Photo Credit: DigitalRalph for Flickr
By Sherry Shivprasad
The Scholarship Office at York has set up several workshops for the Spring 2018 semester to provide students with specific details about the upcoming Study Abroad Programs and scholarships available. They are scheduled to begin on Feb. 6 and end on March 12.
“It encourages students to have new opportunities that they may not have before,” said Alexa Maurer, who is a scholarship assistant at York.
Students who want to go abroad should apply for The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Students can start to apply for this scholarship on Dec.15. The deadline will be on April 15 for the Spring 2018 semester. This scholarship provides money to students who need financial assistance, and it could help as an aid for extra money if their Study Abroad Program money doesn’t cover all the expenses. It is open to all undergraduate U.S. citizens.
The requirements for The Gilman International Scholarship is based on a specific criteria. This scholarship is prestigious and they are looking for applicants who have a GPA of 3.0 and above. The Gilman Scholarship is available every semester.
Students are asked to provide a brief personal statement that mentions their current major and minor, and why they want to study the course offered by the scholarship. It was important for students applying for the Gilman International Scholarship to show who they want to be. Therefore, the students were asked to include specific information concerning their future educational plans.
“Students will have to tell why they want to study abroad,” said Maurer. “We help with the application, give them tips on crafting an essay and how to research scholarships and fellowships out of York College too.”
The York College Winter Study Abroad Program scholarships included a maximum of $3,000 for each grant. The Winter Study Abroad Program application can be accessed on the website www.yorkcollegestudyabroad.com.
Students are advised to select a Study Abroad Program on the same level, and study area, as the courses that are needed to fulfill their academic requirements at York College. The courses that the students have applied for and plan to count toward their degrees have to be confirmed by their academic advisers.
Dupah Gobin, a York College Pre-med major, received the Gloria Waldman Study Abroad Scholarship and went to Brazil in the Spring 2017 semester.
“I have absolutely zero regrets during my time in Brazil,” said Gobin, about her experience.
Once a student has chosen the country and course desired, they received a course syllabus. The syllabus is then provided on the same web page. It should explain what the living arrangements will be. Also, it has to inform the student of all the expenses that are covered by the study abroad program and the amount of money the student needs to pay for any additional expenses that will be attached to Study Abroad Program.
The Study Abroad Program office is located in 4DA1 of the Academic Core Building. Students could then receive help with the application process.
“I can’t tell you what to write, but you have concepts and I can help tweak that,” said Maurer.
Students who have done the Study Abroad Program in the past received true educational experiences.
“I have the ability to view the world and its issues from several perspectives,” said Gobin.
During the Spring 2017 semester there were 27 York College scholarships recipients which included study abroad applicants as well.
The Study Abroad Program and scholarship worked miracles for Atsu Ocloo, a medical student from Togo, West Africa. In Togo, Ocloo was a medical professional for the American Embassy. He also was an advocate for prevention and management of HIV.
“I have worked on the radio, television, and at health fairs,” Ocloo said.
In 2005, Ocloo was awarded the International Visitors Program Scholarship. This allowed him to travel to France. All he needed was a letter of recommendation.
One of Ocloo’s peers in Africa who worked in the American Embassy gave him more information about other scholarships that were medical related. Ocloo was very grateful.
“The man told me there is a HIV program in American, you can apply,” said Ocloo.
In 2006, he received another scholarship to travel to America. The award has paid for Ocloo’s hotel fee, food and plane ticket to travel to Washington D.C, New Mexico, Atlanta, Houston, and California.
Ocloo was able to gain a lot of knowledge while he had traveled to the United States. He visited the army, civil society, and the prisons. Ocloo recalled learning about how the people whom he visited were dealing with their problems of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) in America. This was the information that Ocloo needed because he was able to implement new strategies in his hometown of Togo.
“Knowledge is power,” Ocloo stated. As a result, the study abroad program opened Ocloo’s mind to the American culture and the African culture gaining experience while he was studying abroad.
Students are encouraged by the program administrators to consider studying abroad and experiencing what their fellow students shared.