UPDATE: On March 17, Lauren Rauseo, a current Stonehill College junior, was in a bicycle accident in Spain while studying abroad. Campus Ministry recently held a Mass to offer prayers for her healing. The Stonehill College community is praying for Lauren’s full recovery and offers support to her family.

The U.S. Department of State’s competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program recently awarded Lauren Rauseo ’25 a grant totaling $3,000. These funds are being used to support the Stonehill junior’s study abroad experience, taking place in Paris, France, during the spring 2024 semester. 

“Receiving this scholarship means the world to me. This aid allows me to fully enjoy this opportunity without having to worry about finances,” said Rauseo, an English and communication double major from Londonderry, New Hampshire. 

The Gilman Scholarship is managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which works to promote peaceful relations between the United States and other nations. Named after the late congressman from New York who chaired the Committee on International Relations, the scholarship was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. The program aims to help students develop leadership and professional skills, language abilities, and knowledge of the world while also broadening the locations where they study and intern abroad.  

Lauren Rauseo '25 in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Lauren Rauseo '25 in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Approximately 1 in 4 Gilman Scholarship applicants are selected to receive the scholarship. This academic year, the program will award only 3,000 scholarships to students across the United States. 

“I previously served as an advisor to the Gilman program. I was responsible for reviewing essays submitted by applicants. I can say from experience that the application process is very extensive. Students pour their hearts into their essays,” said Hillary Sabbagh, director of international programs at Stonehill College. “I am so happy to see that Lauren’s hard work has paid off. The fact that she received this award is an incredible honor.” 

While abroad, Rauseo has been attending classes, through which she has been working to refine her knowledge of the French language. She is currently living with a host family and another student from Tennessee. Rauseo said living in another country has allowed her to expand her horizons. 

“I believe studying abroad is helping me become a more worldly individual,” she said. “I am meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds and being exposed to new languages and cultures. I am also working hard to become more fluent in French. I’ve dedicated eight years to learning the language and I’m quite passionate about learning it.”