Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Provides up to $5,000 to students of limited financial means to study abroad.

Gilman Scholarship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens
  • First, second, third, and fourth-year students
  • Recipients of 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.

Extensive Description

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

Deadline: 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 eligible for credit at UChicago.

Application Process

Deadline: The October 2021 Deadline application is open for applicants whose in-person or virtual programs start between December 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022. 

Application Overview: 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). Also, please see FAQs here.

UChicago Resources and Support: A comprehensive webinar, Gilman Scholarship Overview and Essays, is available via CCRF Resource Library. Based on the material, please develop and write your essays. Next, you are strongly encouraged to attend one or both group advising sessions (September 21 and September 27) to obtain additional clarifications, feedback, and suggestions for producing compelling essays.

Language Study Resources: Students are strongly encouraged to explore and utilize additional language study resources in preparation for (and/or in addition to) their application for the Gilman Scholarship.

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