$2,000 Scholarship Helps Shoreline Student Study Abroad in Japan

Jennifer Brown sitting on Shoreline Community College Campus
Jennifer Brown received a Gilman Scholarship for Fall 2019
Gilman Scholarship logo

Right now, Jennifer Brown is living and learning in Tokyo, Japan, thanks in part to a $2,000 scholarship from the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a U.S. Department of State program. She’ll stay there all of fall quarter as part of a study abroad program, learning Japanese language and culture, creative writing, and digital photography.

Her interest in Japan, like that of many other people, began with the anime series she watched as a child, and continued into a fascination with video games. Now, she stays engaged with the culture in many ways, including attending lectures and serving as an assistant manager at SakuraCon, an anime convention held annually in Seattle.

Traditional Japanese paper lanterns light up a small lane full of shops in Tokyo.
Photo by Satoshi Hiroyama

Jennifer, a first-generation Mexican-American, grew up in San Diego. She was drawn to Seattle because of its cultural and economic connections to Japan. By earning a dual degree in Fine Arts and Japanese, she someday hopes to work for a company like Nintendo, whose U.S. headquarters are located near Seattle. She is also considering working in Japan, an option that she’ll learn about during her 10 weeks living in Tokyo.

After she arrived in Seattle, she began taking Japanese language classes at Shoreline with Mayumi Steinmetz. “I’ve gotten to really hone my language skills with her. She’s seen me since I couldn’t even muster one or two words to now, making conversation. If I could take my whole four years of Japanese with her, I would.”

Shibuya crossing at night, one of the busiest intersections in Tokyo, lined by tall buildings with large billboard advertisements and bright neon lights.

The Gilman Scholarship is named for late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, who supported the program’s establishment and served as Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee. According to the program’s website, “A Gilman Scholarship enables American students to gain proficiency in diverse languages and cultures, skills that are critically important to their academic and career development.”

To learn about scholarships and study abroad opportunities at Shoreline, contact studyabroad@shoreline.edu or stop by the International Education department in room 9302.

How a Shoreline Student Got Thousands of Dollars to Study Abroad

Growing up in Yakima and working on his uncle’s fruit farm, Logan Gamache did not think that he would one day travel to Cape Town, South Africa. Logan said, “I definitely would not have the opportunity to go without Shoreline.”

Logan Gamache photo by Rylan Good

This summer, Logan, along with other students and faculty from Shoreline, will do just that. They will study issues of social justice, equity, and communications, as well as learning about local history and culture. He is able to do this thanks to a $2,500 scholarship he received to help pay for the program.

Logan attended an information session on the program with Dr. Ernest Johnson, who is leading the South Africa program along with Dr. Elena Esquibel. At the session, Dr. Johnson shared a list of scholarships for studying abroad. Logan found out that, because he receives a Pell Grant, he was eligible to apply for the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to help students pay for study abroad programs.

Cape Town, with Table Mountain in the background

After writing a couple of essays and a few months of waiting, Logan was notified that he would be receiving a $2,500 scholarship. He was the only student from a two-year college in Washington State to receive funding from the Gilman Scholarship for this application cycle.

So far, Logan has only traveled to Canada and Mexico. The farthest he’s ever flown is from Florida to Washington, which takes less than six hours. To get to Cape Town, he’ll be taking two back-to-back flights of more than ten hours each. He’s excited to explore a place so far away and so different from home.

Aside from the academic portion of the program, which Logan believes will be useful in the travel and tech industries he hopes to work in, he is looking forward to climbing the iconic Table Mountain and seeing breathtaking views of Cape Town.

As a player on Shoreline’s men’s soccer team, he will unfortunately have to miss a significant part of next year’s season, but this study abroad program funded almost entirely by scholarships is “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” according to Logan, and couldn’t be passed up.

Since 2012, sixteen Shoreline students have received the Gilman Scholarship. In recent years, even though this is a very prestigious scholarship, about 50% of Shoreline students who have applied have received funding. If you or someone you know wants to learn more about studying abroad and scholarships, contact Cory Anthony in the International Education department at canthony@shoreline.edu or stop by his office in PUB 9302.