Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program | Frequently Asked Questions | Alumni


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’ve forgotten my username and/or password for my Gilman online account, what do I do?

A. If you’ve forgotten your Gilman username and/or password, then you can either click “Forgot my Password” to have a temporary password sent to your email or contact the Gilman Scholarship Program to retrieve your username.

Q. I extended my stay abroad so my date of return to the U.S. has changed from what I submitted in my application. When is my project due?

A. We realize that many Gilman Scholars extend their stay abroad to continue their studies or pursue other opportunities such as internships, volunteering or working abroad. We are happy to work with you to extend your Follow-on Service Project due date in this situation. If you extended your time abroad, the report is due within six months of your new return date. We ask that you update your new return date in the Abroad section of your Gilman account as soon as possible.

Q. What do I do if I am interviewed about my study abroad experience as a Gilman Scholarship recipient?

A. Since the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State, you are not only a recipient of a U.S. government-funded program but have become a representative; thus, you should acknowledge the program sponsor in your interview. Depending on the article or story to be published, the subject may vary, but it is always good to include the highlights of your experience abroad that positively influenced your academic and professional goals. Additionally, you can speak of the cultural and language learning opportunities you benefited from, whether you participated in classes, a field study, an internship, or service learning project. You are more than welcome to contact the Gilman Program to inform us that you will be interviewed and the Program can further assist you. Please contact the Gilman Program in advance of the interview or event.

Q. What if I no longer have a copy of my original proposal from my application?

A. If you no longer have a copy of your original proposal, please log in to your online Gilman account to review your Follow-on Service Proposal Essay.

Q. What if someone asks me a question about the Gilman Program that I don’t know how to answer?

A. You can refer them to the Gilman website or the Gilman Program’s contact information.  Another option is to collect contact information so you can follow up with them once you have gotten the correct answer from the Gilman Program. You can e-mail to clarify any questions. We ask that you suggest contacting the Gilman Program directly rather than to make up an answer.

Q. What if I need funding to complete my Follow-on Service Project?

A. The Gilman Scholarship Program is unable to fund or reimburse any costs incurred in the implementation of your project. There are several projects that you can conduct to promote international education and the Gilman Scholarship that do not involve any costs and we recommend you plan accordingly.

Q. Can I have more time to complete my Follow-on Service Project?

A. You are expected to submit your Follow-on Service Project report within six months of returning to the U.S. and strongly encourage Gilman Scholars to be realistic when proposing their project so that it may be completed within this timeframe. However, we understand that there may be circumstances beyond your control that keep you from completing your project within six months of returning to the U.S. If this is the case, you can submit a deadline extension request under the “Follow-on Report” tab in the Gilman Alumni Portal. To complete the request, you will have to propose a new, reasonable deadline for your project and provide a brief explanation of why you require a deadline extension. Your request will be reviewed by Gilman Program staff for approval or further follow up.

Q. I would like to make some revisions and/or changes to my project. How do I do this?

A. Follow-on Service Project proposals are one of the criteria used to select recipients of the Gilman Scholarship. Thus, it is very important that whenever possible, you carry out the project proposed in your application. However, the Gilman Program understands that there are some circumstances which make it impossible for you to carry out the project as originally proposed. You can request to revise your plan by contacting and include the reason for your revision and your new plan.  Please keep in mind that your project revisions should at least still maintain the same level of effort and quality of your original proposal. Requests will be reviewed by the Gilman Program for approval.

In your request, summarize your new Follow-on Service Project plan in paragraph format by addressing the following questions:
  • Briefly outline your revised proposed project to promote the Gilman Scholarship and international education. How will this project impact your home university or community? What are your project goals?
  • What is your target population and how will your project impact this group?
  • How will you integrate the impact of your experiences abroad into your project? What medium will you use to express your message? (ex: presentation, flyer, social media, etc.)
  • What, if any, campus departments, student organizations, and/or community organizations will you collaborate with in promoting the Gilman Scholarship and international education? Have you already made contact with these groups?

Q. I graduated and moved away from my college/university, so I cannot carry out my original Follow-on Service Project as proposed. What should I do?

A. Follow-on Service projects are required for all Gilman Scholars.  If you are unable to complete your project as originally planned, see the question above regarding revising your plan.

Q. I work full time now and don’t have time to do my Follow-on Service Project because of my work schedule. What should I do?

A. Follow-on Service projects are required for all Gilman Scholars.  If you are unable to complete your project as originally planned, see the question above regarding revising your plan.

Q. I was a Gilman-Reach the World (RTW) traveler or a Gilman Global Experience blogger. Do I still need to write a Follow-on Service Project report?

A. Yes, all Gilman Scholars are required to submit a Follow-on Service Project report, regardless of what your project entails. Those who were selected to participate with Reach the World or were a Gilman Global Experience blogger are able to substitute these activities for their originally proposed Follow-on Service Project; however, you are still required to submit a report about your experience with RTW or the Gilman Global Experience blog within one month of your return. In addition to your participation with RTW or the Gilman blog, you are also welcome to complete your originally proposed Follow-on Service Project and report on that too. We appreciate all Gilman Scholars do to increase awareness of studying abroad and the Gilman Scholarship. Should you elect to complete a project that takes more time, the six months from return deadline would apply.

Q. How long does the Follow-on Service Project report have to be?

A. Your report should be no more than 7,000 characters (including spaces). We encourage you to write your report in a word processing program so that you do not lose your work if the system times out and so that you can keep track of your character count. Once complete, copy and paste your report into the box under the Follow-on Report tab of your Gilman Alumni Portal.

Q. I have completed all components of my project, but want to do more to spread the word. Can I get an extension for my project report due date to do more?

A. Once you have completed all aspects of your project, please submit your report so that you meet the deadline and can become an alumna/us of the program. However, we certainly encourage you to continue spreading the word about study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship after your project is complete and hope that you will continue to do so throughout your life. You are welcome to consider applying to the Gilman Alumni Ambassador Program (see question below).

Q. I really enjoyed completing this project. How can I continue promoting Gilman in similar ways?

A. You are absolutely encouraged to continue to promote the Gilman Scholarship beyond your Follow-on Service Project! This can be done informally, or by letting us know of potential opportunities that may arise in your campus and community.  We also encourage you to apply for the Gilman Alumni Ambassador Program. Gilman Alumni Ambassadors serve as official representatives of the Gilman Scholarship, providing presentations and promotional outreach to university and college campuses locally within their region of the United States. Although all Gilman Scholars represent the program through their Follow-on Service Projects, Gilman Alumni Ambassadors will be given online training and public-speaking preparation to present on behalf of the Gilman Scholarship Program. In addition, the ambassadors will receive professional development and networking opportunities from the Gilman Program, the U.S. Department of State and implementing partner, the Institute of International Education (IIE).

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