The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate studentsof limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. It is funded through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. It is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston, TX.
Over 1,700 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for U.S. citizen undergraduates to study abroad. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000. If you are studying a Critical Need Language, you are also eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement.
To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, you have to be a US citizen who is an undergraduate student receiving the Federal Pell Grant. You also have to apply and be accepted into a study abroad program eligible for academic credit at your home institution and is at least 4 weeks long in one single country. You also can’t study abroad in Cuba or any other country on the U.S. Department of State’s current Travel Warning list.
The program aims to broaden the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Thus, students with high financial need, diverse ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, studying in non-traditional countries, studying underrepresented fields (i.e.: any of the sciences, engineering, technology, or math), and/or have not studied abroad before are strongly encouraged to apply.
The application of the Gilman Scholarship includes the following: personal information, program information, statement of purpose, follow-on project proposal, online certifications from study abroad and financial aid advisor, and three paper copies of transcript/s. The follow-on project should help to promote international education and the Gilman International Scholarship. Examples
Now I am pretty sure many people are wondering how on earth can I afford to study abroad in two places in one summer. No I am not super-rich, and my family is not one of those millionaires. I get to go to college in Minnesota mainly because of scholarships and financial aids. Since I am doing my study abroad programs in the summer, those scholarship and financial aids are either not available, or very limited. So I had to find ways to pay for those programs. The Gilman Scholarship happened to be one of those I applied to. What’s special about it, is that the program is piloting a summer cycle specifically for students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields this year. Seeing how I fit all the criteria, I applied, and was fortunate enough to be awarded (I only applied for my program in Morocco as the program in Italy was less than three weeks). The scholarship offsets a lot of the financial responsibility for me and my family, and I am really thankful for that. The scholarship requires its recipients to conduct a follow-on project to not only promote studying abroad, but also about the Gilman Scholarship itself. Well, as of May 11, 2010, this blog is officially part of my Gilman follow-on project. And along with that, I will also be doing a little postcard/photo project, please see Weekly Photo Project.
New: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Gilman Scholarship Program, the summer awards is now to include students studying all academic majors!!
If you are thinking about studying abroad, this scholarship could be for you! If you have any question regarding the process of applying for the Gilman Scholarship or studying abroad, feel free to leave a message :)