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Nathan Hesse, of Hagerstown, Awarded Gilman International Scholarship for Study Abroad in The Gambia

Nathan Hesse, of Hagerstown, Awarded Gilman International Scholarship for Study Abroad in The Gambia

(St. Mary's City, MD) August 27, 2008 - St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) student Nathan Hesse will be working with doctors and learning Spanish this semester as part of a study abroad opportunity in The Gambia. The rising sophomore, of Hagerstown, Maryland, was recently awarded the Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad for a semester in the West African country, which partners with SMCM's study abroad programs. Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the scholarship offers a competition for awards for undergraduate study abroad.
Hesse, a future Spanish and Latin American studies double major, will be studying Spanish, Wolof, and African studies at the University of The Gambia, near the capital Banjul. To Hesse, study abroad "is really important for the college education....It's really important to take every opportunity to travel and experience other cultures." During his study abroad, Hesse will also work at the Royal Victorian Teaching Hospital with Cuban doctors who teach medicine and English. "There's a pretty substantial Cuban population in The Gambia," said Hesse, explaining that it is mostly composed of doctors and other professionals. Working with the doctors will assist Hesse in his Spanish studies, while learning Wolof and other African studies will move him toward an African studies minor.
The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S.-citizen undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe and Australia. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this congressionally funded program is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston, TX.
St. Mary's College of Maryland is ranked one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Newsweek and Kiplinger's. With roots going back to 1840, SMCM is the state's only public honors college, offering the academic excellence of a top private college with the openness and affordability of public education.

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