The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad, with an aim to helping them prepare to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. The program particularly encourages students to study in non-traditional destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The program typically awards over 2,000 individual scholarships of up to $5,000. Award amounts vary depending on the length of study abroad and student need, with the average award being approximately $4,000. Students who receive a Gilman Scholarship are also eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement if they are studying a critical need language as defined by the program.
Gilman Scholarships are open to undergraduates in good academic standing at accredited U.S. colleges and universities who are U.S. citizens and who meet the following criteria:
- They are receiving a federal Pell Grant or can provide proof that they will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of application of during their term of study abroad;
- They are applying to or have been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit at their home institution;
- They are studying abroad for at least four consecutive weeks in one country; and
- They are studying abroad in any country except Cuba or a country on the U.S. Department of State’s current Travel Warning list.
The program is generally interested in supporting students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad. This includes students with high financial need and students proposing study in non-traditional destinations, but also includes students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, students from a diverse range of institutions, and students with disabilities.
Upon completing their study abroad, all recipients are required to carry out a service project that promotes international education and the Gilman Scholarship Program at their home institution or in their home community. The applicant’s service project proposal, statement of purpose, and academic progress are all closely considered in the selection process.
Applying for the Gilman Scholarships requires campus certification of each candidate's study abroad program and financial aid package, a process initiated when applications are submitted online.