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The Gilman Helped My Daughter Study Abroad

Written by: Courtney’s mom, Nicola Hurst

When Courtney first told me that she wanted to study abroad I thought to myself no way. But the more she began to explain how study abroad would help her in her educational career it didn’t sound too bad. Furthermore, Courtney was able to find resources on campus that were willing to help her find financial resources to cover the study abroad trip.

Courtney told me about the Gilman scholarship and how she was going to apply and how competitive the scholarship was. I told her to go for it and give it a try and try to win the scholarship. A few weeks or maybe months had passed by and she was beginning to get discouraged about being able to afford the study abroad trip. Courtney even withdrew her application until she got a call from the KIIS office letting her know that she had won the Gilman and asking why she was canceling her application. As a parent, who could not necessarily afford for a study abroad trip, the Gilman was a blessing for my daughter.

As Courtney prepared to leave the country, she learned a lot during that process. She met friends at the KIIS orientation and started to learn more about the country Costa Rica that she would be in for 4 to 5 weeks. This study abroad trip was one of the best things that could’ve happened to my daughter. She comes from the inner city of Louisville and has not seen much of the world and this trip allowed her to grow educationally and personally. Educationally this trip helped Courtney see that there are different ways to learn especially outside of the classroom and challenged her to try and take different courses that she would have never have taken before. She met lifelong friends and mentors on the KIIS trip to Costa Rica.

If I could tell any other parent one thing their child should do in college it would be to study abroad. Those credits even helped her graduate on time.

Picture Quote from Courtney: I hiked a trail along the Volcano Arenal. This is an active volcano in Costa Rica but has not had a major eruption since 1968. 


Courtney Hurst

KIIS Costa Rica
Western Kentucky University

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