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Undergrad set to study in Spain this summer

Skyla Rijos, a senior industrial engineering major at UIC

Skyla Rijos, a senior industrial engineering major from Stickney, Illinois, is headed to Barcelona, Spain, this summer to study.

“Finding out I received the Gilman Scholarship was truly a heart-stopping moment,” she said. “I remember feeling deeply appreciative and overjoyed because it meant my dream of studying abroad would finally come to fruition.”

Rijos is one of four UIC undergraduate students to receive the U.S. State Department Benjamin A. Gilman scholarships. She is among more than 1,700 undergraduate students from more than 500 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected for the honor.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, aims to diversify the group of students who study abroad and their destinations. To be eligible for the award, students must demonstrate financial need by receiving a federal Pell Grant for their studies. Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs.

“I’m very much looking forward to expanding my horizons and developing a better understanding of the world around me,” she said. “Once I graduate, I’d like for my work to carry me across seas, so this is truly a wonderful opportunity to enrich myself as a person and upcoming engineer.”

Rijos’ career goal is to provide sustainable solutions that better the human experience and she plans to start by making meaningful connections during her travels.

More information about study abroad and scholarship opportunities is available from the UIC Study Abroad Office.