$3,500 Gilman Scholarship Winner: Austyn Dagen

Gilman Scholarship Winner
January 21, 2020

Scholarships for studying abroad are right at your fingertips. UMD student, Austyn Dagen, received a $3,500 award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The scholarship can award applicants up to $5,000.

“I can’t wait to do things I have never done before, like snorkeling off Rottnest Island and walking through the ancient Pinnacles Desert.”

 Austyn Dagen is pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering and minoring in American Indian Studies. Austyn is from small-town northern Minnesota and will soon be embarking on a journey to Curtin, Australia. She, like many students, is growing eager to study abroad. 

When asking Austyn about when she knew she wanted to study abroad she replied with “I knew that I wanted to study abroad when I traveled to California after graduating high school. I realized that there is so much to this world that I have not experienced or seen yet. I researched and knew that studying abroad would help me see the world and make memories I probably would never have the opportunity of making if I did not go. I decided where I wanted to study abroad after attending a study abroad panel and listening to a student’s presentation on her time abroad in Australia.” 

Through her experience abroad, Austyn hopes to gain a sense of independence. With independence, she aspires to be “better at handling unforeseen situations and gain a stronger knowledge of others by meeting a more diverse range of people”. Studying abroad is a life-altering experience that helps students grow and develop who they are. Along the way, students have the opportunity to explore, learn, develop, and make memories, unlike others. Austyn looks forward to the new experiences she will encounter. “I can’t wait to do things I have never done before, like snorkeling off Rottnest Island and walking through the ancient Pinnacles Desert.”

All of this excitement is further gratified from the $3,500 award she received from the Gilman Scholarship. Any scholarship is a major financial advantage for students studying abroad and Austyn was well deserving. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship process was not challenging, Austyn remarks, it did, however, take some time to complete. “I am very thankful to have been awarded this scholarship. I did not know much about the scholarship, but I am grateful that Gilman believed that students who study abroad have more opportunity to share world experiences that makes them stronger and more valuable in the workplace.” 

For those interested in applying for the Benjamin A. Gilman, or other scholarships, Austyn recommends giving yourself plenty of time to complete the scholarship. She also made an appointment with a graduate student at UMD’s Writing Workshop in the library who helped her greatly by deciphering her career and long-term goals. If you are still looking for scholarships to put towards your study abroad experience the study abroad office May or summer scholarship deadline is February 16th. For more details on this scholarship, and others, please check out the UMD Study Abroad Scholarship Page

Congratulations, Austyn! We wish you the best of times on your journey abroad!