News Story

January 04, 2017

La Roche Student Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 4, 2017 – Shai Wudkwych, a junior at La Roche College, is one of 850 undergraduate students from 359 colleges and universities across the U.S. to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the scholarship enables U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies, or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Ms. Wudkwych, a chemistry and mathematics major, will spend the spring 2017 semester at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of the heritage, culture and values associated with China. I also look forward to learning about the different leadership styles in China in order to gain strengthen my own leadership skills,” Ms. Wudkwych said.

The semester abroad will not be Ms. Wudkwych’s first time overseas. Originally from MacDonald, Pa. and a graduate of Cannon McMillan High School, she previously traveled to France and England through La Roche’s Study Abroad+Study USA program. She also visited China in the summer of 2015.

“I want to study abroad because I have always wanted to explore different cultures,” she explained. “I want to experience a different education system, and I desire to expand my horizons.”

Ms. Wudkwych added that the Gilman Scholarship offered the opportunity for her to choose the destination of her study abroad experience. “What attracted me was the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s unique college system and the fact that they are bilingual. The courses are taught both in Chinese and English, which won’t be very difficult for me because my first language is Chinese.”

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will study abroad or participate in an 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 private sector.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, stated, “Study abroad is 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. 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.”

The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources.

La Roche encourages its students to enhance their education by studying abroad. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit through traditional study abroad programs, or through the College’s signature Study Abroad+Study USA program, which offers short-term travel courses included in the cost of tuition. Approximately 54 percent of the 2015 graduating class participated in Study Abroad+Study USA.

About La Roche College: A private liberal arts college in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs and one doctoral program, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential college provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,500 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche College embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche College educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.