Elmhurst University student Gabriel Galindo was recently awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which he used to help finance a study abroad trip to Spain earlier this summer.
Gilman Scholars are chosen in a highly competitive selection process and must use the award to defray the costs of studying or interning abroad.
“I have never received any type of scholarships from outside the University, and this was a huge achievement for me. I almost fell out of my chair when I read the letter,” said Galindo, of Hoffman Estates. Galindo is a rising senior who is triple-majoring in Spanish, digital media and graphic design, and minoring in film studies.
He applied the Gilman Scholarship to his recent participation in Walking the Camino de Santiago: An Intellectual, Physical and Spiritual Journey, a three-week travel course and pilgrimage walk in Spain. During the trip, students explored cultural and religious sites, experienced the scenery and terrain of the Galicia region, and interacted with fellow participants and local residents.
Galindo said his most memorable part of the trip was reaching the city of Santiago de Compostela at the end of the pilgrimage walk. “The time we spent in the city was marvelous, from watching the Botafumeiro during Mass inside the cathedral, to walking on top of the building itself,” he said. “It was amazing.”
“The trip had a profound impact on me,” Galindo said. “It truly connected me to my Hispanic roots, as well as my religion, and I am thankful to have been part of it.”
Elmhurst University students interested in the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship or other highly competitive awards should contact Marisa Mancini, coordinator of national fellowships and scholarships, at Marisa.email@example.com.