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New College student wins state department scholarship

Lizabelt Avila
Lizabelt Avila PHOTO PROVIDED

A New College of Florida student will spend the fall 2016 semester studying in the Netherlands after being awarded a U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs award.

Lizabelt Avila, a New College student who emigrated to Miami from Cuba, was recently awarded a Gilman Scholarship and will attend The Hague University for European Studies in the Netherlands.

Avila plans to study human rights law, global citizenship, French and other topics. She also plans to volunteer with the United Nations, International Court of Justice or another non-governmental organization based there, according to New College officials.

Avila, whose family immigrated to the United States from Cuba seven years ago, said the experience is vital to her plans of working in public service.

“As I plan to further my studies in policy making and international social work, I believe that experiencing diversity through a study abroad experience can concretize my idea of the world,” she said in a statement. “By better understanding human interaction at a practical level I can become a better world citizen and serve its community with greater expertise.”

Avila is concentrating in international relations and philosophy at New College. She is active in college organizations including LatinX and Model U.N., and has volunteered at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex tutoring students in math and literacy.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program was created in 2000 to provide scholarships for study abroad to U.S. undergraduates with financial need, including students from diverse backgrounds and students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations. The federally funded program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

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