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April 29, 2024

Start here, go anywhere across the world with JCCC

Second-year JCCC photography student Liberty Wheatley has studied Korean since she was 11. She visited South Korea briefly while in high school but dreamed about spending more time there. When she found out JCCC offered a six-week study abroad program in Seoul, she had to find a way to go.

Funds were tight, but Liberty found out the Gilman Scholarship – and other funding opportunities – could reduce the cost. “I was so surprised I got a Gilman Scholarship,” she says. “My family was really excited for me. It almost cut the cost in half.”

Study abroad: More than a classroom experience

During her summer study abroad, Liberty took classes in Korean and East Asian art history. Since she had taught herself Korean, she especially enjoyed learning the language in a class with others. She also enjoyed meeting study abroad classmates from across the world. “I learned as much from them as I did the classes.”

Liberty says having spent a year at JCCC definitely helped her navigate Yonsei University, where she studied. The experience taught her how to adapt to unexpected changes, as well as make connections with all kinds of people. She is amazed JCCC offers study abroad opportunities, which are often reserved for students at four-year institutions. During the 2022-23 school year, 133 JCCC students participated in a study abroad program.

Part of the requirement of the Gilman Scholarship is to do a follow-up project sharing your experience with the JCCC community. Liberty decided to do a photo exhibit showing how the scholarship helped her fulfill her dream of studying abroad. “I just told the story of my everyday life while I was there,” she says. “Although it was normal stuff, some of it was pretty fantastic since it was in Korea.”

Study abroad scholarships expand education

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides study abroad scholarships of up to $5,000 to students of limited financial means. According to Janette Jasperson, JCCC Coordinator of International Education, “Access to the Gilman Scholarship has given our students the courage to dream about studying abroad, something many of them might otherwise not have done.” JCCC ranks second among two-year institutions for the number of students awarded since the scholarship was founded in 2001. This school year, seven JCCC students received the prestigious scholarship.

Liberty is thankful the study abroad opportunity helped her fulfill a dream. It also planted a new one. “Someday, I want to do a study abroad in Thailand,” she adds.

Dream about studying abroad?

JCCC might have an opportunity for you! In addition to numerous study abroad trips each semester, JCCC’s main campus offers small class sizes, low tuition rates and helpful resources like FREE tutoring and a support team.

Apply today!