Elsa Alvarado ’18 was awarded the State Department’s Gliman Scholarship for study abroad in the spring of 2017.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Elsa Alvarado ’18 of Queens, New York, has been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study or intern abroad during the spring 2017 term. Alvarado will study abroad in Paris, France, at Sciences Po. The political science major is one of 850 American undergraduates from 359 colleges and universities to receive the honor.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program offers grants to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to thrive in the global economy and interdependent world. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply. 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 and the private sector.

“My goal is to increase the number of minority students who study abroad at Middlebury,” said Alvarado. “Every student should have the opportunity to study abroad even if they’re low-income and first generation students like myself. Studying abroad is an experience that allows students to see the world with a different lens and it offers an opportunity to grow academically and emotionally.”

About the Gilman Scholarship
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.”

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 on the institute’s website: According to Allan Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, “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.”