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Two students receive Gilman scholarships to study abroad

December 19, 2013
Paula Cherop
Angelina Pingry

EAU CLAIRE — Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students were recently awarded scholarships through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad during the spring 2014 semester.

Paula Cherop, a sophomore political science major from Hopkins, Minn., will study in Botswana.

"I came into college with a vague goal of studying abroad," Cherop said. "My incredible adviser Colleen Marchwick (study abroad coordinator in UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education) encouraged me to pursue my goals and has helped me through every step of the way."

Cherop chose to study in Botswana because it is considered one of the most self-sufficient countries in Africa. It has record low rates of poverty and corruption.

This scholarship will have a significant impact for Cherop financially.

"It has freed me from many of the worries that I had about funding my trip," she said.

Angelina Pingry, a junior English education major from Winona, Minn., will attend the University of Limerick in Ireland.

"Going to Ireland is a dream come true," she said. "I've had a love for Celtic music since I was a little girl and it's had a huge impact on my life. I've always wanted a chance to experience the Irish culture."

Pingry said her love for travel was initiated by one of her high school teachers.

"He would offer travel opportunities for students and inspired me to sign up for a trip," Pingry said. "Ever since my first experience abroad, I feel as though I have caught the travel bug. I love the adventure of it!"

As a future educator, Pingry plans to inspire other students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.

"Multicultural education is something I have immense passion for," she said. "I plan on keeping in touch with two classrooms from the Eau Claire area during my time abroad. I hope that this will spark an interest in students to seek similar opportunities in life."

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, provides awards that allow American undergraduate students who receive federal Pell Grant funding at two- or four-year colleges or universities to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.

For more information, contact Colleen Marchwick, study abroad coordinator in the Center for International Education, at


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