Three Minnesota State Mankato Students Accept Study Abroad Opportunities through Gilman Scholarship Program

Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

June 02, 2021 | News Story

June 15, 2021

Mankato, Minn. – Three Minnesota State University, Mankato undergraduate students will study abroad during the academic year after recently receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Minnesota State Mankato students are among more than 1,500 U.S. undergraduate students from 467 colleges and universities who received the scholarship to study or intern abroad in 96 countries through the end of 2022.

The three Minnesota State Mankato students who will study or intern abroad in the coming academic year include Emmah Mardaus, Megan Schmidt and Morgan Rud. A fourth Minnesota State Mankato student, Grace Gagnon, also was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, but she chose to not study or intern abroad through this scholarship program.

Mardaus (pictured at right), a junior economics major from Stillwater, Minnesota, and a 2019 graduate of White Bear Lake High School – South Campus, will spend the 2021-22 academic year as an exchange student at the University of Seoul.

“I will be going to Seoul, South Korea for the 2021-2022 school year to gain a stronger connection to my heritage, while also prioritizing my education,” wrote Mardaus. “Receiving the Gilman scholarship has alleviated a lot of my financial restraints, so while in Korea I can experience studying abroad to its fullest without financial stress.”

Schmidt, a junior who is planning to major in anthropology and Scandinavian studies, is from Brainerd, Minnesota, and is a 2011 graduate of Brainerd High School. Schmidt will spend the 2021-22 academic year as an exchange student at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden.

“The Gilman Scholarship provides an incredible opportunity to experience a new culture and grow through education provided by the exchange program,” wrote Schmidt. “I chose Umeå University as my exchange program, because it provides the perfect blend of education for both of my majors, anthropology and Scandinavian studies. Studying in Sweden will give me the exposure I need to specialize in Swedish culture, learn the language, and become a more knowledgeable cultural anthropologist.”

Rud (pictured at right), a junior pre-dental major, is from Mondovi, Wisconsin, and is a 2019 graduate of Mondovi High School. Rud will spend the 2022 spring semester in Khon Kaen, Thailand, through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC).

“The Gilman scholarship means a lot to me not only financially, but it will allow me to pursue many more opportunities while abroad,” wrote Rud. “I decided to participate in the USAC program in Thailand, as it fits my interests of location and major courses. I especially love Thai food, but the people, culture and traditions, too. To top it off, the courses provided seem so interesting to me, and will count towards my majors.”

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, according to its website, “enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity.”

The 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 host country, is available on its website.

Minnesota State Mankato has had 15 Gilman scholarship recipients since 2013.

More information on education abroad opportunities is available through Minnesota State Mankato’s Center for Global Engagement, and those interested in additional information may contact Anna Ochs, assistant director, by email at ipo@mnsu.edu or by phone at 507-389-1341.

More information on fellowship opportunities is available through Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of University Fellowships. Those interested in additional information may contact Kristen Cvancara, director, by email at fellowships@mnsu.edu or by phone at 507-389-5191.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,604 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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