Scholarships sending MTSU students abroad

Scholarships sending MTSU students abroad

Four MTSU students are recipients of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for fall 2011, which will enable them to study in Jordan, Japan, India and Thailand.

Kristofer Hallfrisch of Westmoreland, Tenn., got a head start on his studies by moving to Irbid, Jordan, in May. He will continue studying Arabic there at Yarmouk University with his $4,500 scholarship until December 2011, when he will return to MTSU to graduate.

A global-studies major with double minors in English and Middle Eastern studies, Hallfrisch taught English at an orphanage in New Delhi, India, in summer 2009.

Kimberly Puckett, an advertising major from Nashville, will delve into Japanese culture with a $2,500 stipend while enhancing her expertise in her Japanese-language minor.

“I am hoping, since Japan is known for its technology, media and crazy commercials, that maybe I could do something that is related to both my major and minor,” Puckett noted.

Karissa Senn departed for India earlier in July with a $5,000 scholarship for studies at the University of Hyderabad and volunteer work with Asha for Education, a nongovernmental organization that helps residents of India’s urban slums.

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Senn, who hails from Kingston Springs, Tenn., will work to finish her international-relations degree, then pursue a joint graduate program for a master’s degree in international public affairs and a degree in law.

Yosaton Tungmanelatkul, a global-studies major from Nashville, will study in Thailand equipped with a $4,000 stipend.

Funded by Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman Scholarship program provides grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

Recipients are selected competitively for these grants, which are used for program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

To find out more about MTSU’s study-abroad opportunities, contact the MTSU Office of Education Abroad at 615-898-5179 or To learn more about the Gilman Scholarships, go to

— Gina K. Logue, gklogue@