarship is a way for students like me to break stereotypes and pursue an education abroad without the worry of funding it.”
The Gilman Scholarship is a national program that helps students who might not be able to study abroad due to financial constraints fund those trips. The program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented students who study abroad. It also provides optional additional funding to study critical-need languages.
Erik Potter, an advisor in the Fellowships and Advanced Studies office, has worked closely with Mizzou’s Gilman applications since 2019.
“When I saw that so many Mizzou students had received the award, I literally gasped,” Potter says. “I was so proud of them and happy. Success resides in the application process, not the result. But at the same time, I know what it means to have to pass up opportunities for financial reasons. To know that this scholarship money will be there for these students means the world to me.
“The personal reflection Gilman requires can help students find meaning in their work and express that in language that is persuasive to others.” Potter says.
Iribe, a native of Mexico, also hopes to connect with her Spanish-speaking culture in Madrid.
“With Madrid being such an advanced city, I want to see the ways they are implementing technology and how they are planning to continue technological growth to evolve the city,” Iribe says. “I believe the best way to learn and understand is by traveling and immersing myself in the country and adjusting to their lifestyle.”
Year, major: Senior, political science and sociology Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri Destination: University of Lancaster, England
“I chose to study in England because I have become really interested in learning more about European political systems and how they compare to the U.S. I want to pursue a career that helps the immigrant and refugee community in the U.S.”
Year, major: Junior, anthropology and international studies Hometown: St. Louis Destination: Sophia University, Tokyo
“I find myself much more passionate and invested in the more global scope of my current degree. My experience reading ethnographies and analyzing personal accounts of time spent immersed in other cultures affords me an understanding of foreign cultures in a way that feels almost like I am uncovering some hidden secret not meant for my eyes.”
Year, major: Junior, international studies Hometown: St. Louis Destination: Tokyo
“It’s really important to me to have the ability to study the things I’m passionate about. I chose this location because I have a strong interest in Japanese culture, and I have been studying Japanese for two years now.”
Year, major: Junior, international studies with a peace emphasis Hometown: Boonville, Missouri Destination: Shanghai
“I plan to join the Peace Corps after graduating from Mizzou and gain my TESOL [Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages] certificate while being a volunteer and then teaching full time in China following my service. Mizzou has the best opportunities in the state for my goals involving international relations and preparations for the Peace Corps.”
Year, major: Senior, international studies (East Asian studies) and English Hometown: Austin, Texas Destination: Japan Center for Michigan Studies, Hikone, Japan
“I love how International Studies encompasses the world. The major provides a holistic approach to studying the human tradition, including ideologies, economics, culinary traditions and peace studies. Paired with my interests in literature and storytelling, I couldn’t feel more at home.”
Year, major: Senior, biology Hometown: St. Louis Destination: Costa Rica
“Biology has caught my interest since elementary school science class. Not only does it align with my passion for animals, but it also focuses on the molecular level of our world and the universe, which has amazed me and continued to inspire me to learn more.”
Year, major: Senior, fisheries and wildlife science Hometown: Blue Springs, Missouri Destination: Australia
“I want to work with wildlife, so Australia is a perfect fit. Last year, Australia suffered a devastating fire that destroyed a lot of the natural habitats for wildlife, and the country is still recovering. The species diversity in Australia is worth protecting, and I want to learn more about it so I can share that knowledge with students back at home.”