Empowering Tomorrow's Global Leaders: TIEC's Gilman Scholarship Student Writing Workshop
The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) measures itself on impact. No question that many paths to impact exist in the world of higher education internationalization. Our philosophy is that internationalization is a mechanism for achieving outcomes, and it is not necessarily the end goal in itself. Thus, for students, we believe strategic international activities vastly benefit their preparation for the global workforce and help shape them to be global citizens. University is tough — students put in hard work and long hours to establish a future direction for their lives. We at TIEC want to do our part to help them to understand their place in the world and their power to contribute positively. For this reason, TIEC, a state-based higher education consortium, looks for ways to directly appeal to students, to ensure they are aware of options to help them experience international education.
On September 18 and 19, 2023, Dr. William Smith II, TIEC’s Director of Global Education and Impact, led some 40 students through a writing workshop specifically to prepare for them to apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. The Gilman Scholarship offers financial assistance for Pell-eligible students to study abroad. (Pell is a federal program designed to support students with financial need.) By providing financial assistance for these programs, the Gilman Scholarship provides access for more students to experience the transformative power of study abroad. Not all Pell students know about the opportunity, and even fewer have the confidence to apply, and that is where our workshop comes in.
Breaking Down Financial Barriers
Texas has a significant number of students who qualify for Pell grants, and they are a lifeline for many, providing access to higher education that would otherwise be financially out of reach. However, the need doesn’t stop at tuition and books; it extends to the broader educational experience, including opportunities for international study. For Texas students who rely on Pell Grants and who may face additional financial challenges, the dream of international study can feel like an unattainable luxury; this is where the Gilman Scholarship Program steps in as a beacon of hope.
At its core, TIEC’s Gilman Student Writing Workshop empowers students to become effective communicators and storytellers. The ability to articulate one’s thoughts and experiences in a clear, compelling manner is a vital skill in the global arena. Through this workshop, students learn how to share their personal narratives as well as academic, professional, and personal goals, enriching their own personal development while contributing to the broader discourse on international education.
Aligning with TIEC's Mission
TIEC’s mission is to advance higher education internationalization in order to improve social, economic, and environmental challenges across the globe. The Gilman Student Writing Workshop directly aligns with this mission by equipping students with the tools they need to thrive in an interconnected world. It showcases TIEC’s dedication to creating meaningful opportunities for students to engage with international experiences.
Outcomes and Investments
TIEC’s investments toward students’ internationalization extends beyond workshops and programs like the Gilman Student Writing Workshop. The Texas International Education Fund (TIEF) serves as another example of TIEC’s commitment to the development of students and institutions to address global issues collectively. TIEF’s grants support study abroad program development, strategic internationalization, and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)/virtual exchange, further strengthening the impact of higher education in Texas.
Through exclusive member events such as the Gilman Student Writing Workshop and investments such as TIEF, TIEC continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of global leaders to address pressing international challenges. These efforts are essential in our increasingly interconnected world, and our consortium is fully committed to empowering TIEC member students and fostering global citizenship.