Photo of Millennium Bridge with Saint Paul's Cathedral in the distance

Stories from Abroad

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Martina's Edinburgh Adventure

Martina Lin
Major: Business (Marketing)
Global Opportunities Abroad Leader
UCEAP in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh

I learned how to be more independent and resolve issues on my own. Being in a completely different surrounding with unfamiliar people helps you learn a lot about yourself and teaches you that you can thrive on your own even if you feel uncomfortable at first.

The question I get asked the most when it comes to my study abroad experience is ‘Why did you choose Scotland?’ The answer to that question is: it was kind of random but I’m so glad I decided to go there. Edinburgh, like the rest of Scotland, is beautiful. Most of the original buildings are still there, with the insides remodeled. From most of the city, you can see the over 500-year-old castle and hear bagpipers performing on the streets.

I loved living in another city because it allowed me to fully immerse myself to life in that culture. Everything from buying groceries at Tesco to shopping on Princes Street to walking up the Royal Mile or just meeting new people was a new adventure for me. I learned how to be more independent and resolve issues on my own. Being in a completely different surrounding with unfamiliar people helps you learn a lot about yourself and teaches you that you can thrive on your own even if you feel uncomfortable at first.

UCR student standing in front of University of Edinburgh

Deonte's Semester at Sea

Deonte' Lee
Major: Media and Cultural Studies and Studio Art
Participated in Semester at Sea (OAP)
Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member and ASPB volunteer

The first day on the ship reinforced my belief in myself as a low-income, first-generation college student determined to climb the social ladder and contribute to society. I not only thought about my success following the voyage, but also how I could help others believe in themselves and live their dreams.

The easiest description of my education abroad experience as a low income-first generation gay man is that it made my soul smile. I truly found my passion in doing street style photography around the world. I was especially inspired in Vietnam, Japan, and South Africa.

Receiving a scholarship lessened some of the stress related to my study abroad experience and it allowed me to go through the voyage without the mental hindrance of constantly thinking about how I was going to afford tuition. The scholarship gave me the mental freedom to take in every experience without having to think about arranging finances in the U.S.

Past and Present: Karla's Mediterranean Tour

Karla Bonilla
Major: Political Science and History
Global Opportunities Abroad Leader
FLEAP History program in Greece and OAP in Italy

Receiving a scholarship not only made my study abroad experience possible, but also helped me ensure that I could experience all that Greece has to offer (which is a lot!).

The scholarship let me worry less about finances, and focus more on my classes. The scholarship gave me the flexibility and freedom to explore and enjoy Greek culture.


Small group of UCR students in Greece

Theory Meets Practice in London: Nick's Statistics Journey

Nick Perez
Major: Mathematics
FLEAP Math program in London

Thanks to the Gilman scholarship, I was lucky enough to be a part of Professor David Weisbart's summer (FLEAP) program, Random Walks.

Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to participate in this amazing experience, visiting England, and would not have met awesome people from all around the world.

I loved our professor's contagious enthusiasm about math. I even began to get involved with math research!

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