Two UAB students take spring studies abroad through Gilman Scholarship

Ali Beydoun and Lola Diaz will spend the semester studying abroad through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Written by: Tiffany Westry

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gilman scholars 2018Ali Beydoun, left, and Lola DiazUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham juniors Ali Beydoun and Lola Diaz are among 1,000 undergraduate students from more than 350 colleges and universities across the United States selected to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program aims to make study abroad experiences accessible to a more diverse population of students, and to encourage students to choose less traditional study abroad destinations. It also gives students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles in government and the private sector.

Beydoun, of Detroit, Michigan, is a chemistry major in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. He will spend the semester studying at the University of Oslo in Norway.

“Studying at the University of Oslo will help me connect with people from around the world,” Beydoun said. “It is a large, highly ranked international research institution. It is my hope that the opportunities to work with a wide variety of people and conduct research there will help me build my resume and make me a stronger candidate for medical school.”

Diaz, of Alabaster, Alabama, is a management major in the Collat School of Business. She will study at the University of Hull in England. Diaz has an interest in corporate law and serves treasurer of the Pre-Law Society of UAB. 

“I chose England because it thrives in the business sector,” Diaz said. “While abroad, I will pursue studies in international business and law. I hope to travel to business districts in London and Manchester as well. I am looking forward to learning more about the culture.” 

Students are selected for the Gilman Scholarship through a highly competitive application process. The program receives more than 10,000 applications each year and awards about 2,500 scholarships. Gilman scholars are awarded up to $5,000 toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to support students who traditionally have been underrepresented in education abroad, including, but not limited to, students with high financial need, first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, students from diverse ethnic backgrounds and students with disabilities.