Willamette student earns scholarship to study abroad in Ecuador for six months

Rebecca Taylor ’13 has been awarded a $4,500 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Quito, Ecuador.

The Gilman scholarship program offers study-abroad grants to U.S. undergraduate students who receive Pell grants for financial need.

Taylor’s scholarship will allow her to study in Quito while living with a host family.

“I am enthusiastic about sharing six months of my life with (my homestay family), and them with me,” Taylor says. “I intend to converse, listen, learn, watch, play and exchange upbringings and traditions with my family, in Spanish.”

The Gilman Scholarship has a competitive selection process that requires applicants to complete multiple steps within strict deadlines. Taylor —an anthropology major and religious studies minor— says applying for the scholarship took a large amount of time, and she is thankful for the dedication and help of Willamette professors and staff throughout the application process.

Taylor’s application was strengthened by her strong record of community service and campus involvement. On campus, Taylor works for the Office of Community Service Learning and has mentored through the Mosaic Mentoring program. She is a member of Willamette’s women’s a capella group, UpTop, and she has worked as a Jump Start leader for the New Student Orientation to Community Outreach program.

Taylor also has been involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the annual Lu‘au, Willamette Dance Company and several intramural sports.

Taylor says she plans to take advantage of this unique opportunity to immerse herself in the culture of Ecuador.

“The Gilman Scholarship will enable me to be financially secure while I am abroad, allowing me to see more, do more and learn more within a new and culturally diverse atmosphere unlike anything I have ever experienced before,” she says.

For more information about this and other student scholarships, see the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards, and for more information about study-abroad programs, see the Office of International Education.