I'm a Dual Major in Game Design and Development and Computational Math, and I'm also completing the core requirements for the Computer Science Major (SIS can't do 3 majors at the same time), along with a minor in Japanese. I decided to study abroad because despite coming from a low income background — I've always wanted to travel. When I got the opportunity to study rigorous math and go overseas for the first time, I jumped at the opportunity.
My advice to those applying is that you should apply to everything you're at all interested in — even if it's competitive, too time consuming, or your application seems weak to you. You never know how things will turn out. Also, have every detail-oriented friend you have go over all your essays, resumes, and documents before you submit. There were a lot of things in my application that I didn't notice were not written clearly that my friends were able to point out to me before I submitted my application!
How does being a Global Scholar fit into your long term goals?
Let me first start out by sharing that bearing the title, Global Scholar is so ASTRONOMICALLY AMAZING! Being a Global Scholar fits so perfectly into my long term goals for so many reasons. First, it has always been a dream of mine to create a career and a life that allows me to travel and learn about other cultures. As our world continues to become more globalized, it encourages me to understand the importance of and embrace diverse cultures. This opportunity is going to help further that goal. Secondly, as a global scholar, I want to build connections around the world that will allow me to pivot into a number of positions that will enhance me personally, spiritually and professionally.
What do you hope to gain from the experience?
As I think about this quickly approaching trip, one of the biggest things I am looking to gain from this experience is a new understanding of myself. I think that we as people have so many different aspects to who we are, and I want to use this opportunity to stretch what I thought I was capable of before. I’ll be using my love of photography and videography to create a fun memorial project and be committed to finding other ways to continue to step out of my comfort zone while abroad.
I am so excited about expanding my social circle as well. I hope to meet a great deal of amazing people who will be great additions to the amazing supporters that have been apart of my life thus far! I also want to develop and expand my outlook of the world and allow that to assist me as I discover all the potential opportunities available to me upon graduation.
What is your advice for future international scholarships and study abroad applicants?
For anyone who is interested in anything abroad, whether it be studying, working or etc; simply do it! I’ve gone to Cuba this past intercession and I am preparing to go to London, Berlin and Rome this fall. Cuba was amazing! I was met with so many sights, sounds, great food and even greater people! Wandering through the streets made me feel like such a local and it is something that I’ll never forget. I always think about the fact that before actually going on the trip to Cuba I was so worried about not being able to afford it. Just know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Upon reaching out to a number of my supporters, they showed up to encourage me to still apply and helped me go because of the bonds that I had formed with them in the past. And now I am getting ready to go abroad again and the same advice has aided me. So much that this time, I am going to three different places with a nice $10,000 scholarship to help! In the end, my advice is to form relationships, dream big and like nike says, JUST DO IT! You are worth it and the experience you will have will be life changing.
I applied for the Gilman scholarship because studying abroad and having an international educational experience is an essential part of becoming a well-rounded student, but the financial costs are expensive. The Gilman scholarship offered a way to reduce the costs associated with studying abroad. My advice to future applicants is to tell a personal story/reason why you are studying abroad or what you hope to get out of it. Don’t be overly generic in your responses to the essay questions. What comes to your mind first when thinking about a response probably comes to many other students as well, so start early and really think about your response. Be creative, but truthful!
I am a second year honors student in the mechanical engineering department, though originally a part of the engineering exploration program. Because of my vast interests in a variety of fields, I decided to study abroad in order to help expand my knowledge. Studying abroad exposed me to new experiences and helped me to gain independence.
I would suggest when applying for scholarships to set feasible goals. For example, I worked on scholarship applications only on Friday nights until the last deadline. Applicants should be specific with their experience and look upon their application through the eyes of the person reviewing their work. For example, ask yourself, “What do I have to offer in my application that will make others want to support me and fund my experience abroad?” It’s always good to have multiple eyes review one’s application before submission, too.
