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Honors student awarded Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for study abroad

Honors student awarded Benjamin Gilman Scholarship for study abroad

For Immediate Release
Sep. 13, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College junior and Harrison Honors Scholar Ayda Fisher has received a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for her studies abroad in Japan for the 2017-18 academic year.

Fisher, a theatre major from Flintstone, Ga., is studying on a BSC exchange program at Kansai Gaidai University that offers interdisciplinary courses focused on Asian studies and Japanese. She received the award due in part to her chosen location, duration of study, and commitment to studying Japanese.

The Gilman Scholarship Program, administered by Institute of International Education, encourages students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and regions, and to study languages, especially those deemed important to national security. By supporting undergraduate students with high financial need, the program has supported students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and students coming from U.S. states with less study-abroad participation.

Gilman, who died in December of 2016, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. He believed study abroad was 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,” he said. “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.”