WTAMU Student Wins Gilman Scholarship for Study in Japan

Jan. 25, 2016

CONTACT:    Laura Seals, 806-651-2587,

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129,

WTAMU Student Wins Gilman Scholarship for Study in Japan


CANYON, Texas—Trang Nguyen, a junior international business major at West Texas A&M University, will take a big step toward her goal of being a professional entrepreneur when she travels to Japan this spring as the recipient of a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Nguyen is one of approximately 800 American undergraduate students from 355 colleges and universities across the United States selected to receive the award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Nguyen’s Gilman scholarship study abroad experience will take her to Nagasaki, Japan, where she will study at Nagasaki Foreign Language University March 31 through Aug. 6.

"The university offers courses that will help with my business perception education by focusing on such matters as Japan’s foreign relations, Japan’s defense policy and security relations with the United States," Nguyen said. "The Japanese society course emphasizes an understanding of Japanese sociological perspective, neoliberal economic policies and globalization. I have worked hard with my adviser and the College of Business to find the best courses that will benefit me in my career path."

Nguyen graduated from Amarillo's Palo Duro High School in 2013 and started at WTAMU that fall. Her goal is to become a professional entrepreneur who will establish and make a significant impact on Vietnam’s tourism industry. She is passionate about Vietnam and wants to share its beauty, charm, culture and cuisine with people around the world.

"This study abroad opportunity has enabled me to pursue another chance to broaden my perception of the world," Nguyen said. "I am sure that I can confidently overcome any cultural or linguistic barriers. The process of applying to courses that count toward University credits has been a difficult challenge for me since business is not a common major to study abroad, but I know that study abroad will provide me various opportunities that can be applied toward my future."

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. It is designed for undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grant funds to help broaden their education through study abroad experiences. The recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies—making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.­

One requirement of a Gilman Scholarship is a follow-on service project after returning to the states. Nguyen is interested in helping and encouraging other students discover the value of study abroad and plans to volunteer at WTAMU’s study abroad office. She also plans to return to her alma mater, Palo Duro High School, to share her experience with students and let them know the importance of higher education. She will participate in College Fairs and Study Abroad Fairs to let students at WTAMU and Palo Duro High School know that opportunities are available for everyone.

For more information about the Gilman Scholarship or other competitive scholarships, contact Laura Seals at or call 806-651-2587 or visit the  in WTAMU’s Student Success Center.