Center for International Education


Holloway Hall

Benjamin A. Gilman Study Abroad Scholarships Recipient

Deziree Hitchens

Sophomore, Spanish and International Studies Major

San Jose, Costa Rica, 2008-2009 Award


                     Costa Rica, Arental Trip

Salisbury, University, September 10, 2008 -- Deziree Hitchens, a Spanish and International Studies major in the Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University is one of 700 outstanding American undergraduate students from over 320 colleges and universities across the U.S. who was awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate in Fall 2008 and Academic Year 2008-2009 study abroad programs worldwide.   Hitchens, a graduate of Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown, Delaware, is studying at the Latin American University of Science and Technology (ULACIT) in San Josť, Costa Rica for the entire 2008-09 academic year.  Her program is managed by Salisbury University affiliate, the Institute for Studies Abroad (ISA).

One of the selection criteria for awarding the Gilman Scholarship is the “Follow-On Service Project”.  Each student applicant plans a project to be completed after the study abroad experience that will promote study abroad back in the student’s home community.  Hitchens’ “Follow-On Project” involves outreach through the Spanish Clubs at Salisbury University and at Sussex Technical and Sussex Central High Schools in Delaware to promote international education.  A component of her project even aspires to the creation of a new scholarship for international study to be made available to students that attend Sussex Technical or Sussex Central High School in Delaware.

Hitchens arrived in Costa Rica in late August to begin her year of studies of the Spanish language and Latin American culture and civilization.  “The Costa Rican people that I have met have been very generous and I have already made new friends,” she reports.   “I have always wanted to study and travel in a Spanish-speaking country.  Now I am living my dream thanks to the Gilman scholarship.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $8,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs.  The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.   Applications for Spring 2009 study abroad scholarships are due October 7, 2008 and are available at  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions are encouraged to apply. 

Since the establishment of the Gilman International Scholarship Program by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, over 4,202 students nationwide have received this prestigious award.  1226 scholarships will be awarded to students participating in study abroad programs during the 2008-2009 academic year.  Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.  Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience.  It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”