Seven Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) students—the second largest number among all community colleges in the United States— were selected to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the Summer 2016 term.
Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 towards their participation in Study Abroad.
The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.
The Gilman Scholars program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries,” according to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE.
BMCC has five study abroad programs including: Hispanic Heritage in Spain; Field Experience in Italy; Latin American and Caribbean Heritage in Argentina; Chinese Civilization and Language in China; Political Science in Greece.
This summer, Sociology major Daisy Crispin and Liberal Arts major Miriam El will study in Greece; Liberal Arts major James Perez and Speech, Communications and Theater Arts major Rafael Gell will study in Italy; Science major Michelle Murillo will study in Argentina; Liberal Arts major Jessica Bravo-Martinez and Business Management student Jane Wu will study in China.
BMCC student James Perez, who grew up in Brooklyn, said he hopes to see many of the places in Italy he has been studying here at BMCC.
“I think it's important for students to study within another culture, because you gain twice the wisdom. You get to experience how people's lives vary in different regions,” said Perez.
In addition to the Gilman scholars, five BMCC students won up to $2,000 each toward a Study Abroad experience from the Hosteling International USA “Explore the World” Travel scholarship. BMCC winners include; Liberal Arts major Santiago Jaramillo; Science major Jasmin Calle; Liberal Arts major Joel Picon; Liberal Arts major Mohammed Altareb and Liberal Arts major Diana Munoz.
Munoz and Altareb plan to use the money for studies in Spain in Summer 2016, while the other three students plan to study abroad at a later point this year.
"Study Abroad is more important than ever in our increasingly global economy and culturally diverse society, and making study abroad an integral part of our students' educational experience will help fulfill the College's mission to prepare students to meet their future academic and professional goals," said Deborah Stengle, Manager, Academic Study Abroad Programs, BMCC.
BMCC's programs aim to teach students to appreciate differences and diversity firsthand while interacting with others, to breakdown stereotypes and build bridges of friendship and understanding, Stengle said.
Including the Gilman Award winners, BMCC has more than 50 students who plan to study abroad this summer.