Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Provides up to $5,000 to students who have high financial need a study abroad.

Gilman Scholarship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens
  • First, second, third,and fourth-year students
  • Recipientsof a Federal Pell Grant
  • Applicants to a UChicago Study Abroad credit-bearing program

Selection Criteria: 

  • Impact of program and destination on student’s academic/career goals
  • Community impact, abroad and in a follow-up service project
  • Academic preparedness
  • Diversity of background, experience and perspectives

Candidates for the Gilman Scholarship can affirm the following: 

  • I can explain my motivation and preparedness for the proposed study abroad experience.
  • I can explain how I will serve as an effective citizen diplomat abroad.
  • I can propose a feasible follow-up project to increase awareness of study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship.

What is Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship? The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. Scholarships are up tp $5,000, and up to $8,000 for applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad.

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 fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation. Veterans of military service are encouraged to apply, and preference is given to veterans when other factors are equivalent.

Selection and Benefits. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, international airfare, passport and visa fees.

Gilman scholars are eligible for 12 months of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status within the federal government, with the possibility of extensions.

Deadline Information

March program application due 11:59pm Pacific Time: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

October program application due 11:59pm Pacific Time: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • A U.S. citizen
  • An undergraduate student in good standing
  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant
  • Applying for a study abroad of at least 3 weeks, eligible for credit at UChicago.

Application Process

Deadlines: The March 2021 Deadline application will open in mid-January 2021 for applicants whose in-person or virtual programs start between May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. This cycle encompasses Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Academic Year 2021-2022, and Spring 2022 programs. 

Application materials: Please submit your transcript, Statement of Purpose (7,000 characters) and two Community Impact essays (each 3,000 characters). If you are applying for a Critical Need Language Award, submit an additional essay (2,000 characters). 

UChicago resources and support: A comprehensive Gilman Scholarship webinar is available via CCRF Resource Library. Please watch the whole session, with a focus on essays. Once you develop and write your essays, email Sandra Zupan to schedule an appointment at least 3 weeks ahead of March 2. During the meeting you will obtain detailed feedback and suggestions for further revisions.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Sandra Zupan