“I was excited to find that the University of Pau offers courses that interest me such as film, literature and political science,” said Bristol. “Additionally, many foreigners from different countries attend the University of Pau, giving me the opportunity to make connections with students from all over the world.”

Bristol, from Mountain Lake, Minnesota, majors in English and minors in French Studies. She is one of the 2,800 American undergraduate students who received this prestigious scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Students compete on a national level and have to provide strong academic, personal and professional reasoning behind their study abroad program and location. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs.

“I believe that the opportunity to study abroad is the perfect way to study history, culture and language first-hand,” Bristol said. “Studying abroad will teach me about myself and fuel growth in my character.”

Bristol will live off-campus with a host family and looks forward to immersing herself in the French culture.

“Growing up in a small town in the Midwest made me curious about what other parts of the world must be like,” said Bristol. “I have always been interested in learning about new people, languages and cultures.”

After graduation, Bristol plans to apply to graduate school to specialize in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

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