SSU Students to Receive Study Abroad Scholarships!

Sonoma State University students are receiving scholarships to study abroad! The Center for International Education is excited to announce the recipient of the International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) Study Abroad Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year is Kiara Anderson. Additionally, two Sonoma State University students are receiving the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad for the 2014-15 academic year!


Elizabeth Pettit and James Smith are two of over 800 American undergraduate students from 330 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship. The program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.


Elizabeth Pettit, a returning student at Sonoma State University, will be studying abroad to University of Hull, England through the CSU International Programs and received a Gilman Scholarship award of $5,000. Elizabeth has worked in the field of education for many years as a tutor. Her passion, of fostering a love of reading and increasing literacy, is what motivated her to return to school in 2011 to receive her teaching credential. While continuing her education, she became increasingly aware of the diversity within classrooms and the necessity for a global perspective. This coupled with her major in English Literature, prompted her to apply to study abroad in England. Together with her nine year old daughter she will continue her education, gaining an international perspective for both of them. As a part of the Gilman scholarship program, she will create a connection with students in Healdsburg, CA to students in York, England. Just as her professors at SSU reference their experiences abroad, she too will be able to apply her experiences to the subjects she is teaching with her students long after she returns from her time abroad. The addition of the Gilman Scholarship offers the opportunity to visit other countries beyond the study abroad program. Elizabeth feels that the opportunity, to be completely rooted in another lifestyle, is priceless and extends beyond its intrinsic value.


James Smith, a communications major, will also be studying through CSU International Programs to Yonsei University in South Korea and will be receiving a Gilman Scholarship award of $2,500. James states studying abroad in South Korea will be like living for a year without his glasses where he “wants to explore the world without holding on to what he views as clear and true.” He is looking forward to removing his metaphorical “western and North American glasses” 10542067_10203817476013841_1123675569_nthat he has grown into. He hopes to become a global citizen, trying to develop the most objective way of thinking while creating the most effective way to communicate this objectivity. James is also excited to feeling vulnerable as well as being open to the experiences of another culture and another way of life. Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, James has been given a new opportunity which is helping in his venture to explore a new world, and it provides security when the path ahead blurs or becomes uncertain.   The Gilman Scholarship program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).  The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and country of study, is available on their website: According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “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.”



224600_114148325337897_2464943_nThe International Education Exchange Council (IEEC) is also excited to announce they have selected Kiara Anderson as the 2014-15 award recipient. The IEEC Study Abroad Scholarship is granted to a Sonoma State University student who will be studying abroad for the next academic year and has participated in IEEC events and activities, in part to help prepare them for their time away. Kiara will be studying through the CSU International Programs in Germany.kiara Raised in a small town, Kiara is eager to experience life in a new setting and meet people from different backgrounds. She hopes her time at the University of Tübingen will allow her to learn more about her German roots, improve her fluency in the language, as well as make new and interesting friends throughout her travels. The scholarship award is raised by SSU students in the IEEC student organization and granted Kiara $200 to help with her expenses as well as an award of an additional $100 when she returns to SSU with her promise of giving back to the program by helping other students considering studying abroad.   Studying abroad can be affordable! “We want all students to study abroad, so we have to make it affordable for all students to study abroad,” Hope Ortiz, International & Exchange Programs Advisor at Sonoma State University. Students can choose study abroad programs that are more economical, in program costs and/or the cost of living in the host country, as well as apply to scholarships and grants to help with their expenses. There are many opportunities for students to raise funds to study away, and the Center for International Education enjoys helping students find their way with workshops in addition to one-on-one advising. For a list of resources in raising money to study away, visit the SSU Center for International Education Facebook page and scholarships tab.



The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.  Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.  For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (, publishing the Open Doors Report and operating and  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.  For more information, please contact Lindsay Calvert, Assistant Director, Gilman International Scholarship, at 832-369-3481 or

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