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San Diego State University

Fiorella Morales

Master's student, Postsecondary Educational Leadership

Gates Millennium Scholar, San Diego State University


As an undergraduate student, Fiorella studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France, with IAU College, where she strengthened her French and lived with a host family for 5 months. This transformational experience sparked her interest in International Education as a career. She is now a Graduate Student at SDSU where she works as a Graduate Assistant in International Engagement at SDSU for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, where she guides Compact Scholars and Weber Honors College Students with study abroad, scholarships, and programs that will help them fulfill their international experience requirements at SDSU. This summer she will be an International Group Leader with the School for International Training (SIT), where she will lead high school students through an immersion program in France.


Tips for International Opportunities:

If you’re interested in any internship or job that is international, it is almost expected that you have a study abroad experience at some point in your education (the sooner and more frequent the better). It becomes more difficult and competitive to obtain those opportunities once a bachelors is achieved, and tare sometimes for longer periods of time (1yr or more). As a graduate student, most opportunities abroad tend to be graduate programs, teaching grants/programs, research, or intense immersion programs. In my own experience, obtaining an international experience is all about the relationships I’ve been able to develop due to my involvement and work in international related positions while at home.


1. Don’t apply just to apply. Make sure opportunities you apply for will further you personally, professionally, and have sincere interest in anything you apply for.

2. Have at least 2-3 people read your essays or prompts (especially your recommenders).

3. Have recommenders that know you well, and share your resume and application with them.

4. Be patient! Programs that pay for any part of a program usually have a long process, they ensure they're making a smart investment in you.



The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year from across the country to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The goal of the program is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by facilitating successful completion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The GMS Program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over 10,315 Gates Millennium Scholars completed a degree since the program's inception.

Fiorella Morales