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Saint Mary’s sophomore awarded international scholarship to study in Seville, Spain

| Friday, December 6, 2019

Saint Mary’s sophomore Allyson Emmett will be studying in Seville, Spain from January through May after being granted the 2020 Gilman Scholarship to participate in a study abroad program this academic year.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a congressionally-funded program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad as well as the countries and regions to which they travel by supporting U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not consider these opportunities due to financial constraints, the program’s website said.

The program received more than 5,000 applicants for the 2020 cycle. Just over 1,300 students were offered awards to participate in credit-bearing study abroad programs and career-oriented internships in countries across the world. 

Emmett said she came to college knowing she wanted to study abroad during her time at Saint Mary’s. About 50% of Saint Mary’s students study abroad during their four years of college, according to the CWIL website. The center offers programs in over 18 different countries for semester, academic year and summer terms. 

“My older sister goes here and she didn’t study abroad, but she thought about it and made it seem really accessible which put the idea in my mind,” Emmett said.

An anticipated Spanish and global studies major, Emmett will be taking courses to further her Spanish and cultural development skills.

“During my first year, I took a lot of STEM-based classes, so it was during my first Spanish class that I realized I really enjoyed learning the language more than my other classes,” Emmett said. “So I pretty much decided to go to Spain based on wanting to further [my] Spanish.”  

Studying in Seville will be Emmett’s first time overseas. She said she hopes to use this opportunity as a chance to travel around Europe and make connections with locals and other international students.

Emmett said she attended an information session hosted by the Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) where she first learned about the scholarship. The session included a presentation by a past scholarship recipient which heightened Emmett’s interest to apply.

From there, the decision to study in Seville was easy, Emmett said.

“I talked to people who have studied there and they just had such great things to say about it,” Emmett said. “They really stressed how the host university was in a city was rich with culture and how that really impacted their experience.”

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About Mia Marroquin

Mia Marroquin is a rising senior Communication Studies major at Saint Mary’s. Currently serving as Saint Mary’s News Editor, she hails from Holland, Michigan and is an 80’s movie fanatic. Follow Mia on Twitter @_miamarroquin

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