PNW student to study abroad in South Korea with Gilman scholarship
Maddie Clarkson, a third-year Integrative Human Health major, remembers when she first received notice she was awarded a competitive Gilman scholarship.
“I was in class, I was sweating, and I was making audible noises and classmates were looking at me,” she said. “I was trying to screenshot it and send it to my family.”
The scholarship will help fund her summer study abroad plans to attend Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she will take interdisciplinary courses June through August.
Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships are offered by the U.S. Department of State to provide study abroad opportunities for select undergraduate students. According to the program’s mission, it develops American leaders representing the U.S.’ diversity to build networks and skills internationally, expand the U.S. student population that studies and interns abroad, and broadens the destinations where U.S. students study or intern abroad. Awards help defray costs of program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, airfare and more.
Gilman scholarship awards are highly competitive, with a 1 in 4 chance of being selected, according to the program’s website.
“The Gilman Scholarship is a highly prestigious national award,” said Meg Rincker, professor of Political Science, who worked with Clarkson on her application during her appointment as interim associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs in fall 2022.
We are very proud of Maddie’s exceptional academics, her compelling reasons for wanting to participate in study abroad, her specific plans to maximize her experience and concrete plans for sharing South Korean cultural experiences with PNW students, faculty and staff when she returns to PNW.
“We are very proud of Maddie’s exceptional academics, her compelling reasons for wanting to participate in study abroad, her specific plans to maximize her experience and concrete plans for sharing South Korean cultural experiences with PNW students, faculty and staff when she returns to PNW.”
Clarkson looks forward to immersing herself in a completely different culture during her first time traveling outside of the U.S. She specifically wanted to go elsewhere than a Western country to jump into an unfamiliar environment. Her interest also stems from her family’s past experience with hosting a high school student from Taiwan.
“I want to be culture shocked!” says Clarkson. “For anybody thinking about studying abroad, just do it. PNW has so many resources that can help you.”
Clarkson says the experience will be highly conducive for her future career goals as a medical professional.
“I feel it will make me more culturally competent. In the medical field you’ll meet people from different walks of life, and you want to be respectful to the people you see. I’ll be out of my comfort area, and I’ll come out of my shell more because I’m reserved. But I want to make a lot of friends and meet people.”
To learn more about Study-Away programs and opportunities through PNW, visit pnw.edu/study-away.