Gilman Scholarship Recipient Explores Art History Amidst Estruscan Walls

By schwartzsa | January 24, 2012

Dao La ’13, an Art History major in the Honors program, is currently studying at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy, through Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies (CGS). Her semester in the heart of Italy, living and studying amidst Etruscan walls is made possible, in part, by a scholarship she received from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. La discovered the Gilman Scholarship opportunity through Kate Bryant, Assistant Director of the Office of International Affairs, who encouraged her to apply.

“The Gilman scholarship gives me more freedom to explore Italy,” says La. “With it I can think less about the expenses and more on being in the country and exploring it.”

At the Umbra Institute, located in the center of Perugia, La is taking a full course load which consists of an Italian language course, two Art History courses, a Religion course, and a Honors class. In addition, she will complete an internship at the Palazzo Sorbello House Museum. La notes that she is impressed with the program’s emphasis on the cultural experience.

“Umbria provides an authentic look at Italian culture,” she says. “In no way is Perugia a tourist city, everyone here will speak Italian and you’re expected to do the same. It’s good because it gives me a chance to practice my language skills. Being an Art History major, Perugia benefits me because it’s in between two major art centers, Rome and Florence. I have easy access to these cities and all the art and architecture that each holds.”