Journalism student wins Gilman scholarship to study in Germany

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Journalism student wins Gilman scholarship to study in Germany

Fresno State student Allisen Casares, a mass communication and journalism major from Fresno, will spend the spring 2012 semester studying in Germany after being awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

She is the only Fresno Student and one of just 38 throughout the 23-campus California State University system awarded a Gilman scholarship. The program provides up to $8,000 to enhance a student’s learning experience by studying abroad and is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“I wanted to study in Germany for many reasons, but one of them is that I studied German in high school and for a year in college and want to become fluent in the language,” Casares said. “I also have German ancestry, but I really don’t know much about the culture.”

Her interest in the language and culture dates back even further to a German pen pal when she was 11 years old.

Casares will stay in Luneburg, a town of nearly 72,000 people, that sits on the Ilmenau river about 30 miles southeast of Hamburg.

Casares will take 15 units of language, intercultural communication and modernist revolution courses at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

This is the first time Casares has studied abroad and she plans to detail her adventures in Germany through her blog at

Upon her graduation in fall 2012, Casares plans to pursue a career in science writing.

Although she hasn’t done so yet, Casares recommends study abroad, saying, “If students are able to, they should take a semester or two to study abroad. This opportunity will increase their cultural awareness and get them out of their comfort zone.”

For more information about international study programs through Fresno State, contact Dr. Shane Moreman at 559.278.6287 or

(Copy by University Communications news intern Nicole Maul.)

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