University of New Orleans student Abigail Diez is one of 800 undergraduate students from across the United States to win the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to study or intern abroad during the fall 2015 semester.
Diez, a senior music major, will enroll at the Codarts University for the Arts, located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Gonzales, La. native expects to graduate from UNO in the spring of 2016.
"(Codarts) offers a concentration in popular music for singer-songwriters, which is a program seemingly tailored for me," Diez said. "While abroad, I hope to perfect my songwriting skills, research employment options as a musician in the international industry, practice the many languages I am learning, learn to play the violin and apply to a graduate program in Europe for international business."
The Gilman Scholarship program, which is administered by the Institute of International Education, aims to diversify the students who study abroad as well as the regions and countries where students go. Students who receive a federal Pell Grant and will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.
Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman retired in 2002 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. Since the program's inception in 2001, more than 19,000 Gilman scholars from 1,124 American institutions have visited 144 countries.