Expanding Access to Education Abroad

Gilman Scholarship

Fifty-two percent of Babson’s undergraduate Class of 2018 participated in a credit-bearing education abroad experience. That’s an average increase of 10 percent year over year since 2005.

What’s even more impressive than the number of students who study abroad? The diversity of those students. Such diversity has earned Babson recognition by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship—a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Bringing Access and Affordability to Education Abroad

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad.

This year, the Gilman program named Babson’s Glavin Office of Multicultural and International Education a “Top Producer of Racial Ethnic Minority Students” during the 2017–2018 academic year. Babson was honored at the Diversity Abroad Conference in Boston on March 5, 2019.

The goal of the Gilman Scholarship is to diversify education abroad, enabling access for students who have been historically underrepresented in these programs, thereby allowing more students to develop the intercultural competencies necessary to succeed in a more diverse and global workforce.

“Our collaboration with the Student Financial Services office has been paramount in this accomplishment,” said Andrea Wiley, senior advisor of education abroad at Babson College. “Via targeted emails to Pell Grant recipients, workshops with education abroad and financial aid advisors, and engagement with past student participants, applicants better understand the true costs of education abroad, but better yet, the resources available to them. This way, the opportunity becomes much more tangible and achievable.”

Diversity Abroad Conference
From left to right: John Crisafulli, Associate Director, Education Abroad; Amir Reza, Dean, Babson Academy and Global Education Andrea Wiley, Senior Education Abroad Advisor; Lauren (Lo) Chow, Education Abroad Advisor; Lorien Romito, Director, Education Abroad

A Gilman Scholar-Turned-Global Citizen

In 2017, Aidan Dennis ’19 was awarded a Gilman Scholarship and used it to travel to Argentina and Chile.

“What an experience,” he said. “From that one term abroad, I learned so much about myself and what I want to do with my life.”

Humbled by living with a host family and having to adapt to a new culture, Dennis decided to dive right in, interact with the locals, and work on his language skills.

“I learned a lot about race and identity while I was abroad. I realized that being black and American is confusing in South America. I enjoyed breaking down related stereotypes—both theirs and my own.”

Since returning from his semester abroad, Dennis has used his experience to get ahead academically and professionally.

“When I interviewed for my current internship at Wayfair, I shared a lot about what my experience taught me from an international business relations perspective. I want to work with international clients and travel the world for business. I’m launching my career back at Wayfair as a marketing analyst and am excited to see where it takes me.”

Education Abroad at Babson

In the last five years alone, 32 Babson students like Dennis have received the Gilman Scholarship, earning just about $100,000 in scholarship funding.

The national acceptance rate for this scholarship ranges between 27 to 30 percent, while Babson’s average acceptance rate is 34 percent.

“We are proud to earn this award, as it means that Babson’s education abroad efforts mirror the diversity of our undergraduate student body . . . which is not the national trend,” said Lorien Romito, director of education abroad at Babson.

During the 2017–2018 academic year, 43 percent of Babson’s Gilman program applicants were given scholarships—13 in total.

“We want to ensure that all students at Babson feel that education abroad is both tangible and affordable. We are committed to ensuring that accessibility permeates throughout the student body and brings forth highly qualified, Gilman-eligible students from various backgrounds,” said Wiley.

A recent study conducted by the Glavin Office and Hoffman Family Center for Undergraduate Career Development shows that Babson students who study abroad are more likely to be employed six months after graduation than those who did not study abroad.

Additionally, education abroad participants are engaging in internships at a higher rate and are just as likely to land a job in their desired field of study as those who do not study abroad.

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