International Programs, Cal State L.A. | Aug. 12, 2013 | Spotlight

CSULA students to head to South Korea, United Kingdom this fall

Gonzalez, Ingram receive Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

Photo: (l-r) Candace Ingram and Rene Gonzalez.
L-r: 2013 Gilman Scholars Candace Ingram and Rene Gonzalez.

Rene Gonzalez and Candace Ingram are both ready to explore the world. Both CSULA students are interested in learning beyond the traditional classroom and in experiencing the diversity of different cultures and people.

This fall, Gonzalez and Ingram will study abroad as recipients of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Gonzalez will study business management in South Korea for one semester, while Ingram will study English literature in the United Kingdom for a full academic year.

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to better prepare students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. The program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

The Congressionally-funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education-Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.

Advancing his career potential through global studies

Photo: Rene Gonzalez.
Rene Gonzalez

When Rene Gonzalez graduates at the end of next spring, he hopes to enter the police academy to pursue a career in law enforcement. Being a police officer has always been his dream, and Gonzalez views his bachelor’s degree in business management as helping to enhance his future career.

With the Gilman Scholarship, Gonzalez chose to attend the business administration program at the University of Seoul in South Korea because he wants to learn a new language, develop skills to communicate with another culture, and discover how business is conducted in a different country.

“I often wanted to travel to a country that is new, so I can diversify myself and be challenged,” he said. “The Gilman Scholarship is a good opportunity for me to achieve this goal.”

Gonzalez, who is first in his family to attend college, was raised in Los Angeles and now resides in South Gate.

“I believe this semester abroad would also prepare me as a police officer when I have to encounter different cultures and people. This will enable me to better serve the community, my neighborhood, and the general public,” he said.

Gonzalez’s uncle, Sergeant Raul Lopez of CSULA, inspired him to pursue a career as a police officer.

“I have always looked up to him, and he is my role model!” he said.

Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Gonzalez is currently working part-time as an emergency preparedness assistant at the University’s Public Safety department.

For his interest in international studies, Gonzalez credits the business courses he enrolled in at CSULA for encouraging him to think globally.

He is also fascinated by music from different countries, having taken a course on music culture at CSULA.

“It was astounding to learn that different instruments changed moving from one region to another,” said Gonzalez, “and that native tribes made instruments from their surroundings.”

For the next few weeks, Gonzalez is considering listening to some Korean pop music, getting a few language tips from his Korean friends, and even watching a Korean drama to prepare for his study abroad.

“I’m excited about my trip to South Korea,” he said. “I plan to blog about my adventure there.”

Traveling to the origin of the English language

Photo: Candace Ingram.
Candace Ingram

“What better place to visit than the United Kingdom—home of the English language,” said Candace Ingram, who is an avid reader and an aficionado of English literature.

“One of my favorite authors is English writer Sir Thomas More. I like his prose and the style of his writings,” she said. “I am also particularly fond of poetry by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas. He is most famous for his villanelle poem, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.”

Ingram, who is working toward a single-subject credential in secondary education at CSULA, plans to become a high school English teacher.

“It is amazing to be able to learn the history of English at the Swansea University, Wales, in United Kingdom, with the support of the Gilman Scholarship,” she said. “Also, I’ve been impressed by professors who effectively linked their teaching with their travels abroad.”

When she starts teaching, Ingram’s goal is to make English literature interesting to her students in the classroom, bringing global and historical viewpoints to the lessons.

“I want to inspire young students to desire to read literature, and to help them receive the proper training in writing English,” she said.

Ingram, a single mother residing in Altadena, believes that it is never too late to go back to school. After raising three daughters, she was motivated to pursue her dream of a college degree.

“My daughters have all achieved academic success, and now they have paved a path for me to follow suit,” she said.

As part of an Honors College class project at CSULA, Ingram was recently involved with The Dream Center in Los Angeles to help families and individuals rebuild their lives.

“The chance to go out to the community and integrate social service in our learning was really incredible,” said Ingram, who has also worked as an English tutor for the University Writing Center.

Taking advantage of the many opportunities available at CSULA, Ingram hopes to return from her study abroad at the United Kingdom with a wealth of knowledge and a new cultural perspective to share with her future students.

“Thanks to all the CSULA professors who have guided me to this next chapter in my academic journey,” she said.

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