Hey everyone, in this post, I'd like to talk about some of the resources that potential study-abroad students could use for financing their experience. There is a diverse array of resources out there to help you, and one that has really meant so much to me has been the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.
This is a fabulous resource, and it was created with the purpose of divesifying "the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go" (Gilman). The program is funded through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, and is affiliated with the U.S. Department of State.
I've been thoroughly impressed with how clear and informative their website is(http://www.iie.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Programs7/Gilman_Awards/Home8/Home.htm)
and the responsiveness of their staff helps make the experience smooth and stress-free.
Eligibility for the scholarship entails (this is striaght from the website):
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is open to all U.S. citizen undergraduates, in good academic standing, who meet the criteria listed below:
- The applicant must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of his/her study abroad.
- The applicant is applying to or has been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit by the student's accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.
- The applicant is studying abroad for at least 28 days in one country. Programs going to more than one country are eligible if the student will be studying in one country for at least 28 consecutive days.
- The applicant is studying abroad in any country except Cuba or a country on the U.S. Department of State's current Travel Warning list.
Since 2001, they have received 18,960 applications, and 4,728 scholarships have been awarded.The average award is $4,000 but one can receive a scholarship of up to $5,000.
Their website does such a fabulous job of explaining the application process, featuring helpful informational videos that explain the process step-by-step. Applying for this scholarship was one of the best decisions I've made in planning for my study abroad. Moreover, I've met other students in my program in Beijing who have also received the Gilman Scholarship, and they have told me how much this scholarship has helped their families, and made this experience possible.
So check out their website, talk with the people at your study abroad office about this and the vast array of other scholarships out there, and plan early. And as you make that plan, make sure to put the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program at the top of your list.