Each year, thousands apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a scholarship aimed at helping students who plan to travel abroad for at least a semester.
This year, Castleton College’s Eric Ginter was a recipient and was awarded $4,500 to help fund his semester abroad in China from Feb. 24 to May 30.
“Each semester I send out an email broadcasting all the scholarships there are,” said Spanish professor Ana Alexander.
“Castleton is batting three for three in the past three years,” Alexander added proudly. “Castleton students have a fabulous track record…they just need to apply.”
Deadlines for the scholarship were early in the fall semester and as a requirement, each applicant was asked to write how they would benefit from studying abroad.
“I want to become fluent in Chinese,” said Ginter casually, catching the ears of a few people nearby as he spoke. “But also just to experience the culture and finally go abroad.”
Ginter is a Global Studies major and must study abroad as a requirement.
“I already know a little Chinese.” Ginter said. “I started taking it seriously in ninth grade. I’m not that good though.”
Ginter will be attending SiChuan University in Chengdu, China, a city of 14 million people.
“I won’t stick out there,” said Ginter.
He will be living in the dorms with a roommate chosen for him, he said.
When asked why she thought Ginter was awarded the scholarship, Alexander stated Ginter stood out in part because he comes from a small school and is taking a more unusual language.
“I certainly hope that he can improve on his Chinese,” said Alexander. “He’s very good at it, he’s very modest.”
Other hopes for Ginter are that he gets first-hand experience and gets to live with the Chinese and appreciate and learn the culture, Alexander said.
“I also hope he learns things he can use in his major too,” said Alexander, laughing.