Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program | Recipients FAQ

Recipients


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General

Q. What transcript do I need to submit?

A. All Gilman Scholarship recipients must upload, via Gilman's online system, an official transcript from their current institution indicated in their Gilman Application. Your current transcript must include your “in progress” term and/or the completed term before your Gilman Application. If this is your first academic term at your current institution you will need to submit an official enrollment verification letter, including your academic courses, issued from your registrar’s office or study abroad office in place of your home institution transcript.

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Q. How do I merge documents to create one file?

A. The system will only allow you to upload one file per section and the file size must not exceed the MB file size limitation given. Therefore, you will need to save all pages for each required document into one file. If you need to merge files to create one PDF, please follow these instructions:

  1. Start Adobe Acrobat.
  2. From the “File” menu, choose “Create PDF”, then choose “From Multiple Files”.
  3. A new dialog box opens so that you can add the files you want to combine. Click the “Browse” button, navigate to each file, and click the “Add” button to select it.
  4. When you have listed all the files to be included, use the “Move Up” and “Move Down” buttons to rearrange the order of the files or the “Remove” button to delete a particular file.

The Gilman Program has detailed instructions available to help you upload your transcript. Please note that for recipient documentation you are only required  to upload the transcript for your current institution.

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Q. What if I am unsure of my Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact?

A. The Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact is the person the Gilman Program could contact in case of en emergency abroad that might concern you (i.e. program coordinator or director, host institution international student services, faculty leader, etc.). This person would be able to communicate with you directly and confirm your safety and/or location if requested by the Gilman Program. The contact information you provide needs to be the most accurate information possible. If you are not sure of the appropriate Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact, then please contact your program provider, U.S. study abroad advisor or host institution to determine this information to complete your online award documentation.

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Q. What type of photo do I upload for my online award documentation?

A. Please upload a high-resolution digital image of yourself as a .gif or .jpg file. This photo should be a high-quality image that is a close-up or head-shot of you. (For example: A copy of the photo you took to apply for your passport). The Gilman Program may use this photograph for future print or web publicity, so appropriateness of the photo is taken into consideration when reviewed and approved by the Gilman Program.

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Q. I was selected as a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship Program, but will not be studying abroad for the awarded term after all.  What do I need to do now?

A. Gilman Scholarships must be used for the term of study in which they were awarded. They cannot be held over or deferred to a future term. Thus, if you will not be studying abroad for the term and program you applied and were awarded for, you will need to decline the scholarship award offer. We ask that you notify the Gilman Scholarship Program in your online account that you will not be participating in the study abroad program by officially declining your scholarship award offer. 

If you decline a Gilman Scholarship, you may reapply for any future cycle of the Gilman Scholarship Program as long as you remain eligible. Your previous application will have no impact on any future application you may wish to make. You will need to submit a new application for that cycle and will be reviewed with the new applicant pool.

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Agreements

Q. I am unsure of my travel plans at this time. What option do I choose on the Fly America Act Agreement?

A. We understand that you may not have your travel plans finalized at the time your Gilman Award Documentation is due. In this situation, you will need to select the third option stating that “I am unsure of my travel plans at this time. I understand that if I am unable to use a U.S.-flagged carrier to travel to my study abroad site, I cannot use Gilman International Scholarship funds to pay for my airfare.”

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Q. I will be using two different airlines in route to my study abroad program destination. How do I indicate this on the Fly America Act Agreement?

A. You can use your Gilman Scholarship funds to purchase your airfare as long as you leave the United States and arrive to an international destination on a U.S.-flagged carrier. You will indicate this by selecting the first option and listing the U.S.-flagged carrier that you will be using to depart from the U.S., arriving to an international destination. You do not need to list your connecting airline carrier. Keep in mind that if you are using a foreign carrier to fly out of the U.S. you may not use your Gilman Scholarship funds to purchase your airfare.

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Q. How do I know if the airline I am using is a U.S.-flagged carrier?

A. If you are unsure if the airline you are using is a U.S.-flagged carrier you can go to the airline’s website and see where the headquarters is located. If the headquarters is located in the U.S. then it is a U.S.-flagged carrier. Some examples of major U.S. carriers are United, American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, and U.S. Airways. The agreement form online also provides you with the most common U.S.-flagged carriers.

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Q. How do I know if the airline I am using is a foreign flagged carrier?

A. If you are unsure if the airline you are using is a foreign carrier you can go to the airline’s website and see where the headquarters is located. If the headquarters is not located in the U.S. then it is a foreign carrier. Some examples of major foreign carriers are British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Korean Airways, Cathay Pacific and TACA. The agreement form online also provides you with the most common foreign carriers.

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Q. I have already purchased my airfare. Do I still need to fill out the Fly America Act Agreement?

A. Yes, you will still need to complete the Fly America Act Agreement. You will indicate on the Fly America Act Agreement whether you are flying on a U.S. or foreign carrier.

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Q. What if I cannot view the Pre-Departure Video?

A. If you are not able to view the Pre-Departure Video with the link provided in the online award documentation, please contact us immediately. We will assist you as soon as we can since you are required to view this video in order to complete your online award documentation.

