Campus Life

UWF student receives prestigious Gilman international study abroad scholarship

A University of West Florida student was recently named the recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which awards up to $5,000 to fund a study abroad experience. Joseph Smith, a junior international studies and finance major, will study abroad in Morocco during the Spring 2015 semester through the International Studies Abroad program.

Smith received the full award amount and was also selected to receive a supplemental award for students planning to study a critical need language. He plans to study Arabic during his semester abroad, in addition to courses studying Moroccan culture.

“Receiving this award will greatly impact my college experience by allowing me the opportunity to advance myself in language study, which I know is critical in today’s job market,” Smith said. “Learning new languages and cultures is interdisciplinary and can enhance all areas of study in a college education.”

In the future, Smith, a first-generation student, plans to pursue a career in public international law, working for an organization such as the United Nations, NATO, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group or more.

Previous Gilman Scholarship recipients from UWF include alumna Denisha Merriweather, who completed an internship in the Dominican Republic during the Summer 2014 semester, and senior Jennifer Kelly, who completed an internship and studied in Italy this fall.

“Living and learning abroad are life-changing experiences,” said Dr. Angela McCorvey, associate vice president for international education and programs at UWF. ” These UWF recipients are proof that extending your reach and expanding your educational options is worth the effort. Joseph will be an exceptional representative of UWF during his travels to and from Morocco.”

The scholarship, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education, was awarded to 800 undergraduate students from 356 colleges and universities across the U.S. this year. The program aims to diversify students who study abroad, as well as the countries and regions they visit. The scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

For additional information about the Gilman Scholarship, visit

To learn more about study abroad opportunities offered to UWF students, visit