January 13, 2023

Two Susquehanna University students were awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, enabling them to study in Argentina and Australia in the spring 2023 semester.

Kaitlin Kovaschetz ’24, a Spanish studies and management double major with a minor in international studies, will study at La Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kovaschetz is from Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

Paige Smedira ’24, a biology major with minors in the honors program and health care studies, will study at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. Smedira is from Columbia, New Jersey.

Gilman scholars 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.

“The Gilman scholarship gives me the opportunity to study my Spanish on a different level,” Kovaschetz said. “I want to be a management consultant for businesses based out of South America. The connections I hope to gain from my Gilman experience will help get my foot in the door before I even graduate.”

In addition to studying in Australia, Smedira will be participating in a nursing internship.

“The internship is based at a nearby hospital, where I will gain the experience necessary to pursue an accelerated nursing program,” Smedira said. “This internship will put me one step closer to realizing my career aspiration — becoming a pediatric travel nurse.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables eligible U.S. students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, awarding up to $5,000 to apply to their program costs. The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001.

Of the total applicants across the country, only 25% of semester program applicants receive an award. More than 50 Susquehanna students have been awarded the scholarship since 2015. The university has a dedicated program in place to identify and mentor students throughout the application process for Gilman and other prestigious scholarships.