Canisius Student Awarded Prestigious Gilman Scholarship

BUFFALO, NY – Canisius student Neil Savoy ’15 is the recipient of a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the program provides study and internship opportunities abroad so students may gain a better understanding of other countries, cultures, languages and economies, which make them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government or the private sector.

Savoy is a triple major, pursuing degrees in English, Spanish and creative writing. He is studying at Comillas Pontifical University in Spain for the spring 2014 academic semester. In addition to taking a Spanish class for international students learning a second language, Savoy is enrolled in translation and international relation classes at Comillas University. He spent the fall 2013 semester studying Spanish at the University of Oviedo, Spain.

“I want to have my current worldview broken to bits so that I may reassemble it using this new experience to learn about others cultures, as I encounter individuals who come from diverse backgrounds,” says Savoy. “Until I can stare another culture in the face, become immersed in its people and language, I will not truly understand my relationship with the world around me. I will only be able to speculate about it. Studying abroad in Spain is the first step in becoming a world citizen.”

“By learning about the culture of Spain and immersing himself in the Spanish language, Neil will have a much better understanding of cultural diversity and will be much more able to communicate in depth with others in the Spanish-speaking world,” adds Esther A. Northman, director of Canisius’ international partnerships and study abroad, who advised Savoy. “His increased sensitivity to the needs and differences of others will help prepare Neil for his goal of teaching English to impoverished individuals in South and Central America.”

The international scholarship program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. It is named after retired Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York. Gilman served 30 years in the House of Representatives and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Canisius is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.