I studied abroad in summer 2019 for four weeks through the USF in London program. As a public health major, I had the exciting opportunity to take two required public health classes, Intro to Epidemiology and Public Health in London. Studying abroad has always been something I was interested in, but I never thought it would become reality. Before my trip, I was terrified about going since I did not know anyone on the trip and had never traveled by myself. I’m glad I got over my fear and went because I met amazing people and had the time of my life.
In addition to the engaging courses, I got the chance to live in another country and immerse myself in their culture. It was a life changing experience that helped me become more independent and confident. Studying abroad has been my favorite experience of college and I would recommend it to anyone.
The USF in London program comes with an expensive price tag - around $5,000 - that scared me and almost made me not apply. Thankfully, I heard about the Office of National Scholarships (ONS) and was introduced to Lauren Bartshe, who helped me apply to the Gilman Scholarship. When reading about the Gilman scholarship, it might look like a lot: the scholarship requires two essays, one about your plans for your time abroad and why you deserve the scholarship and the other about project to help promote studying abroad. But I want to reassure you that the ONS advisors help you the whole way and make sure you submit the best application that you can. I only had to meet with my advisor about three times, but I received the best feedback. I knew the office actually cared about preparing me to win the scholarship. The time commitment required to write strong essays is definitely worth it. The support I received from the Gilman Scholarship made my trip affordable.
It’s also important to check out other scholarships and funding opportunities from USF. For my program, I was awarded an “early bird” scholarship from USF just by committing to my program early. USF also offers other study abroad scholarships that only require you to fill out a simple application. My main point that I want to get across is that studying abroad is possible if you take advantage of the amazing opportunities at USF. If you receive a Pell Grant, I urge you to get in contact with the Office of National Scholarships to apply for the Gilman Scholarship and prepare for an experience of a lifetime!