In summer 2022, Oregon State Public Health major and Gilman Scholar, Jazzy Engle, studied abroad in Querétaro, México for three months. During her time abroad, Jazzy was able to travel, live with a host family, and attend a university to study Spanish, Mexican history, and culture. Prior to leaving, Jazzy had applied for the Gilman Scholarship, a national scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State designed to enable students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad and promote world-wide cultural exchange.

We in National and Global Scholarships Advising were able to catch up with Jazzy and we asked her to share a little bit about her experience. Here's what she had to say:

  • What was one of your favorite memories from your study abroad trip?
  • One of my favorite memories from my time in Querétaro, México was going out to dinner with friends I made at the university. Making friends with those in your cohort is a breeze, as you are all adjusting together. However, it was a big challenge to reach out to native speakers and ask if anyone wanted to be my friend. I was nervous to make friends with native speakers because of the inevitable miscommunications that result from conversing in a second language. But, you're never in it alone! I invited friends from my study abroad cohort that wanted to make new friends just as much as I did. The difficulty was well worth it, as I got to meaningfully connect with other students despite the language barrier. Studying abroad will present opportunities for broadening cultural awareness and challenging comfort zones, and I encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities whenever possible.

  • What is one piece of advice you have for others who would like to study abroad?
  • If you're thinking about studying abroad, talk to others who have done it! Seek out advisors, mentors, and peers who can help answer your questions and invigorate you to chase your dream. I personally didn't have someone in my life who had studied abroad before, but by being open about my goals and ambitions with other OSU students, I spoke with those who had participated in the same program I wanted to apply for. Hearing advice and anecdotes from mentors or peers with experience can help you feel like you are right where you belong and are more than capable of taking on the endeavor of studying abroad.

  • What advice do you have for other people who would like to apply for the Gilman Scholarship? What did you find valuable about applying?
  • Thanks to scholarships, I'm attending college today, and wonderful need-based opportunities like the Gilman Scholarship have always given me hope to reach for my dreams when otherwise I might have given up. If you are someone who has not considered studying abroad because you thought it was never financially feasible, the Gilman Scholarship is for you. Gilman provides opportunities for world travel to individuals based on merit, and it allows you to transcend difficult financial situations. The biggest piece of advice I would give to those who would like to apply for the Gilman Scholarship is to not sell yourself short. Dream up what this opportunity would mean to you, and illustrate through your application why your work ethic, resiliency, and open-mindedness will help you thrive during an abroad experience. 

Jazzy reported that by the time she left Mexico, it felt like a second home to her. We are so proud of her and all that she did to make her study abroad experience so full. Congratulations, Jazzy!

The Gilman Scholarship opens applications twice per year: in October and March. To apply, applicants must be US citizens or naturals, eligible for a Pell Grant, enrolled at a college or university in good standing, and in the process of applying for a credit-bearing study or intern abroad program. 

Curious about it? Find out more by talking to OSU National and Global Scholarships Advising! Our office advises on applications, provides feedback, and can answer all your questions.

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