Campus & Community

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Gives Pell Grant Students a Chance to Go Abroad

The scholarship supports students who might not otherwise be able to study internationally

“I enjoyed just about every moment while studying in Yokohama, Tokyo — from slurping ramen in tiny restaurants, exploring old villages in a kimono and climbing all the way to the top of Mount Fuji.”

— Katherine Shagalov ’24

Study abroad offers students the opportunity to become global citizens: to learn from academic and industry experts across the world, immerse themselves in new cultures and achieve the academic and research excellence characteristic of a Stevens education. Often, however, these programs come with a hefty price tag. The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship makes study abroad opportunities more accessible to Stevens students, awarding full scholarships to selected Pell Grant recipients.

Thanks to this financial support, Gilman Scholars can participate in traditional study abroad, virtual study abroad opportunities and foreign internship programs. The scholarship includes tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, airfare and passport and visa fees. Even more, these scholarships liberate students from financial constraints, allowing them to prioritize their learning — developing advanced language skills, earning credits towards degree completion and gaining distinctive professional experience. To qualify for a Gilman Scholarship, students must be recipients of the Federal Pell Grant and submit an application and three support essays.

Shagalov ’24 in a traditional Japanese kimonoKatherine Shagalov ’24 in a traditional Japanese kimono.Computer science major Katherine Shagalov was awarded a Gilman Scholarship in 2023 and spent her summer in Yokohama, Tokyo, where she interned at AR’S, an engineering company that specializes in sensor systems and embedded technologies. Shagalov’s work was in embedded software with serial communication and Bluetooth technology.

Shagalov also found time to engage in social and cultural activities. “Some of my best memories include exploring the different neighborhoods of Tokyo, stumbling on traditional cultural festivals and having long discussions filled with career advice with my supervisor,” Shagalov recalls. Now back in Hoboken, even her daily commute to AR’S is a treasured memory. “It was special watching the Tokyo skyscrapers transform into open fields and rivers before rising back up again into the beautiful waterfront business district of Yokohama,” she says.

Two additional Stevens students received Gilman Scholarships in 2022–23: Angel Segura ’24 and Grace Lee ’24.

Segura, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, studied satellite design and honed his German language skills while in residence at the Technical Institute of Berlin. Satellite design, Segura notes, “closely aligns with the automotive industry … there is a lot of design work involving CAD software and thermodynamics, [and the] course felt most relevant to what I want to do in the future.” Gwangjang food marketA scene from Gwangjang Market taken by Grace Lee ’24 in Seoul, South Korea.

Lee, a business and technology major, spent her winter break taking two courses at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea: marketing and managerial accounting. “I’ve always wanted to go to Asia and learn more about how the Korean educational system works and gain a better understanding of different people and cultures,” Lee says.

During her time in Korea, Lee grew especially fond of the local culture and residents. “The people were really welcoming,” she says. “I didn’t feel like an outsider, even though I didn’t speak any Korean.” She immersed herself in cultural activities — from “exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace in a traditional hanbok … to visiting the oldest and largest Gwangjang Market.” She notes that her time abroad made her much more open to new experiences, including opportunities here at Stevens.

Since the Office of International Programs' establishment in 2014, 11 Stevens students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships. For more information on Gilman Scholarships and study abroad opportunities, visit the Office of International Programs.