The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program was established under the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. It provides up to $5,000 for US undergraduates to pursue overseas study for college credit.
The program offers approximately 1,700 scholarships. The award amount usually varies depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000. U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving the federal Pell Grant and attending a 2 year or 4 year college or university in the U.S are eligible to participate in the Scholarship Program.
It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to increase the participation of under-represented communities. The scholarship is given to students from diverse backgrounds with financial need for study abroad including non-traditional study abroad destinations (traditional destinations are Western Europe & Australia).
The diversity factors include gender, race, ethnicity, study abroad destination, area of study, and especially financial need.Gilman Scholarship recipients include African-American, Hispanic & Asian students and those with disabilities. In terms of visiting non-traditional countries for study abroad, Gilman recipients have visited Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, Latin America and in the Middle East/North Africa.
For those students planning to study critical need languages an additional funding of up to $3,000 is available as part of the Gilman Critical Need Language Supplement program. The critical need languages include – Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Turkic (Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek), Persian (Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Pashto, Tajiki) and Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Sinhala, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi)
A recipient of Gilman Scholarship upon return from abroad are expected to carry out a ‘Follow-on Project’. This project helps in promoting international education and understanding for all.
Application timeline for Gilman Scholarship include- the month of April for Fall & Academic Year Study Abroad and the month of September for Spring Semester Study Abroad.