Abigail Phillips ’25 has been selected as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which supports the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to expand the number of Americans studying and interning abroad.
The Gilman Program offers awards for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue credit-bearing academic studies or career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to enable students to thrive in the global economy and interdependent world and to contribute to solutions for shared global challenges, while at the same time gaining skills that are critical to national security and prosperity.
“The applicant pool was highly competitive, making [Phillips’] selection an impressive accomplishment,” said Chief of USA Study Abroad Heidi Manley and Gilman Program Officer for USA Study Abroad Theresa Gagnon.
The award will support Phillips as she spends a year studying abroad in Japan. “I will be studying the Japanese language, their culture, East Asian history, and Japanese instructional methods for the classroom,” Phillips explained. “I will also take classes in other disciplines such as religion, folklore, and traditional Japanese music such as the koto.”
In addition, Phillips plans to serve as a volunteer assistant in teaching English and American history to students at Osaka’s Shijonawate High School. “I’m double majoring in history and secondary education for social studies at Hollins. I hope to teach abroad in Japan after graduation.”
Based on the quality of her application and the fact that she will be studying a critical need language while abroad, Phillips has also been presented with the Critical Need Language Award. Combining that honor with the Gilman Scholarship, she will receive a total of $8,000, the maximum amount possible.
“Hollins has had several Gilman recipients, but it is unusual to receive both the Gilman Scholarship as well as the Critical Need Language Award,” said Hollins’ Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch. “Abigail is a very motivated student with a passion for learning and intercultural communication. She will thrive in Japan as she becomes more fluent in Japanese and moves toward her goal to one day teach there.”
The Gilman Program is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. government. It is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.