Sarah Rivera ’18 and James Arps ’18 study abroad with support of Gilman Scholarship

Studying globally is an integral part of the Gettysburg experience.

Gilman Scholarship winners

This is evident through the stories students share with us and reinforced by our statistics and rankings.   Three out of five Gettysburg students spend at least one semester abroad. The Institute of International Education (IIE) ranked Gettysburg as second in the nation and the top liberal arts college in Pennsylvania for mid-length study abroad experiences. And, most recently, this past fall two students received scholarships from the competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program to study abroad:

  • Sarah Rivera ’18 received $2,500 to study in the United Kingdom.
  • James Arps ’18 received $8,000 to study in China.

The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. “The program enables [students] to study abroad, with the goal of internationalizing their outlook and better preparing them to thrive in the global economy,” said Dean for Global Initiatives Rebecca Bergren.

In recent years, several other Gettysburgians have received the Gilman scholarship:

  • Karl Segletes, Summer 2016, $5,000, Indonesia
  • Erin Durant, Spring 2015, $2,000, Brazil
  • Jonah Lucas, Spring 2015, $4,500, Nepal
  • Jonathan Barley-Alexander, Spring 2014, $2,000, Japan
  • Anastasia Gonchar, Fall 2014, $3,500, China
  • Dominique Saunders, Spring 2012, $4,500, Japan
  • Andrea Carson, Spring 2011, $2,000, China
  • Yesenia Cadenas, AY 2010-2011, $5,000, Japan
  • Latrina Bowman, Fall 2009, $2,500, Ghana
  • Noor Oweis<, Fall 2009, $4,500, Egypt
  • Miriam Parson, Fall 2007, $4,500, Guatemala
  • Vishwa Banker, Spring 2006, $4,000, South Africa

Learn more about the experiences of Arps and Rivera below.

Sarah Rivera

Sarah Rivera
Biology major
Studied in: England

Sarah in England“I have always been a quiet and a fairly introverted person, and going abroad to a new place with new faces forced me to leave my safe space. At first I was nervous about being in a new environment, but I quickly adjusted because I met several people who were in the same place as me. I made many close friends from different parts of the world.

“The most impactful moment of my study abroad experience was being able to take my learning in the classroom and actually see and experience it in real life. I took a British culture seminar where we learned about various historical events. Every week we would take a field trip to a location that we had been talking about in the classroom. It was amazing to stand in the same place where people stood hundreds of years prior. The history of England and Europe in general is so rich and it was amazing to actually see all of the places instead of just learning from the textbook.

“The social skills and independence that I gained from my abroad experience have been vital in my transition back at Gettysburg. During my time abroad I feel that I have a gained a new maturity and that I have discovered a new part of my identity. In England, I became involved with many environmental groups. I immersed myself in the environment whether it would be through walking/running through the English countryside or gardening in the University's campus sustainable garden.”

What’s next for Rivera?

“I plan on attending veterinary school after graduating from Gettysburg.”

James Arps

James Arps
Mathematics and computer science major
Studied in: China

James Arps in China“The most impactful moment I had while studying in China was during a program field trip into the economic district of downtown Shanghai in which we visited the childhood home of a program employee. Hers was one of only a small handful of homes which had been completely preserved during the city's rapid urban development. To see the emotional connection she had with her tiny birthplace contrasting with the massive skyscrapers and sprawling concrete jungle surrounding—it really made me appreciate my own home, family, and living space.

“The experience prepared me for a globalized career by exposing me to a culture vastly different from my own, which broadened my global mindset and taught me to be more attentive and aware of cultural differences during professional interactions. I was one of only a handful of people at my internship company who spoke English, so communicating complicated ideas required a lot of creativity and patience.

“Aside from a better understanding of global cultural differences, the biggest thing I brought back to Gettysburg from Shanghai was a different style of managing my own time and completing my own work. The classes I took abroad were incredibly challenging at times, and required me to learn a different set of study skills which I have then applied to my courses back home.”

What’s next for Arps?

“This summer I will be staying on Gettysburg's campus as a Digital Technology Fellowship Scholar, and plan on applying to graduate programs in computer science next fall.”