Posted: Friday, December 2, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Riley Bresnahan, a junior from DeLand, Fla., received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She will study with the School for International Training’s Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding program in Rwanda during the winter 2017 term.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange better prepares students to thrive in the global economy and interdependent world. 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 better understand other cultures, countries, languages and economies—making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector. 

“Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates," said Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. "Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.” 

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries," according to Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE. "It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”