Gilman Scholarship

How to apply



The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. This scholarship provides Federal Pell Grant-eligible students with $5,000 to offset costs associated with the study of languages critical to US national security in a diverse array of countries. Gilman Scholars are committed to expanding the professional and linguistic skills of US undergraduates to succeed as American leaders domestically and abroad. Applicants should be committed to working towards mutual understanding in countries critical to US national security interests.


Gilman Scholars are awarded $5,000 to offset costs associated with studying abroad and are granted 12 months of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status within the federal government following the successful completion of the program. Applicants studying a critical need language may apply for up to $3,000 of additional funding through the Critical Need Language Award.


To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, an applicant must be:

  • A citizen or national of the United States
  • An undergraduate student in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States
  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof that they will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship
  • In the process of applying to, or accepted to, a credit-bearing study abroad or internship program
  • Applying for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country or location with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the US Department of State’s Travel Advisory System

Selection Criteria

Applicants are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Relatedness of study abroad plans to future academic and career goals
  • Commitment to fostering mutual understanding while abroad and sharing experiences with local communities upon returning to the US
  • Academic preparedness for study abroad
  • Diversity of backgrounds and experiences
  • If applying for a Critical Need Language Award, commitment to achieving proficiency in a language considered critical to US interests

How to Apply

  1. Learn about the award: visit the program’s website and check eligibility. Remember that you must also be in the process of applying to or be accepted to a credit-bearing study abroad program prior to reward disbursement, so start thinking about where you’d like to study abroad.
  2. There are two deadlines each year: in October and March. Try to get started on the application about two to three months before the national deadline. Reach out to Gabi Berzinkas, Study Abroad Advisor, to discuss your Gilman application plans as soon as you think that you might apply.
  3. Work with Gabi Berzinkas on solidifying your proposal plans for Gilman and if you would like some perspective on your essays, draft your application essays and then book a draft review appointment with the Office of Fellowships. 
  4. Revise your application materials on your own and submit before the national deadline in early October. In your application, select your study abroad and financial aid advisors.
  5. Once you’ve submitted your application, make sure that both advisors have certified your application by the advisor deadline.
  6. October applicants will receive a decision on their application in December and March applicants will be notified in May.