Wooster, OH -- Gage Smith is one of over 250 American undergraduate students from 154 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study or intern abroad during the Summer 2017 Early Application cycle. Smith is the first Ohio State ATI student to be awarded a coveted Gillman Scholarship.
In 2017, he will make his second trip to Ghana's Volta Region where he will spend three months completing his Agricultural Business internship. Smith will shadow several NGO executive directors and document his understanding of Ghanaian leadership styles. He will also establish a new men's micro-lending group in the small town of Kpenoe, Volta Region. With Smith's help, the new micro-lending group and an established women's micro-lending group in the same town will each start a 4-H group for about 25 children. Smith will then support and monitor the groups to study the differences in men's and women's leadership while strengthening their skills in leading 4-H Project Based Learning activities.
Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. 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 gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies -- making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. 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). The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on their website: www.iie.org/gilman. According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. 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.”