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Acceptance Letter

Q. I have not received my official acceptance letter into my study abroad program. What should I do?

A. We understand that every program provider notifies the applicants of their acceptance at different times. If you have not received your official acceptance letter into your study abroad program by the award documentation submission deadline you will need to contact the Gilman staff to inform us of your situation. Please note that you will not receive your Gilman Scholarship funds until all of your award documentation is complete and approved.

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Q. I received my official acceptance into my study abroad program through email. Can I upload the original email?

A. Yes. You may print the original email and upload this document. Please note that the program acceptance email must address you in the body of the email, as well as identify the program you have been accepted into, the country of study and the program dates.

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Q. I have been nominated and/or conditionally accepted into my study abroad program. Can I upload my nomination and/or conditional letter as proof of acceptance?

A. Unfortunately, we cannot accept your nomination or conditional letter as proof of acceptance into your study abroad program. Nomination letters are not an official acceptance. Nomination letters are provided by your home institution nominating you to the host country institution. Admission is contingent upon approval by the host institution. Additionally, conditional letters are not an official acceptance. Conditional letters will have a condition that you have to abide by in order to be officially accepted. In order to complete your Gilman Online Award Documentation, you will need to upload your official acceptance letter or email from your study abroad program or host institution.

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Q. Can my U.S. study abroad advisor write a letter confirming my acceptance into my study abroad program?

A. Yes. If for some reason you do not have your official acceptance letter into your study abroad program, but you have been accepted, you can have your U.S. study abroad advisor confirm your acceptance. Your advisor will need to draft a letter confirming your acceptance into your study abroad program, stating the host country and program dates. The letter will need to be signed by your advisor and you can upload it into your online award documentation.

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Q. My acceptance letter is not written in English, will the Gilman Program accept the letter?

A. No. If your acceptance letter is not written in English, then the Gilman Program cannot verify that as proof you were accepted into your study abroad program. However, you can accompany the acceptance letter with either an English language translation produced by the study abroad program, host institution, or a home institution language professor, or a confirmation letter from your study abroad advisor.

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Q. Do I upload my Gilman Scholarship Award Letter as proof of acceptance into my study abroad program?

A. No. Your Gilman Award Letter is notifying you that you are a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship Program; your Gilman Award Letter is not your acceptance letter into your study abroad program. You will receive an acceptance letter or e-mail from the program provider or host institution notifying you whether or not you have been accepted into your study abroad program. The letter or email that you received is what you will upload as proof of acceptance into your study abroad program.

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U.S. Citizenship

Q. What forms of U.S. citizenship can I provide?

A. All Gilman Scholarship recipients must provide proof of U.S. citizenship. You can upload a copy of one of the following into your online award documentation: the photograph page of your valid U.S. passport, your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate as a U.S. citizen, or your U.S. naturalization certificate. Please make sure your upload image is clearly visible.

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Q. I am currently in the process of obtaining my U.S. citizenship. What should I do?

A. In order to receive your Gilman Scholarship funds you will need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. If you are currently in the process of being naturalized, you will need to contact the Gilman staff to inform us of your situation. We will be unable to provide funds without proof of U.S. citizenship.

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Q. I am currently applying for a visa to allow me to enter my study abroad country and I had to send my passport with my application. What should I do?

A. You can upload a copy of your U. S. birth certificate or your naturalization certificate. If you do not have your U.S. birth certificate or your naturalization certificate to upload to your online award documentation, please contact the Gilman staff immediately to inform us of your situation.

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Q. I am currently applying for my U.S. passport and I had to send my U.S. birth certificate with my application. What should I do?

A. You should make a photocopy of your U.S. birth certificate for backup purposes. If you have a photocopy of your birth certificate, please upload a copy as proof of U.S. citizenship. If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate you will need to contact the Gilman Program to inform us of your situation.

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Q. My passport is expired. Can I submit a photocopy of my expired passport?

A. No. We will not accept expired passports as proof of U.S. citizenship. You will need to upload copy of your valid U.S. passport's photograph page. If you do not have your valid U.S. passport, you can submit a copy of your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate, or your naturalization certificate.

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Q. Will a copy of my driver’s license or social security card suffice as proof of U.S. citizenship?

A. No. You must upload a copy of one of the following: the photograph page of your valid U.S. passport, your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate, or your naturalization certificate.

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International Health Insurance Coverage

Q. What type of coverage is required for my international health insurance?

A. We require that students have four types of coverage in their international health insurance plan: 1) accident, 2) sickness, 3) emergency evacuation, and 4) repatriation of remains. You should review your international health insurance plan to make sure you are covered for the benefits mentioned above. Your insurance plan must specifically state the minimum level of coverage for these benefits internationally. Most domestic insurance plans do not cover you while overseas. When in doubt contact your insurance provider to ask about international coverage.

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Q. I am covered under my parent’s health insurance plan. Is this plan acceptable?

A. We will accept your parent’s insurance plan as long as the plan covers you internationally and provides coverage for health, accident, emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains. You will need to submit the coverage details for this plan that specifically states the required international coverage along with your insurance identification cards that state your name and enrollment period.

