July 08, 2013

Ortiz earns study abroad opportunity in Chile

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois University Carbondale student is among more than 850 students who will participate in an international study abroad program during the upcoming fall semester.

Edith Ortiz of Joliet, a junior in mathematic education, is a fall 2013 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient.  Beginning in August, Ortiz will spend nearly four months in Antofagasta, Chile, where she will attend classes at Catholic University of the North. Ortiz will leave

Ortiz, who is also pursuing a minor in Spanish, is the daughter of Jose and Santa Ortiz.  She is a 2011 graduate of Joliet West High School, and a 2011 SIU Chancellor’s Scholarship recipient.  Ortiz has been a part of the University’s Honors Program since fall 2011.

Ortiz said she is shocked, but very excited to be a Gilman International Scholarship recipient.  She explained that part of the scholarship requirement is a follow-up service project, and that she wants to use her study abroad experience to encourage others to become interested and pursue similar opportunities.  She said she is also hoping to do more work with the University’s Hispanic Resources Center, including holding a workshop and help Hispanic students who may be thinking about studying abroad.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides grants for students to pursue academic studies abroad to help prepare them for “significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world,” according to the organization’s website.

The congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and administered by the Institute of International Education.  More than 13,000 students have earned scholarships to study around the world since the program’s inception in 2001.  The program honors former U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-New York, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years before his retirement in 2002.