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Dalanna King in London

Seven questions with
Gilman Scholar Dalanna King

By Michael Klitzing

Dalanna King went into her first experience abroad open to new possibilities. One new thing she hadn't been counting on, however, was jet lag.

"When I first arrived in the United Kingdom, the other exchange students and I made plans to go to the welcome events," said King, a kinesiology and exercise science senior who is studying at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, a suburb of London. "A lot of us didn’t make it. There were a couple nights into the second week that I slept for over 14 hours. Finally, in my third week here, I’ve gotten my sleep schedule on track.”

Fortunately, King won't be losing any sleep over finances. She was one of nine spring 2017 awardees of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which offers grants to U.S. citizen undergraduate students with financial need.

Recently, we chatted with Dalanna about her first taste of life in another country, her hopes for the future and what being a Gilman Scholar means to her.

How have you enjoyed the U.K. so far?

“My experience in the U.K. has been great so far. I love it here! I’m surprised because I thought I would be homesick but I’m not at all. I’m making friends with locals, enjoying my courses and beginning to make travel plans.”

What's been your favorite moment?

“Going into London to take photos of everything. Along with other exchange students, I took a coach bus into the city and took a tour. We found this restaurant that was underground, lit by candles, and we were served a Sunday’s roast. Most importantly, learning the way of life here in the United Kingdom has been my best moment.”

What are you most excited about, looking forward?

“I’m most excited about traveling to different countries. My spring break is two weeks long so I will plan to travel during that time. I have a friend from SDSU that’s studying in Madrid, so I would like to visit her as well. I want to have fun and make as many memories as I can.”

What do you hope this study abroad experience will do for you in the long run?

“I hope this study abroad experience will aid in understanding other cultures and being able to adapt when working with others. I also hope that I will gain lifelong friendships and a lot of memories.”

How did you find out about the Gilman scholarship?

“I found out about the Gilman scholarship from the study abroad advisors. I would go in often to seek advice on which program to choose, costs, applications, etc. That’s when I was told about the scholarship and how to apply for it.”

How much more difficult would it have been to make ends meet without it?

“It would have been a lot harder. My education is funded by working and financial aid. It’s great that this scholarship exists to help. I’m not sure that I would’ve been able to afford this semester abroad without it." 

How did you react when you got it?

“It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally breathe.”

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