Skip to content

Juniors Earn Gilman Scholarships


By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: July 15, 2014

Four Boston College rising juniors will participate in study-abroad programs this fall — traveling to Ecuador, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Austria — through prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. A fifth student was selected as an alternate.

Also via Gilman awards, two members of the Class of 2015 were selected for summer grants to study in Cambodia and Ireland, and a third student was chosen as an alternate for study in Italy.

“It is an accomplishment that 65 percent of those who applied were awarded the Gilman scholarship,” said Christina D. Hatzipetros, assistant director for international development in BC’s Office of International Programs. “As results come out for 2014-15, we are proud to see more BC student recipients of this competitive award.

“In an increasingly global workplace, employers look for students who can communicate and work successfully in an international environment. At the Office of International Programs we are deeply committed to providing personalized guidance to ensure that students of all backgrounds and academic interests have an opportunity to study abroad.”

Gilman Scholars receive from $2,500 to $5,000 to apply towards their study-abroad program costs. The program aims to diversify the population of students who study abroad, and the countries and regions to which they travel, by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate in these opportunities due to financial constraints.

This year’s BC Gilman Scholars and their destinations are: Amilia James, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; Ha Rim Kim, University College London, United Kingdom; Joanna Saikali, Bocconi University, Italy; Elizabeth Cai, University of Vienna, Austria. [Alternate Tedros Alemayehu applied to study at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.]

“I know that my time in Italy will give me everything I am hoping for and I am so grateful to have this opportunity,” said Saikali, a mathematics major with minors in economics and computer science.

“As eager as I am to study economics at a leading European university, the cultural experience means so much more,” she added.

“Italian language and culture have been passions of mine since middle school, as I learned the language with the same small community of friends up until AP Italian in my senior year [of high school]. My talents and love for Italian made me determined to travel to Italy in my undergraduate career, and I really feel like the experience will help me open up and become the well-rounded person that I want to be.”

As part of the Gilman application process, students are required to submit a follow-up project proposal, for completion on campus when they return from their international study programs.

The program received more than 2,700 applications for the fall 2014 semester and 2014-15 academic year; some 800 US undergraduate students were selected to receive the prestigious awards, sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education.   

Participants have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — which makes them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector. For more on the Gilman Scholarships, see

In addition to study-abroad opportunities funded by Gilman awards, 28 travel grants were awarded through BC’s McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Studies to Summer 2014 program participants, as well as 69 grants to undergraduates who will study abroad through Boston College programs during the 2014-15 academic year.