Gilman Scholarship Allows Four to Study Abroad

Gilman Scholar Caelan Frazier
Caelan Frazier ’24

Four Kalamazoo College students will each receive funds to study abroad in the upcoming academic year through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Plan.

Since 2001, the Gilman scholarship has given more than 33,000 students with limited financial means up to $5,000 to study or intern abroad. By going abroad, recipients develop skills critical to national security and economic prosperity.

Angela Hernandez and Anna Canales, both ’24, are expected to study in Japan. Caelan Frazier ’24 plans to visit Northern Ireland. Natalie Barber ’23, after deferring her award as a result of the pandemic last year, will travel to Costa Rica this year.

All the opportunities hinge on the host country’s progress with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Frazier, for one, is optimistic his program will proceed as planned with arriving in Belfast, Ireland, in September.

“While I am there, I hope to increase my knowledge in STEM, specifically chemistry and computer science, in order to be more experienced for future jobs,” Frazier said. “Not only that, I want to learn a lot more about the culture and everyday life in Northern Ireland. I have not actually traveled abroad before. I feel that it is important for me to return with a better understanding of life outside of America. Since social norms and cultural conflicts will be so different, I want to be able to take in all the new information and apply it to my own life.”

By awarding the funds competitively to students with limited financial means, the program assures that students from traditionally underrepresented groups will participate. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, undergraduate students in good standing at their institutions and federal Pell Grant recipients.

“As an African-American individual, I feel that having the opportunity to travel abroad is not a common occurrence,” Frazier said. “It is only through scholarships such as the Gilman scholarship that I am able to accept the opportunity to study abroad. That is why I am incredibly grateful to be offered this opportunity and I want to make sure I make the most of my experience.”