The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. By supporting undergraduate students who have high financial need, the program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) or other minority-serving institutions, students attending community colleges, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation. Award amounts range from $100 to $5000 (with the opportunity to receive a Critical Need Language Award of up to $8000).

National Deadline

There are two cycles per year, in March and October. Confirm exact date on the Gilman website. 

Institutional Nomination

Gilman does not require institutional nomination. Candidates are encouraged to work with Education Abroad and Fellowships Advising on their application. 

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

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

  • A citizen 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 for, a study abroad or internship program of at least two weeks for community college students and three weeks for students from four-year institutions, eligible for credit from the student’s home institution;

  • Applying for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country or area with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System. However, certain locations within these countries or areas may be designated within the Travel Advisory as either “Do not travel to” (Level 4) or “Reconsider travel to” (Level 3) locations, as such; students will not be allowed to travel to these specific locations. Moreover, students are not eligible to apply for programs in a country or area with an overall Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory. 

Selection is based on the following:

  • Impact of program and destination on the student’s academic and career trajectory 

  • Community impact abroad and upon student’s return home

  • Academic preparedness

  • Diversity of background and experience

  • Commitment to proficiency in a critical need language (only applicable to CNLA applicants)

  • See the Gilman selection criteria for more information 

Campus contact

Education Abroad is the main campus contact ( Fellowships Advising is also available to review draft essays (