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Q. What is the summary of benefits?

A. The summary of benefits is the brochure and paperwork that you receive when you purchase an insurance plan. The summary of benefits states specifically what the details are of the insurance plan. You can supplement the copy of your international health insurance card with the summary of benefits, highlighting the key four areas of international health insurance coverage required by the Gilman Program as in your Terms and Conditions Contract and above.

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Q. My international health insurance is included in my study abroad program fees. What documents do I submit for proof of international health insurance?

A. Some study abroad programs automatically enroll their students in an international health insurance plan. The program provider will provide you with your insurance identification cards along with the summary of benefits for this plan. You will need to submit these supporting documents as proof of international health insurance, ensuring your name, coverage period and terms are clearly provided. If you do not have these documents available by the deadline, your study abroad advisor can submit a letter stating your coverage confirming the Gilman required points: accident & sickness, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains for the full length of your program.

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Q. I have domestic health insurance. How do I know if it covers me internationally?

A. Many domestic health insurance plans will not cover you internationally. You will need to review your insurance plan to make sure it covers you for health insurance, accident insurance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains while overseas. If your domestic insurance plan does not cover you while overseas, we suggest you purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which provides all four types of insurance coverage. The ISIC card costs about $25 and is good for one year. ISIC cards may be purchased at any ISIC issuing office, including many study abroad offices, or online at MYISIC. However, please review the ISIC policy to ensure it is the right amount of coverage for you.

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Q. I do not have international health insurance. How do I obtain international health insurance?

A. There are many options available to obtain international health insurance coverage. Check with your program provider to see if you are automatically enrolled in an international insurance plan; some programs provide this to their students as part of the program fees. You can also speak with your study abroad advisor who can provide options for international health insurance coverage. We also suggest you purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which provides all four types of insurance coverage. The ISIC card costs about $25 and is good for one year. ISIC cards may be purchased at any ISIC issuing office, including many study abroad offices, or online at MYISIC. However, please review the ISIC policy to ensure it is the right amount of coverage for you.

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Q. Can my study abroad advisor write a letter confirming my international health insurance coverage?

A. Yes. Your advisor can produce a letter confirming your international health insurance coverage with the name of the insurance provider, the coverage details (specific to the Gilman Program's requirements of accident & sickness, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains), and the coverage dates. The letter will need to be signed by your advisor and you can upload it into your online award documentation.

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Q. I have not received my international health insurance documents from my program provider. What should I do?

A. We encourage you to contact your program provider to find out when you will receive your insurance documents. Some program providers will expedite the documents if you explain the urgency. If you have not received your international health insurance documents by the award documentation deadline, you will need to contact the Gilman staff to inform us of your situation. Please note that you will not receive your Gilman Scholarship funds until all of your award documentation is received and completed.

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Q. I purchased an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), but it will take 7-10 business days for me to receive my card. What should I do?

A. If you purchased the ISIC online, you will receive a receipt of purchase via email within 24 hours of purchasing the ISIC. You can upload the receipt to your online award documentation. Once you receive your ISIC, please submit a photocopy to the Gilman office via email.

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Scholarship Payment Information

Q. Who sponsors the Gilman Scholarship?

A. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State and is supported through an annual Congresssional appropriation. The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the program from the IIE Houston office.

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Q. I would like to set up direct deposit; however, I do not have permanent checks for my checking account. What should I do?

A. If you do not have permanent checks for your checking account (i.e. a check with your name printed on it), then you will either need to request your bank to provide you an official letter confirming your checking account information as requested on the Payment Information form or select to receive your Gilman Scholarship funds in the form of a check. Unfortunately, we cannot directly deposit your Gilman Scholarship funds into your account without a permanent check that has your name printed on it or the bank letter confirming your checking account information. It is important to remember we cannot deposit funds into an account that is NOT in your name.

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Q. I have a joint account with someone. Is this okay?

A. Yes, as long as the corresponding checks have your name printed on them as well.

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Q. Can I submit a used check?

A. No. You will need to submit a blank check with the words “VOID” written on it.

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Q. Can I submit a deposit slip instead of a check?

A. No. You must either submit a permanent check with your name on it or an official letter from your bank confirming your checking account information as requested on the Payment Information form.

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Q. I selected to receive my Gilman Scholarship funds via direct deposit. When will I receive my Gilman Scholarship Funds in my account?

A. Once you have completed your Gilman Scholarship Award Documentation successfully and your award documentation is approved, Gilman staff will notify you of when you should expect to receive your funds. Generally, you will receive the direct deposit within 2-3 weeks of your award documentation being approved. You will see a line entry in your bank account from EFT-IIE in the full amount of your awarded Gilman Scholarship.

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Q. I selected to receive my Gilman Scholarship funds in the form of a check. When will I receive my Gilman Scholarship check?

A. Once you have completed your Gilman Scholarship Award Documentation successfully and your award documentation is approved, Gilman staff will notify you of when you should expect to receive your check. Generally, you will receive your check within 2-3 weeks of your award documentation being approved.

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