I decided to study abroad because I want an international experience where I will be able to grow and develop as a person, student and future economist. I have always been interested in the business world and as an Economics and Public Policy double major I am developing skills to excel in various political and business fields. Being the business capital of the world, Dubai is the perfect place for me to study. I am so excited for the cultural adventures I will experience in and out of the classroom.
For future scholarship applications, I suggest to get started early so you can find the perfect one for your studies. Working with the Education Abroad office led me to apply to the RIT Dubai study abroad program. There are a plethora of different opportunities students can access through the Education Abroad office. In your essay, highlight why the study abroad program you have chosen is a good fit for your academic program and how it will benefit you in your career.
Over the course of many years spending my summers in nature, I developed a deep appreciation for nature. Today, this appreciation has evolved into a keen interest in cities, design, urban development, and business. Through RIT’s School of Individualized Study, I have been able to create a program which encompasses my interests, helping me to develop well-rounded critical thinking skills and an entrepreneurial spirit which will serve me throughout my life. Since high school, I have had an interest in architecture, and that interest has lead me to the study of real estate, and human spaces. Coming to Croatia and experiencing exciting and foreign urban environments while studying the hospitality industry in the classroom, has opened my eyes to new ideas and inspired me to learn more. Taking classes in RIT Croatia’s hospitality program has brought me closer to a career in real estate, and has helped me build a global context for the industry.
My best adventure:
For spring break I traveled to Greece. Even though Europe has been rocked by numerous terrorist attacks, and Greece is struggling to cope with refugees en masse, the trip to Athens and Santorini reaffirmed to me that Europe is full of kind, open-minded people who want to make the world a better place.
My advice for applicants:
Just do it. It takes a lot less work than you might think, and the Education Abroad office will bend over backwards to make sure you get there safely and have everything you need to thrive during your stay. There is probably no better investment than studying abroad, and RIT makes it easy to get out and have the time of your life. Arrange a meeting with the international fellowships advisor, and “just go”.
Project: Mapping and Monitoring the Hekla Volcano: An Early Warning to Devastation and Tragedy: I am working with a research team from the University of Iceland to conduct remote sensing at the Hekla volcano in order to create a multidisciplinary assessment of the landscape which will allow them to map and monitor hazardous and vulnerable areas.
How Fulbright fits into my long term goals:
I hope to be a part of a multidisciplinary research team, doing work in the fields of imaging and remote sensing. This is exactly what I am doing here in Iceland. I have gained real-world experience and knowledge that I will take directly into the professional world!
My best adventure:
Sleeping on a glacier with a breath-taking northern lights show!
My advice for applicants: Do some research and just go for it! You've got nothing to lose, and something amazing may come out of it!
I worked in a biochemistry laboratory in Giessen, Germany studying the response of cells to Influenza virus. We used variant strains of virus to measure the immunological response during infection. I worked closely with my Ph.D. candidate mentor and was able to troubleshoot a new technique to monitor expression during my time in the lab.
I found this experience through a curated list of undergraduate opportunities that the retired Professor Frederick keeps updated for COS students. This is a great resource for students in the College of Science to find opportunities for summer internships, research opportunities, and experiences abroad!
Traveling abroad may seem intimidating, but the experience is invaluable. I was able to live in a culture that was foreign to my own and it expanded my horizons about how I perceived the world. I was able to travel and seen amazing things, experience the culture and art of different nations, and explore a landscape with an entirely different history than my own. I highly recommend studying abroad to everyone that has the ability to! The world starts just beyond your comfort zone.
In addition to a rigorous course load as a Chemical Engineering and International and Global Studies double major, I am also on the cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams at RIT, along with being a member of Spanish Club and Engineers for a Sustainable World. I decided to study abroad because having taken Spanish since middle school, becoming fluent in the language has been one of my long term goals. I also wanted to be immersed in a different culture.
