Traveler Bio

Hello there! I am Mary Tan, an artist and advocate based in the San Francisco Bay area. I recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in political economy and minor in education. Growing up in the diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles, I learned so much from the different people I met. This access to other cultures has helped me grow as a person.

My first trip overseas was to my family’s homeland of Myanmar (Burma). It was amazing to see my parents’ stories of riding elephants, climbing mountains, and touring caves come to life. This experience inspired me to apply to study and intern abroad in college. The pandemic hindered my plan to study in Portugal, so I opted for a virtual internship in Cape Town, South Africa, instead. It wasn't the global classroom I had imagined, but I continued to develop my career, and it taught me how to make the best of any situation!

Want to know more about how you can study or intern abroad when you are a college student? The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Learn more about the scholarship by clicking here!