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Hagerstown student to work with doctors in West Africa

September 08, 2008

ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. - St. Mary's College of Maryland student Nathan Hesse will be working with doctors and learning Spanish this semester as part of a study abroad opportunity in The Gambia.

Hesse, of Hagerstown, a sophomore, recently was awarded the Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad for a semester in the West African country, which partners with SMCM's study abroad programs. Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the scholarship offers a competition for awards for undergraduate study abroad.

Hesse, a future Spanish and Latin American studies double major, will study Spanish, Wolof and African studies at the University of The Gambia, near the capital, Banjul.

During his study abroad, Hesse will work at the Royal Victorian Teaching Hospital with Cuban doctors who teach medicine and English.

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Working with the doctors will assist Hesse in his Spanish studies, while learning Wolof and other African studies will move him toward an African studies minor, according to a release from the school.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S.-citizen undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

The program aims to encourage students to choose nontraditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside Western Europe and Australia.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this congressionally funded program is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston.

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