While studying abroad, I learned something new every day. From hiking an active volcano to helping teach English in an elementary school, I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone. My advice for future scholarship applicants is to articulate your motivations for studying abroad as clearly as possible. Show through your application that you have put time and energy into finding the perfect study abroad program for you, and how you believe it will benefit you in the future.
I chose to go to Japan because of my long-standing interest in the language and culture. Deciding to study abroad inspired me to declare a minor in Japanese language and participate a weekly event called "Japanese Conversation Table,” during which I became close friends with Japanese International students.
Study abroad is a wonderful way to learn about the world from others' perspectives, and even more about yourself as a whole. It allows personal growth as well as your motivation and passion to grow as you experience life in another country.
When applying to scholarships, I think that it is important to show how much dedication you have to study abroad and how it will benefit not just you personally, but your educational and future career path. Specifically, for the Gilman Scholarship project proposal, suggest something that is unique to you which could be something related to your major and passion. For example, I proposed to do a multi-language video blog; incorporating English, Japanese, and ASL. When writing your proposal, remember to draw on your strengths and confidence, and articulate how much this experience will impact you. I highly recommend studying abroad if you have the opportunity in college; my experience has overall been life-changing!
Through the U.S. Student Fulbright Award, I dedicated my time in Finland to building a photographic project that documents both traditional wild food foraging and recently developed urban food practices. The resulting project will encourage community development, provide my host country with a valuable historic record and increase international awareness of positive Finnish gastronomic culture.
All the information and support provided by RIT Education Abroad office prepared me for the application process. I knew exactly what to expect and the timeline was very manageable. Through the application process, I gained insights not only about my host country, but also about my own artistic practice.
My biggest suggestion to those interested in applying to the Fulbright is to give yourself plenty of time. Wait until you know exactly where you want to go and exactly what you want to do before jumping straight into the application process. While I knew in 2011 that I wanted to pursue a Fulbright fellowship, I waited until the next round of applications in 2012, so that I could spend extra time researching countries and host institutions that would be a strong fit for me and my proposed project. As soon as I made those decisions, I began to outline my project plan and establish a host institution. The extra time also meant that I continued to gain experience in my field.
Students can apply for the undergraduate fellowship during their junior year. I applied for that last year, but I did not receive it. I applied for the Graduate Fellowship this year, and I got it! So, my advice for applicants is to never give up! Keep applying! It is also extremely important to have experience living abroad or working with an international organization...this is where the Education Abroad office can come in! In addition, applicants should know why they want to work in Foreign Service and how they can make a difference.
Applying for the scholarship was as easy as one click and a short essay. I am participating in a program through CIEE and the scholarship was included in the application process. (It was obviously optional but I thought I'd give it a try and what do you know!) It stated the different scholarships that you could apply for through CIEE, so I selected the ones which I qualified for and submitted an essay online.
Before applying for a scholarship have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish while going abroad so you can include that in your essay. People like to know your intentions of going abroad and it'll make you stand out from the other applicants. Also, don't hesitate in applying, there's nothing to lose. It's definitely worth a shot!
I received the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Paris with CIEE. Finding outside funding was of great importance to me when applying to study abroad. I met with the Education Abroad & Fellowships office and they showed me some options of scholarships to apply for. One of the options was the Gilman Scholarship. The deadline for the scholarship was only a week after I found out about it. At first I was not sure if I should apply because I was not sure I would receive the scholarship, but I decided to apply anyway. I had to write two essays, one explaining why I needed an outside scholarship and the other explaining an idea for a service project I would complete about my study abroad experience. I met with the Education Abroad & Fellowships office to have them help to review my essays. After that, I sent the application in and hoped for the best!
The Education Abroad office was very helpful in telling me what types of scholarships are available, so I would recommend meeting with them as well as researching on your own. It is important to really read about the scholarship you are applying for so you know what they are looking for. It may seem like a lot of work at the time, but it is worth it in the end! During classes I wasn’t sure I wanted to put the effort in to apply for multiple scholarships. But I am really glad that I decided to do the work, because I really benefited from it.
