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Drew University Student Earns Study Abroad Scholarship

Jen Arias C’25 will use a Gilman Scholarship to study psychology in Spain

June 2024 – Jen Arias C’25 will spend a semester of her senior year at Drew University studying psychology in Spain thanks in part to a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.

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Arias received the 2024 Thomas D. Sayles Award for Outstanding Service to the Community

Arias, a psychology and Spanish double major and statistics minor, submitted multiple essays to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs office, and was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Arias will use the funds to take part in IES Abroad’s psychology program in Salamanca, Spain, through Drew’s partnership with the organization.

“I see this as an invaluable opportunity to work on learning psychology concepts while communicating and contributing in Spanish, a crucial skill for my career goals and something I could never fully capture without studying abroad,” said Arias, who will have a chance to expand the use of her first language.

“Being able to utilize Spanish in ways that are not the norm in the U.S., like as my main language in stores and restaurants, and to academically expand on it, will be greatly fulfilling both as a person and a student. I am also excited to engage with cultures and customs completely unlike my own and unlike what I have been previously able to see and do, this will be my first time traveling to Europe and I plan to make the absolute most of it.”

The study abroad experience will be an opportunity for Arias to put research she’s done at Drew into perspective.

“At Drew, I have researched how emotional perception varies among English-Spanish bilinguals and how heritage speakers of Spanish in the U.S. report feeling comfortable expressing themselves. I am hoping to relate it all back to talk therapy approaches in my future education and career in the mental health field. As a researcher, I am certain this experience will deepen my understanding of the role language plays in our interactions as people.”

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