Taking Her Studies Abroad
International Business Student Receives Prestigious Gilman Scholarship
By Mark Kramer
UHD student Veronica Gorostieta is ready to take on the world.
The junior International Business major is going to do just that as a newly named Gilman Scholar. Gorostieta is one of more than 300 students nationwide to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Study Abroad Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
She is the first University of Houston-Downtown recipient in three years, thanks to the pandemic halting international travel.
Her once-in-a-lifetime learning experience will begin at the start of the Fall semester as she heads overseas to Seoul, South Korea, to participate in projects at Kookmin University.
“It is an absolute honor to be a part of this prestigious program and be named a Gilman Scholar,” she said. “Without a doubt, I am thrilled to receive the support of Gilman to not only complete a one-of-a-kind project during my stay, but also give back to UHD upon my return.”
As an administrative intern working in UHD’s Study Abroad Office, Gorostieta became fascinated with the opportunities the Gilman Scholarship program provides. The scholarship program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad to provide them with skills critical to U.S. national security and economic prosperity. The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001.
“What drew me to this program was the fact that it encourages students to gain knowledge of other cultures and languages, which is often hard to do for students who are first-generation college students and minorities, like myself,” Gorostieta said.
Gorostieta’s stay in Korea will give her the opportunity to gain experience in her field of study and career path. “As an international business undergraduate, I want to acquire as many skills as possible to excel in my career, and I believe becoming well-versed in other countries’ customs and languages is essential,” she said. “My time studying abroad in Korea will help me build a strong foundation that will differentiate me from other international business majors when I graduate and join the workforce.”
While in Korea, Gorostieta will also participate in various volunteer activities.
“Throughout my life, I was always taught that we should help others and give back in whatever way we can,” she said. “By helping others not just at UHD, but in my community, I have come to understand the true meaning and value of service. The positive impact of simple actions like lending my skills and time to other people is truly the best reward.”
One of the most notable volunteer efforts Gorostieta helped organize at UHD this spring was a fundraiser to benefit those affected by the war in the Ukraine. “It personally helped me see that as long as there is a will to help others, it doesn’t matter where in the world you stand because anything is possible,” she said.
Gorostieta encourages her fellow students to apply for study abroad opportunities, including the Gilman Scholarship.
“Although studying abroad might seem like an unobtainable opportunity to many, it doesn’t have to be,” she said. “There are many options and paths to choose from depending on your personal needs. There are also plenty of resources out there to assist students regardless of background and financial status. Similarly, I hope others can learn from my experience and plan their own journey.”