Two Kentwood residents were among the nearly two dozen Grand Valley State University students selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for terms during the 2016-2017 academic year to help fund opportunities to study abroad.
Shukri Bana and Holly Miller both participated in the program during the summer of 2016. Bana studies were in Women and Gender and English in South Africa while Miller studied Chinese in China.
“The impacts of my study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa are numerous,” said Bana in a released statement. “I learned so much about South African history, visited key sights, became close with 13 of my peers and sixth grade South African learners, and the mountains are pretty beautiful, too.
“In those six weeks, I learned about justice, freedom, solidarity, and activism in a way that radically altered my outlook on my education at Grand Valley.”
The scholarships, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, are awarded to high-achieving students to help diversify the students who study and serve internships abroad, as well as the regions where they work and study.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and 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.
There was a total of 4,627 applicants with 1,197 American undergraduate students from 377 colleges and universities were award scholarships for the Summer 2016. Grand Valley had 13 students for the summer program. About 2,900 American undergraduate students applied for the Fall 2016 semester with Grand Valley having three students being awarded scholarships. For the Winter 2017 students, there was 2,700 applicants with Grand Valley having four students receiving scholarships.
The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
For more information on competitive scholarships and fellowships, visit gvsu.edu/fellowships.