CSU, Chico News

Students Awarded Federal Scholarships for Study Abroad

Date: 05-22-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs

Six California State University, Chico students have been selected for the federal Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to offset their costs of studying abroad in the 2015–2016 academic year.

The awards are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and aim to diversify the students who study abroad and the regions they visit.

Recipients must be receiving a federal Pell Grant, and preference is given to students in non-traditional study-abroad countries, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities. Award amounts range from $3,500 to $5,000.

The six CSU, Chico students are among 860 students from 332 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected for the award. The recipients are

  • Michael Fritz, journalism major, Bangalore, India ($5,000)
  • Thomas Mattoon, English education major, Nagoya, Japan ($5,000)
  • Nicole Lightfoot, communication studies major, Chiang Mai, Thailand ($4,000)
  • Drew Johnson, kinesiology major, Madrid, Spain ($5,000)
  • Diab Thor, pre-nursing student, Heredia, Costa Rica ($5,000)
  • Samira Arreguin, double major, Spanish and management information systems, Santiago, Chile ($3,500)

Alternate recipients are Linda Mena, Costa Rica; and Melissa Melendrez, Spain.

In 2014, the national Institute of International Education (IIE) ranked the CSU, Chico study-abroad program third in the nation among master’s-granting institutions for number of long-term (yearlong) participants. The University has ranked second or third in the nation for six years running in the same IIE category.

The University sent approximately 400 students abroad to 27 countries around the world during the 2014–2015 academic year.

“Study abroad positively and unequivocally influences the career path, worldview, and self-confidence of students,” said Jennifer Gruber, coordinator, Study Abroad and International Exchange. “We are so excited that these students are receiving Gilman scholarships to help fund their study abroad experiences.”