The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad, and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for US undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE).


Over 3200 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for US citizen undergraduates to study abroad (with the potential of an additional $3000 for students who also apply for the Critical Need Language award).

Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need, with the average award being approximately $4,000 for students on semester year programs and $2500 for short-term programs.


The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 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 (including both two-year and four-year institutions);
  • 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. Proof of program acceptance is required prior to award disbursement;
  • Applying for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country or location with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System. It is important to note that certain areas within a country or location that has an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2 may be designated within the Travel Advisory as either Level 3 or Level 4; Gilman scholars will not be allowed to travel to these specific areas. Gilman scholars are unable to participate in programs located in a country or location — or an area within a country or location — that is designated as either a Level 3 (“Reconsider travel to”) or Level 4 (“Do not travel to”).

The U.S. Department of State reserves the right to request program changes for specific countries or locations if deemed necessary during any stage of the application, selection process, or while on program. Final awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the health and security situation in a country or location. Furthermore, a Gilman scholar’s status may be affected should the health or security situation in a country or location change.

Selection Process

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

Application Documents

  • Current University Transcript
  • Transfer University Transcript(s)

Method of Application

Click Here to Apply

There are three essays required as part of the Gilman Scholarship application: the Statement of Purpose Essay and the two Community Impact Essays, which are the Building Mutual Understanding Essay and the Follow-on Service Project Proposal. For those applying for a Critical Need Language Award or for the STEM Supplemental Award, additional essays are required.

Essay Guidelines

  • Compose your essays first in a word processing program, and then upload the file to your online application. Please use 1-inch margins and Times New Roman 12-point font for each of your essays.
  • Your essay should be composed in paragraph format, not as numbered responses to the questions in the application.
    • The Statement of Purpose Essay is limited to 7,000 characters (including spaces).
    • The Building Mutual Understanding Essay is limited to 3,000 characters (including spaces).
    • The Follow-on Service Project Proposal is limited to 3,000 characters (including spaces).
    • The optional Critical Need Language Award essay has a 2,000 character limit (including spaces).
    • The optional STEM Supplemental Award essay has a 1,000 character limit (including spaces).
  • Ensure that your essays address the prompt/theme.
  • Please preview your essays once you have uploaded them into the application to ensure the correct file was uploaded.

For More Information,

Visit the Official Webpage

Application Deadline: October 10, 2024.