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Set Flight to Morocco

One of the best opportunities available to college students is the chance to study abroad.  Unfortunately, many students are unable to take advantage of these trips because the expense of travel is too great. To encourage all students to go abroad, the Gilman International Study Abroad Scholarship funds students from across the country in their travels.  Honors Program student Nathan Carpenter (international studies, economics, and Arabic ’20) recently received a Gilman scholarship to support his upcoming trip to Morocco to work on his Arabic language skills.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to travel to Morocco and practice what I have learned in my Arabic classes first hand. The Arabic curriculum has also included a strong focus on the socio-cultural background of the language, and the practices of the Middle East and North Africa region,” he said.

Carpenter has studied Arabic for the entirety of his college career. He works closely with Professor Youssef Salhi, lecturer of Arabic.

“Undeniably, Mr. Carpenter is an extraordinary young man, full of initiative and driven by unquenchable thirst for knowledge. His class participation and exams’ results are most satisfactory and denote, on his part, a keen interest in the Arabic language and culture. It’s also important to mention that Mr. Carpenter is a member of the Arabic Club at Georgia Southern University and has been involved in organizing many events on campus such as Arabic Coffee Hour and Arabic Movie Night,” Salhi said.

Over eight hundred students applied for the Gilman International Study Abroad Scholarship and only three hundred were awarded. The Program gives students with limited financial means the opportunity to study abroad, while providing them with the necessary skills to maintain the United States’ national security and competitiveness in a global economy.

This scholarship requires a unique task upon returning to the United States. Carpenter must create a follow-on project to inspire students in his local community to study abroad. “My project will entail keeping a detailed multimedia account of the Morocco trip, submitting stories to several local newspapers, and (hopefully) presenting at the fall 2018 Study Abroad Fair. I will also be sharing a presentation about my experiences abroad with a local high school,” he said.

This year will mark Carpenter’s first time leaving the United States. He has the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with the Honors Alternative Break Trip, “Project Pura Vida.” He will also participate in the Georgia Southern University language immersion program in Seville, Spain before studying in Morocco.

Other than the normal study abroad obligations, such as classes and field trips around the country, Carpenter finds it important for students to look into study abroad programs for many reasons. “For one, it makes all the pictures and facts you have seen and read in textbooks real. It puts everything in an authentic perspective. Also, the ability to travel abroad helps you become a better student academically, as well as an engaged world-citizen” he said.


The University Honors Program works with all Georgia Southern University students interested in applying for internationally competitive scholarships like the Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship.


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