The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides financial support to under-represented individuals who want to participate in Learning Abroad programs. The competitive scholarship is awarded twice each academic year–in October and March–and 19 U students will embark on international experiences this year with help from the scholarship. Their destinations include Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
47 percent of Gilman recipients are first-generation college students, and 65 percent of recipients represent racial and ethnic minorities. “The Gilman Scholarships put Learning Abroad opportunities in the peripheral of students who may not have otherwise thought that studying abroad was an option for them,” said Daniel Cloward, Learning Abroad Coordinator and Gilman Scholarship advisor.
Recipients must be U.S. citizen undergraduates currently receiving a Pell Grant, and according to the program’s website, the scholarship “enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity.” Awards are granted up to $5,000, with an additional $3,000 available to students who study “critical need languages” deemed essential to the U.S. government. Students can apply funds toward travel, lodging, and program expenses.
“Learning Abroad’s goal is to make sure every student who is interested in a program isn’t deterred by financial commitment. We want students to know that there are multiple resources that can help alleviate the cost of programs,” said Cloward. “The increase in these awards also speaks to the diversification of our student body. More students from different backgrounds–whether that be racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, sexual identity, gender identity–are being represented on campus and the entire campus is adjusting to make sure that programs offered through the university are readily available to all students regardless of background and identity.”
The Gilman Scholarship’s Spring 2022 application cycle is now live and the deadline to apply is March 1. Students can make an appointment with Daniel Cloward directly to learn more and have their application certified. Applicants must complete the Learning Abroad 101 course and identify their program of interest, then start their application at gilmanscholarship.org.