Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whitworth student awarded international scholarship to study in Hong Kong

The highly competitive Gilman Scholarship Program received more than 2,600 applicants nationwide for its spring 2013 scholarships. Whitworth junior Minh Trang Nguyen was the recipient of a $3,000 Gilman International Scholarship, which she will use to study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong this spring.

“I was so surprised and, of course, so happy when I learned that I won the Gilman International Scholarship,” says Nguyen. “I know studying abroad in another country won’t be easy, but this scholarship provides a huge opportunity for me.”

While in Hong Kong, Nguyen will continue her studies in engineering and complete two of her general education requirements. She looks forward to experiencing a different culture and learning to speak Mandarin.


“The study-abroad program gives me the opportunity to understand a different worldview and ideology,” says Nguyen. “I have been researching Hong Kong, and I already like this place where everyone works hard to create a better world. Hong Kong is strongly influenced by the collectivist culture and has a tightly knit community.”

Nguyen sees this study-abroad program as a chance to grow in her independence, her understanding of other cultural perspectives and her global connections.

Nguyen majors in applied physics and is involved in several campus activities, including the International Club, the Sci-Fi Club and the Whitworth Catholic Fellowship. She also works as a physics lab teaching assistant.

“Whenever I am in another country, the longer I stay the more I value my time at Whitworth and the people there,” says Nguyen.

After graduation, Nguyen plans on earning her master’s degree in aerospace engineering and eventually working for NASA, specifically in its electrical systems.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, a congressionally funded program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) through IIE’s office in Houston, Texas. The Gilman Scholarship Program offers U.S. undergraduate students grants of up to $5,000 to participate in study-abroad programs. Students studying a critical-need language could receive a grant of up to $8,000.

The Gilman Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise be unable to study abroad due to financial constraints.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.