By Christian Ashe
An enriching experience is in store for Jessica Hergert, who will travel to Dublin, Ireland, with the help of the Center for International Education (CIE) and the prestigious Gilman Scholarship.
With the assistance of the Gilman Scholarship, Hergert, a junior journalism major, will be attending Griffith College in Dublin, Ireland, during the 2017 spring semester through CAPA, an international organization that provides academic programs for students that want to study abroad. It has a wide array of choices and many of Rider’s programs are partnered with it. Hergert wants to broaden her horizons and conduct herself well as a recipient of a Gilman Scholar.
The Gilman Scholarship is offered nationwide to those who receive the federal Pell grant and are in great need of funding to study abroad. The scholarship is named after Benjamin A. Gilman, who served in Congress for thirty years. The Gilman Scholarship is earned through an extremely competitive process and very few are able to receive it.
“When you earn the Gilman Scholarship, you must carry yourself differently,” said Hergert. “You must uphold the standard of the Gilman name. It is such an honor to be a part of this program. This is a big influence in my life and I am thankful for this opportunity.”
Along with studying abroad, students who qualify must be involved in an international internship. Hergert has applied with a company called Olytico.
Olytico is a social media analysis firm that is based in Dublin, Ireland. It helps empower businesses by researching trends in specific markets and industries in order to help its clients achieve the best plan for its communications objectives. Hergert was given two days to prepare for her interview but she felt that it went very well. She is now waiting to hear back from them.
Rider’s CIE director Sara Young-Singh told Hergert about this opportunity and inspired her to go to a workshop that Young-Singh presents to her students.
“In the workshop, we discuss what countries students would like to go to and what their overall interest is about studying abroad,” she said. “We find the right program for their specific interests and then we help them come up with ways that they can write their essays for the applications for the study abroad programs. After we get a sense of what they would like to learn out of their experience, everyone applies.”
Young-Singh says that it won’t be all fun and games, and that the students that earn this scholarship have a lot of responsibilities and must be able to manage their time wisely.
“The way that it works is that each student takes 15 credits, three classes, and a six-credit internship,” said Hergert. “They all go towards your major and you are working for 20 hours a week. It is important to maximize your experience while you are studying there because most students that get internships abroad that come back usually end up getting a job.”
All students who study abroad through Rider’s CIE are expected to learn from their experiences and carry what they have learned with them throughout their careers.