MURRAY, Ky. — Anissa Quilling, a senior music major at Murray State is one of more than 250 American undergraduate students from 154 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad. Quilling will study abroad in Mexico this summer.

Quilling said she’d been dreaming of study abroad for years and that winning the Gilman scholarship has made her dream a reality. “It is truly a blessing to have the Gilman scholarship,” she said. “The main reason that I have not studied abroad yet is because of the fear that I would not be able to pay for the program. The Gilman is paying for most of my trip, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

While abroad, Quilling will participate in a homestay with a local family while she studies Spanish. She said studying abroad will prepare her for her future.

On Saturday, April 29 at 3:30 p.m., Quilling will perform a sacred music recital at the First United Methodist Church in Murray.

“My career goal is to be an educator,” she said. “Studying abroad will not only help me to understand the content of material that I will be teaching — music and language — but it will also help me to understand the many differences of those I am teaching and influencing.”

Robyn Pizzo, senior education abroad adviser, said for some students, the Gilman scholarship makes the difference on whether they will be able to afford study abroad at all. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions are eligible to apply. Pizzo said the Gilman is a resume boost. Scholarship recipients have the

opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government, the private sector and an interdependent world.

U.S. Rep. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, said, “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.”

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 at iie.org/gilman.

Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, said, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports and professional exchanges. For more information about ECA programs, initiatives and achievements, visit http://eca.state.gov.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization. IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State. The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide, publishing the Open Doors Report and operating IIEPassport.org and studyabroadfunding.org search engines for study abroad

programs and study abroad scholarships. For more information, please contact Lindsay Calvert, director, Gilman International Scholarship, at 832-369-3481 or lcalvert@iie.org.

Anissa Quilling, a senior music major at Murray State, is one of more than 250 American undergraduate students from 154 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad. Quilling will study abroad in Mexico this summer.