Three Xavier students are awarded international scholarships to study abroad this spring

The prestigious Gilman scholarship awards up to $5,000 for study abroad expenses | January 8, 2014

Three Xavier undergraduate students are among more than 700 American undergraduate students from 341 colleges and universities selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. All three are studying abroad during the Spring 2014 semester.

Ellexis Chapman, a junior International Studies and Political Science major from Paducah, Ky., is studying in Rwanda with the School for International Training’s Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding program. Chuma Nnawulezi, a junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public major from Omaha, Neb., is participating in the School for International Training's 21st Century Cities program which divides the semester between Dakar, Senegal, New Delhi, India, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. And Beatriz Valle, a sophomore business major from Chicago, is enrolling in Xavier’s exchange partner Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant are eligible to apply. Students selected for the program have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, said, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education. The full list of students selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including their home state, university and country of study, is available at According to Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the institute, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”