Study abroad scholarship recipientsWendy Chen and Dayana Salazar from Skyline College and Grisel Lopez and Michelle Sandoval from College of San Mateo are four of approximately 850 American undergraduate students from 324 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study abroad during the Fall 2016 academic term.

The funding is a significant increase in the number of scholarships received by San Mateo County Community Colleges and the acceptance rate by the Gilman Scholarship Program. Last year, the District had one Gilman scholarship recipient out of two applicants. This year marked a 100% acceptance rate since the District had four applicants and all four students were awarded the scholarship.

The San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation Study Abroad Scholarship and American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Scholarship recipients were Isis Lemus from Cañada College, Tristan Carson, Kelly Gulbrandson and Manying Wu from College of San Mateo, and Jennifer Martinez and Laurel Lujan from Skyline College. Tristan Carson was also the only recipient of the California Colleges for International Education (CCIE) Donald R. Culton Study Abroad Scholarship.


Scholarship Amount
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship $10,500
San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation $6,000
American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) $2,000
California Colleges for International Education (CCIE) $500
Total Scholarship Funding $19,000


Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  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.

Article and chart by Zaid Ghori | Photo by Emma Briones