Two Gustavus Students Receive Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

Posted on November 23rd, 2014 by

Alexa Giebink '16

Alexa Giebink ’16

Gustavus Adolphus College students Alexa Giebink ’16 and Samantha Vang ’16 are two of the 800 American undergraduate students from 356 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 spring 2015 academic term.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Giebink is a junior history major who will be studying abroad this spring through Gustavus’s Semester in Sweden program. Giebink and other program participants will have an opportunity to experience Sweden through a variety of excursions, activities, lectures and tours with an emphasis on discussion, reflections, and writing. Participants will begin the semester in January in northern Sweden and travel progressively south, spending time in Mora and Stockholm, among other places, before ending in Skåne, a province in southern Sweden.

“I want to study abroad to experience other cultures and bring what I learn back home to better inform my actions,” Giebink said. “I chose the Gustavus-led Semester in Sweden because it allows me to see the entire country throughout the semester and explore Gustavus’s roots of Swedish heritage. I am particularly interested in meeting and learning about the Sami indigenous people.”

Samantha Vang '16

Samantha Vang ’16

Vang is a junior majoring in communication studies, political science, and Japanese studies who is spending the entire 2014-15 academic year studying in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University. Vang is immersed in the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai which involves rigorous Japanese language studies as well as courses in the social sciences, humanities, and business/economics pertinent to Japan and Asia.

“I wanted to study abroad simply because I wanted to see the world beyond the United States. Through encouragement of my friends and my teachers and the excitement of it motivated me to study abroad. I chose Japan because I’ve been studying the language for a few years now and I want it to become my third language,” Vang said. “Kansai Gaidai University seemed like a perfect fit because it has a well established relationship with Gustavus, so they are experienced in working with international students. The university is also between two major cities–Osaka and Kyoto–so traveling to two distinct cities is a plus and the food varieties are even better. I also hope to learn more about Japan’s food culture, and food issues because I hope to participate in food advocacy work later in my career.”

The Gilman Scholarship is named for Benjamin A. Gilman, a former Congressman from the state of New York who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years from 1973-2003. Gilman chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee, served as a Congressional delegate to the United Nations, was a member of the Ukraine Famine Commission, a member of the U.S., European, Canadian, and Mexican Interparliamentary conferences, and a Congressional Advisor to the U.N. Law of the Sea Conference.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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