University of North Georgia student Dominique Allen knew she wanted to study abroad but was uncertain about her location until she saw the topic about the sociology of black culture in Paris.
"I wanted to learn about Paris and the black culture there, and I wanted to see a different world," said the 27-year-old from Gainesville.
Allen, a senior pursuing a degree in human services delivery and administration with a minor in sociology, will see Paris this summer. She was one of nine UNG students awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
The students learned in late April that they received the nationally competitive scholarship for summer 2019. Earlier this year, six UNG students earned early summer Gilman scholarships for a total of 15 UNG students, which is a new record for UNG.
More than 1,100 students were selected to receive scholarships to participate in credit-bearing study abroad programs and career-oriented internships in countries around the world.
Another Gainesville resident, who is a native of El Salvador, Udis Calderon. will study in China this summer. The 22-year-old said he selected the Asian nation since he is unfamiliar with it.
"The best way to learn about the culture is immerse myself there and learn firsthand of their traditions," Calderon said.
The rising senior pursuing a degree in communications with a concentration in public relations said the experience will aid him with his future profession. He hopes to work with minority students such as Latinos and Asians in a higher education institution.
"I believe that there is a need because not many people look like us and who can help with our struggles in higher education," he said. "Through this experience, I can help people not only from my Latino background but from other cultures, too."
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by the Institute of International Education, the Gilman program offers scholarships of up to $5,000 to outstanding U.S. undergraduate Pell grant recipients. Students who study a critical language are eligible to receive a scholarship of up to $8,000.
The other seven recipients and one alternate from UNG are:
JaMia Lawrence, a member of the Corps of Cadets pursuing a degree in strategic and security studies and enrolled in the Chinese Language Flagship program, will study in Taiwan.
Katherin Lopez, pursuing a degree in international affairs, will study in Canada.
Ximena Luna, pursuing a degree in Spanish, will study in Spain.
Mary Redmon, pursuing a degree in biology, will study in Japan.
Taylor Salinas, pursuing a degree in history, will study in the United Kingdom.
Megan Shockley, a member of the Corps of Cadets pursuing a degree in modern languages with a concentration in Chinese and enrolled in the Chinese Language Flagship program, will study in Taiwan.
Nataly Morales Villa, pursuing a degree in political science, will study in Peru.
Cassandra Cude, pursuing a degree in psychology, was named an alternate and hopes to study in Korea.