SALISBURY – Three Salisbury University students have been awarded prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad: Junior Daniel McElwain of Easton, senior Cherita Richards of Hebron, and sophomore Brittany Foutz of Salisbury.
An international studies major, McElwain is one of two SU students studying at Anqing Teachers College as part of the new Salisbury Abroad: China program. He said, “The scholarship allowed me to go to China without a major financial burden on myself and my family. I have learned a lot about Chinese language and culture.”
Richards, a psychology major, and Foutz, a Spanish major, are both enrolled in the Salisbury Abroad: Ecuador program. “I’ve improved my Spanish language skills, skills that are valuable in any field of work,” Richards said. “We live in a world where being bilingual opens an individual to so many more opportunities.”
“I am among an abundance of natural beauty, fine weather, fresh food and rich culture,” Foutz said.
“One day you can be in a rainforest and the next hiking in Incan ruins at the breathtaking El Cajas national park. My time in one of South America’s smallest and most diverse countries will make me a better student and person.”
Eight SU students have earned Gilman Scholarships in the past three years. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education, the award aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the places they travel.
“The rate of success Salisbury University students have had in winning Gilman Scholarships is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Dr. Brian Stiegler, Center for International Education director.
To be eligible for the Gilman, students must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant during that semester. Programs must be at least four weeks and not summer-only. Preference is given to students who are minorities, first-time travelers, studying outside Western Europe and Australia, or enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.