Claremont, Calif. (May 10, 2017)—Pitzer College student Victoria Hernandez ’18 has been awarded a 2017 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this spring semester at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. The Gilman Scholarship seeks to strengthen intercultural understanding and prepare undergraduates for a global economy by increasing the number of students who can study abroad.
An art history major, Hernandez said she chose to study in the Netherlands because of the country’s “vast, experimental art and design scene.”
“The accessibility to museums, galleries and street art is essential for me to deepen my knowledge,” she said.
She also wanted to learn more about issues of race, class and gender in Northern Europe and experience life in a country 237 times smaller than the US.
“Studying abroad is crucial because it challenges preconceived notions about oneself and others,” Hernandez said. “Simple, mundane activities turn into daily adventures and frustrations. Empathy, acceptance and patience become your existence. Learning does not exclusively happen through textbooks: some lessons can only be learned through discussions, tasting unknown foods, getting lost in new terrains, learning to speak a foreign language, and listening.”
In addition to taking classes at Tilburg University, Hernandez is interning at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where she is collecting copyright-related information to help improve the long-term accessibility of video art in Dutch museum collections.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program supports US undergraduates who might otherwise not study abroad due to financial constraints. For the 2016-17 academic year, more than 2,900 American undergraduate students will be awarded Gilman International Scholarships, which are sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education.