Three Gusties Win National Gilman Scholarship

The competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship supports students as they study across the globe.
Posted on November 5th, 2019 by

Quincy Yangh in map library

Phounsith "Quincy" Yangh '21

Gustavus Adolphus College students Mayra Gurrola-Calderon ‘20, Samantha Raghu ‘21, and Phounsith “Quincy” Yangh ‘21 have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study away.

The Gilman Scholarship is a merit and financial need-based scholarship awarded to students who plan to study abroad in areas where they can gain skills critical to national security or economic competitiveness, often in  non-English speaking countries. Members of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs screen applications for this nationally competitive scholarship. About 12,000 students across the country apply each year, but only about 25 percent of those students end up being awarded a Gilman Scholarship.

Mayra Gurrola-Calderon in Peru.

Mayra Gurrola-Calderon in Peru.

Currently, Gurrola-Calderon is studying Peruvian culture and history in Cusco, Peru, through the University of San Ignacio de Loyola. Raghu is located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this semester as she focuses on Southeast Asian politics and anthropological studies. Yangh is living in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he is diving into the culture and experience of Tibetan and Himalayan people in Nepal and India.

From trying new foods to navigating transportation, these students are immersing themselves in culture and language as they explore their new homes for the next few months. “My time here has been breathtaking and incredible because every corner of the city carries stories and history of the Cusqueñan people that is so prominent,” said Gurrola-Calderon about Cusco, Peru.

The Gilman Scholarship works to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth abroad at a lower cost for those who may otherwise not have the opportunity. “Without the financial support of the Gilman scholarship, I would have never been able to study abroad,” said Raghu. “The scholarship ensured me financial stability that allowed me to make it to Chiang Mai and sustain myself for a semester at an affordable cost.”

Samantha Raghu

Samantha Raghu in Thailand.

At Gustavus, the Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE) assists students as they are preparing for a study away experience and navigating scholarships, as well as when they are abroad. “When I reached out to the CICE office, my perception of study away changed positively and I received the mentorship and support I was looking for,” said Yangh.

Interim co-director of the CICE Bryan Messerly manages study away programs and works closely with students to find the best fit as far as location, interest, and cost. “Study away is important for Gustavus students because it helps prepare them to be globally-aware citizens who are able to work successfully with people from different cultures,” he said. “It also helps Gusties become more confident, self-reliant, and adaptable, which are all traits that will serve them well after graduation.”

Learn more about the Center for International and Cultural Education and the support the Gustavus Fellowships Office offers students by visiting the College website.


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


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