Gustavus Adolphus College junior Kayla Joachim has been awarded an $8,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this spring semester in the United Arab Emirates.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is funded through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The program aims to broaden the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. The program also seeks to support students interested in studying abroad in non-traditional countries, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Joachim, a public accounting and political science double major from Owatonna, Minn., is enrolled in a business, engineering, arts and sciences program located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The program is focused on helping students improve their Arabic language skills, develop an understanding of the Gulf region and its role in the Arab world and global economy, and learn firsthand about the daily intersection of traditional values and modern realities in the United Arab Emirates.
“I decided that I could always travel to Western Europe and that I wanted a more non-traditional study-abroad experience,” Joachim said. “I wanted to learn more about the language and culture in a Middle East country because there are a lot of misconceptions about the Middle East here in the United States.”
Joachim is also hoping that the experience will help to narrow her career aspirations, which right now includes international internal management consulting.
Since its inception in 2001, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program has awarded funds to almost 10,000 students at 950 different institutions to study abroad in 125 different countries. For more information about Gilman Scholarships, visit iie.org/gilman.
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