Loyola University Maryland student Briana Roberts was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the spring semester of her study abroad in China at Beijing Center during the 2014-15 academic year. The $4,000 scholarship will go toward her expenses while abroad.
This is the first time Roberts, a junior global studies major and Asian studies minor, has been abroad. Without her family and friends by her side, she spent the first semester gaining her independence. She had to learn to do many things on her own and get to know others despite the language barrier.
“Not only was this my first time abroad but it was also the biggest trip I had to accomplish by myself. I did not have the luxury of traveling abroad with a family member like some of my fellow classmates,” Roberts said. “Next semester, I plan on stepping out of my comfort zone to explore the real Beijing and China.”
One of her favorite experiences was exploring part of the Silk Road, an ancient Chinese trading route. She went to five different places along the road, a mix of rural towns and modern cities. She enjoyed meeting new people and trying new food.
Once back in the United States, Roberts plans to find an internship relating to human rights and justice. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and seek a career in human rights.
Roberts follows two Loyola students from the class of 2014 who won Gilman Scholarships last year. Loyola’s national fellowships office promoted the award opportunity and held workshops on how to apply.
About the Gilman Scholarship:
The Gilman Scholarship eases the financial burden for exceptional U.S. undergraduate students who embark on an academic or internship abroad. More than 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 were awarded this year through the program, which is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston, Texas.