University of Central Oklahoma student Matthew Esch will spend the fall 2012 semester studying in South Korea through a highly competitive national scholarship.

Esch, a junior international business major from Coatesville, Penn., was awarded $8,000 through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a program that provides support to undergraduate U.S. students for international education opportunities.

In August, Esch will travel to Pukyong University in South Korea where he will study Korean and international business.

“I am so proud to have received this scholarship,” Esch said.

“I began learning Korean at Central last semester, and developed such a love for the language. It will be an adventure to say the least.”

Esch was one of 50 students nationwide selected to receive the maximum scholarship amount of $8,000. The Gilman scholarship committee lists Korean as one of 10 critical-need languages, and it awards larger grants to students pursuing education in those languages.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of State, the Gilman Scholarship Program (www.iie.org/gilman) aims to diversify the types of students who study abroad and the regions where they go by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.

For more information about Central’s study abroad opportunities, visit the Centre for Global Competency website at www.uco.edu/cgc.