The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but it can also require a substantial financial investment. The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities. The program seeks to assist students from a diverse range of public and private institutions from all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.
This congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston, TX. Named after retired congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York, the program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, "Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community."
Over 2,300 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.
Students who apply for and receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad are then eligible to receive a Critical Need Language Award from the Gilman Scholarship Program of $8,000. Applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad in a country in which the language is predominantly spoken will automatically be considered for the Critical Need Language Award. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 50 Critical Need Language Awards were offered to Gilman Scholarship recipients.
| Critical Need Languages include:
Arabic (all dialects);
Chinese (all dialects);
Turkic (Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgz, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek);
Persian (Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Pashto, Tajiki);
Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Sinhala, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi);
U.S. Department of State
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program 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.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries around the world. ECA accomplishes its mission through a variety of international programs based on the benefits of mutual understanding, educational exchange, and leadership development. ECA programs engage participants from a variety of backgrounds and specialties.
More information about ECA can be found at http://exchanges.state.gov
The U.S. Department of State's goal for the Gilman Program is to broaden the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.
The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support a diverse range of students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including but not limited to:
- Students with high financial need
- Students studying in non-traditional countries, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand
- Students with diverse ethnic backgrounds
- Students from a diverse range of institutions including four-year, public, private, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions and other Minority Serving Institutions.
- Students with disabilities
The program strongly encourages students to choose non-traditional study and intern abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The program strongly encourages students from community colleges to apply. The program encourages students to study or intern abroad for longer periods of time though short-term programs of at least four weeks in length are eligible. The program also seeks to serve students from all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. The program aims to encourage students in non-traditional fields of study such as the sciences and engineering, to study or intern abroad though all disciplines are eligible.
The program seeks to assist students from a diverse range of colleges and universities including, but not limited to: two and four-year public and private colleges, Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other Minority-Serving Institutions from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The program aims to open doors for students who have not previously studied or interned abroad for undergraduate academic credit.
All recipients are required to carry out a Follow-on Service Project that promotes international education and the Gilman Scholarship Program at the students' home institution or in their home community. The Follow-on Service Project Proposal, Statement of Purpose essay and the applicant's academic progress are criteria that are closely considered during the selection process.
If you have thought about studying abroad but not sure you want to be in a traditional classroom environment, you may wish to consider interning abroad, which is also eligible under the Gilman Scholarship. The U.S. Department of State is placing an emphasis on interning abroad and has set aside funds dedicated to encourage more students to do so.
The Gilman Program seeks to prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in the increasingly global economy and the skills students gain abroad during internships can enhance their career development in unique ways. Students going on credit-bearing, career-oriented internships are encouraged to apply for the Gilman Scholarship.
If you would like to consider interning abroad as you apply for the Gilman Scholarship, click here for additional resources.
Gilman Alumni who have participated in internships abroad have noted the following skills gained from their internship experience:
- intercultural skills
- foreign language proficiency
- understanding of business culture abroad
- direction and clarity of career goals
Alumni Internship Profiles
||Recipient: Fawziyya Muhammad
Home Institution: George Washington University
Internship: Business Carbon-trading
View Fawziyya's profile (327 KB)
|"Through my internship experience,
I was able to understand the role of
China and the United States in carbon emissions, familiarize myself with the
carbon-trading market, and participate
in the culture and norms of the country."
||Recipient: Alec Short
Home Institution: University of Montana, Missoula
Internship: The Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development
View Alec's profile (422 KB)
|"My understanding of Islamic Culture
has increased, as well as my cultural
competence for this region. This
internship has made me a more confident
individual, and the work that Ruwwad
accomplished has highlighted important
career goals for myself."
||Recipient: Hannah Allen
Country: South Africa
Home Institution: University of Kentucky
Internship: The South African Institute for Advancement
View Hannah's profile (433 KB)
|"Interning at a non-profit helped me
realize that I enjoy desk work, but I
also thrive in applied and hands-on
tasks. I learned that I enjoy analytical,
logical, practical, and creative work."
||Recipient: Brad Crofford
Home Institution: Southern Nazarene University
Internship: U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin
View Brad's profile (343 KB)
|"On a professional level, my internship
has confirmed my interest in an
international career, and I am now
planning to pursue a career with the
||Recipient: BaDoi Phan
Home Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Internship: National University of Singapore Engineering Research Internship
Play Video (2:29) View Transcript (PDF)
|"Just from the research and the
research process, I've so far gained
communication skills working with
clinicians, with professors... gaining
Resources for Internships Abroad
Finding Internships - Searchable databases for internships all around the world.
MSU globalEdge International Internship Directory
Maximizing Your Internship - Resources to help students make the most of their internship abroad.
MIT Global Education and Career Development
ICEF Monitor International Internships
Mercy College Career Services Tips
Articulating Your Internship - Resources to help students articulate their internship experience in interviews.
Gilman Pinterest Internships Board
Life After Study Abroad
Since the inception of the U.S. Department of State's Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in 2001, nearly 50,000 applications have been received and over 14,000 scholarships have been awarded to students participating in study abroad programs and internships around the world. This page provides further information regarding Gilman Scholarship recipients and program statistics.
Gilman Fast Facts 2012-13 (541 KB, PDF) and 2011-12 (541 KB, PDF)
Summary Statistics (112 KB, PDF)
Gilman Comparison to National Study Abroad Figures (124 KB, PDF)
Gilman Comparison to National - Bar Charts (111 KB, PDF)
Gilman Program Success in Diversifying Study Abroad (26.9 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Offered Fall 2013
Fall 2013 (137 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Awarded AY 2012-2013
Summer 2013 (109 KB, PDF)
Spring 2013 (131 KB, PDF)
Fall 2012 (375 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Awarded AY 2011-2012
Summer 2012 (219 KB, PDF)
Spring 2012 (301 KB, PDF)
Fall 2011 (665 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Awarded AY 2010-2011
Summer 2011 (351 KB, PDF)
Spring 2011 (109 KB, PDF)
Fall 2010 (74 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Awarded AY 2009-2010
Spring and Summer 2010 (70 KB, PDF)
Fall 2009 (108 KB, PDF)
Gilman Scholarships Awarded AY 2008-2009
Spring 2009 (88.2 KB, PDF)
Fall 2008 (107 KB, PDF)
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program has awarded over 13,000 U.S. undergraduates of high financial need to study or intern abroad, who come from over 1,100 institutions and have studied or interned in 130 countries worldwide. Profiles of some of these outstanding Gilman Scholarship recipients can be found below.
The Gilman Alumni Ambassador Program is a diverse group of Gilman Scholarship recipients who have studied or interned abroad in various countries around the world. They are official ambassadors of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program providing presentations and promotional outreach to university and college campuses around the nation to students and advisors interested in learning more about the Gilman Scholarship Program. The Gilman Alumni Ambassadors have been trained by the Gilman Scholarship Program.
If you would like to request a Gilman Alumni Ambassador to present at your campus or if you are interested in becoming a Gilman Alumni Ambassador, please contact Gilman Scholars by email at email@example.com if you have any questions.
2009 Gilman Alumni Ambassadors
2010 Gilman Alumni Ambassadors
2012 Gilman Alumni Ambassadors