On Studying Abroad in Australia: Gilman Scholar Megan Davidian on Scholarship Applications, Life Down Under, & More

Megan in front of the Sydney Opera House

Megan Davidian is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Arkansas majoring in biomedical engineering. She is currently studying abroad on a Gilman Scholarship at the University of Technology Sydney. Below, she discusses the scholarship application process and what she’s been up to in Australia so far. 

Since I am from Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas was in my backyard and it was the only school I applied to. I knew during my first semester here that I wanted to study abroad in Australia, and while researching programs I found out about the Gilman Scholarship—I came across it on the study abroad website.

In general, just applying and figuring out what classes I would take (and if I would be able to get credit for them) was a long and complicated process. I didn’t know for sure that I would be able to attend an Australian university and get transfer credit until August of my sophomore year. Once I got the final approval, it was time to apply for the Gilman Scholarship—I started the application process in September and it was due October 10th. While I found the application process very stressful, the study abroad office and Dr. Bryan Hill were happy to help and answer any questions I had.

While many of the questions on the application were straightforward, there was one multipart essay that required you to answer various questions about what you are studying, why you want to study abroad, how studying abroad will help you, and what challenges you have faced coming to this decision. Though writing this essay felt terrifying at first, I learned that once you start answering the questions in bullet form it becomes much easier to then figure out how to put them together as a coherent whole. In the future, I would recommend that anybody applying for the Gilman or other similar scholarships use the University’s Writing Support center. If it wasn’t for the gentleman there who helped me to better organize my essay and to provide stronger examples within it, I don’t think I would have received this scholarship.


Tips for Success from 2018 Razorback Classic Paolo Garcia

Senior Paolo Garcia, who was recently named a 2018 Razorback Classic

Paolo Garcia is an Honors College Fellow and a senior majoring in biomedical engineering here at the University of Arkansas. He was recently recognized by the Arkansas Alumni Association as a “Razorback Classic,” an honor that celebrates academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, and campus or community involvement. Below, he offers tips on how to succeed as an undergraduate engineering student at the U of A:

1. When in doubt about a concept you are learning, don’t hesitate to ask someone. If you are confused about something you have encountered in your studies, it’s highly likely that someone else feels just as lost. When this happens, it is important to remember that there is a wealth of students and faculty in the department that you can consult. A fellow classmate may be able to help you understand something that was mentioned in class simply by providing an alternative perspective. An upperclassman could point you in the direction of a valuable resource. Lastly, a professor could potentially clear up confusion with a few minutes of discussion. Don’t let your question go unanswered!