I applied for an ETA in Jordan. It was a last minute decision and I only had had a couple of months to prepare my application so it was a little crazy but definitely doable. I spent a lot of time perfecting my personal statement and statement of purpose and fortunately had a lot of help and support from the Education Abroad and International Fellowships office and the Fulbright committee at RIT. As far as advice for applying for fellowships like Fulbright, it's always worth a shot! Even if it doesn't work out it’s a good experience to go through that type of application process.
I applied to the Sustainability Science and Policy master's program at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. It is a one year master's program in which I will "learn to identify, analyze and address sustainability problems from an integrated perspective."
Applying for the Fulbright was A LOT of work, especially since I didn't actually decide that I was going to go through with it until the beginning of the summer. I worked on it literally all summer and into the beginning of fall. It really adds to your work load at the beginning of the year as you finalize your application. And because I was applying to do a master's program and not a research project I had to get my graduate school application in ridiculously early so that I had their decision on whether or not to admit me into the program before the Fulbright application was due in the fall. My advice to other students applying for the Fulbright is to start their application at the beginning of the summer at the latest and do something related to their Fulbright application every single night, whether it is just sending an email or working on the next draft of their essays. Also, very good time management is key, especially when fall starts and you have to focus most on finishing your application on top of beginning classes. Lastly, Jenny is not exaggerating when she says that you have 7-10 drafts of your essays before they are finalized. She is a GREAT help with editing your essays and she will rip them apart, but everything she has to say is constructive and will only make your essay better.
I applied to Fund for Education Abroad because the program I intended to take part in did not offer enough credits for me to be full-time status and receive my normal financial aid. The Fund for Education Abroad’s mission is to increase the number of opportunities for American students to study abroad by reducing the financial burden through grants and scholarships. In particular, I was interested that their priorities include students who demonstrate financial need, and represent a group that is traditionally underrepresented in study abroad. Underrepresented groups include, but are not limited to, racial minorities, minorities in field of study such as anything STEM related, and students who identify as a part of the LGBTQI community. In fact, the scholarship I received from FEA was the Rainbow Scholarship, which is awarded to a LGBTQI student who intends to participate in a study abroad program. I would advise students who intend to apply for a fellowship to identify what the application requires of them, how they can get that information, and be aware of the due date(s). The best part of my study abroad experience would have to be seeing with my own eyes the amount of culture and historic sites actively preserved over the centuries. Knowing that the majority of historic buildings are made from almost wood alone is so fascinating.
Studying abroad had been a goal of mine since high school and as a student who is paying for college myself, I had to find an affordable way to fund my study abroad experience. My adviser recommended this scholarship to me and after looking into it, I thought that it was a great match. As part of the scholarship you are required to complete a follow up project. My proposed project was to present about study abroad in several inner city high schools in my home town. Not only did the scholarship give me the funds to fulfill my dream to study abroad, but I was able to encourage other students to study abroad as well. When applying for the Gilman scholarship, there is no interview process so it is important that in your essays you show the essence of who you are. Make it personal, tell them what makes you, YOU. I don't know if I can pick out one specific part of my experience that was the best. I overall had an amazing time, and as cliche as it sounds, my experience in Costa Rica changed my life. It made me think of the world differently and I have begun to think on a global scale. As a result of my time abroad I even added a second major in International Studies and I hope to one day work internationally.
The Gilman International Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to study abroad. Although I had applied to a couple of programs last summer, I didn’t really have the means to go abroad, so the Gilman Scholarship was very important to me. It was easier than expected to apply for the scholarship – just a couple essays about why I want to go abroad and a follow-up service project. I would definitely advise anyone who is interested in going abroad to connect with the staff at the Education Abroad office and apply to as many scholarships as possible. Studying abroad is a once in a life time opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.