Two Southwestern students have been awarded Benjamin Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this summer and fall. Sierra Burton ’22 plans to use her scholarship to study abroad with SU European Cultural Explorations in Summer 2022 and Suleman Khan ’25 plans to use his scholarship to study abroad in Japan in Fall 2022 with ISEP. 

Sierra Burton '22 Sierra Burton ’22Burton said she was “ecstatic” to hear the news that she had received a Gilman scholarship.

“Since the beginning of my senior year in high school, I have applied to over 200 scholarships,” said Burton. “The Gilman Award is the first national and prestigious award that I have been granted, so it was especially gratifying for me to receive it.”

Khan echoed Burton’s enthusiasm. 

“I feel extremely happy, excited, and grateful I received this scholarship because it lessened my financial burden and further solidified my intention of studying abroad,” he said. “I feel more at ease now that I am not too worried about paying for it.”

Khan, a business major, specifically chose to study abroad in Japan. 

“[Japan] ranks third on the world economic stage, and boasts some of the top business universities in the world. Therefore it only makes sense that I focus on business management and economics while abroad.”

Both Burton and Khan are looking forward to their time abroad. Burton, who is studying abroad as part of SU’s European Cultural Exploration program, will get to experience Spain, Italy, and Hungary with other SU students while taking communication and psychology courses from SU professors. 

“I am most looking forward to stepping outside of the W.E.I.R.D (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) realm of psychology,” said Burton. “I have never been outside of the United States, so this program will give me the opportunity to be considered a foreigner for the first time in my life. Having that experience as a foreigner and going to places where my language is not the predominant one, is especially intriguing to me.”

Burton is also excited about getting to learn from Associate Professor of Psychology Erin Crockett again. 

“I met her through taking her Inquiry-Based Research Methods course in the fall of 2020, so traveling with someone who is as knowledgeable and as caring as her will make the experience abroad all that much more enjoyable,” she said. 

Suleman Khan '25 Suleman Khan ’25Khan, who is participating in ISEP’s Japan program, will be studying in Tokyo this fall. He, like Burton, is also looking forward to meeting people from different backgrounds.  

“What I most look forward to while studying abroad is meeting people from various backgrounds, and my personal growth as I conquer new challenges,” Khan said. “I am eager to see the results of this adventure, as I have never experienced something like this before. Not to mention how awesome it [is going to] be to live in Tokyo for five months. Dream come true!”

About the Gilman Scholarship

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and administered by the Institute of International Education. It serves to encourage U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Students are encouraged to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, in particular, areas outside of Western Europe and Australia.

For more information about Study Abroad opportunities with SU, visit the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services