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Students receive Gilman Scholarship to study in Spain


Photo credit: Ronda DuTeil

 Gilman photo

Priscila Ortiz Guerra, left, and Maritza Guerrero

DENTON — Texas Woman’s University sophomores Maritza Guerrero and Priscila Ortiz Guerra are among an elite group of students chosen to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. They were awarded the Gilman Scholarship following a competitive selection process in which approximately 2,900 students submitted applications. This scholarship will help support Guerrero’s and Ortiz Guerra’s education abroad experiences in Spain this fall.

Guerrero, an education major from Fort Worth, is spending the fall 2015 semester in Seville, Spain. She has wanted to study abroad since she was a little girl. A visit to Mexico to see family exposed her to a different way of life, and ever since she has had the goal of living and studying in another part of the world.

“I think this experience will allow me to look at the world through a new lens. I’ll understand and know more. I think it will make me more independent and inspire me to teach abroad once I earn my degree,” she said.

Ortiz Guerra, a pre-nursing major from Princeton, Texas, is spending the fall 2015 semester in Valencia, Spain. When looking for the right study abroad program, she became interested in Spain after discovering the World Health Organization ranked Spain’s health care system 7th in the world.

“The university I am attending in Spain offers health science classes and Spanish for health professionals, so not only can I improve my Spanish, I can take classes related to nursing.”

Guerrero and Ortiz Guerra are both children of Mexican immigrants. They also are first-generation college students. Both say they have learned a great deal from organizing their education abroad experiences and applying for the Gilman Scholarship.

“I never thought I would win this scholarship, but I couldn’t have studied abroad without it. So my advice is just keep pressing on. Ask the Education Abroad office for help and don’t give up,” said Guerrero.

Ortiz Guerra added, “I’ve worked really hard to be able to study abroad, and it has taught me that I can come back and work really hard to finish my nursing degree.”

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers awards to undergraduates who might otherwise not participate in education abroad programs due to financial constraints. International study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State sponsors the program. For more information on the Gilman Scholarship, visit

Through TWU’s Education Abroad Programs, the university prepares students to be global citizens with the knowledge, skills and abilities to excel in learning, living and working in a diverse society. For more information, visit

Written by Annie Phillips

Director, Education Abroad Programs

page updated 5/9/2016 4:57 PM