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ACU student awarded scholarship for Latin America study abroad

For immediate release
July 9, 2004

Abilene Christian University student Kyle Lagunas, a sophomore missions major from Menomonee Falls, Wis., has been selected as a Gilman Scholar by the Institute of International Education. Lagunas will study abroad in ACU's Montevideo, Uruguay, program during the fall of 2004.  As a part of his scholarship program, Lagunas will share his experience with a local Cub Scout troop.

In the application process for the scholarship, students are asked to propose a follow-up project related to peer education about study abroad and international education in the student’s community.  Scholars must complete the service project proposed in their application within six months of their return from studying abroad. 

For his project, Lagunas will encourage international education among the youth of Abilene by working with a Cub Scout Troop in Abilene.  Each month that he is in Montevideo, Lagunas will send a short video back to the troop showing them what he has learned through his experience abroad. 

"I plan on incorporating some Spanish vocabulary and teaching the scouts something of the people or of Montevideo in each video," Lagunas said.  "My plan is to document the things that you don't see on a postcard.  I will be taking pictures of the alleyways and the homeless along with the beautiful architecture and sites that Montevideo is known for.  I think that this real life approach to documentation will give youth a better understanding of the world around them."

When he returns, Lagunas will meet with the troop to discuss the videos, share souvenirs and pictures, and help the children experience the Uruguayan culture through food and crafts.  He also hopes to arrange for the troop to have pen-pals through the church at Montevideo. 

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is a congressionally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Each cycle, 192 awards with award value reaching $5000. 

Scholars of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program are chosen based on diversity, a purpose essay, follow-up on project proposal essay, academic progress and performance, fields of study, country of destination, U.S. institution and state distribution, length of study, and lack of previous undergraduate study abroad experience.

The study abroad program at ACU sends students to Oxford, England, and Montevideo, Uruguay, every semester as well as during the summer.      

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