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The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness.

The GVSU Fellowships Office is here to walk alongside you as you draft your essays - BEFORE you submit them via the application portal at the deadline for the national review process. Email [email protected] to set up a time to talk about the application process. It's best to start early in the application cycle, as competitive essays require reflection and revision. This State Department award opens doors to subsequent fellowships – Fulbright, Peace Corps and more. All IIE Gilman recipients will want to keep an eye out for future emails to the Gilman alumni community, as additional opportunities are open only to recipients. Recipients will also have, for a limited time, non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs at the conclusion of their Gilman-awarded study-abroad experience. That’s quite something, if you are looking at a career in federal service after you graduate!

  • Nationally competitive awards are granted to around 3,000 students each year.  
  • Accessible: Over 210 GVSU students have been awarded a Gilman Scholarship over the past fourteen years.   
  • Applications open twice a year (in January with a March deadline for study-abroad opportunities in the following fall and winter/spring, and in July with an October deadline for study-abroad opportunities in the following winter/spring and summer).   
  • Gilman partner awards provide funding for study-abroad in specific countries - see Partners - Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship ( (partners include Taiwan, Portugal, France, Germany, New Zealand, Wales and Israel).
  • Awards are up to $5,000, with a critical-need language supplement of up to an additional $3,000 for intensive language programs in Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bahasa/Indonesian, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish or Urdu.
  • For students participating in a program administered by CIEE: ALL Gilman Applicants are Guaranteed a CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant of up to $2,500.

Am I Eligible?

- I am a U.S. citizen.

-  I am a GVSU undergraduate in good standing (not on probation; with no conduct violations). Spring/Summer Applicants can walk at April graduation but their degree cannot be conferred until after they complete their study abroad program.

-  I am eligible for the Pell Grant.   Not sure?  Ask GVSU Financial Aid Office.

ORdependent child of an active duty military member(s) during the time of application. Parent/guardian must serve in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Coast Guard. Applicant must currently receive any type of Title IV federal financial aid. Study abroad program must meet all other Gilman eligibility. The Gilman-McCain Scholarship uses the same application as the Gilman Scholarship.

- I am planning to study/intern abroad for at least 21 days (this limit has now been lifted - study-abroad programs of fewer than 21 days are now included as eligible for funding but preference is still for longer programs)

- My host site has an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System

NOTE:   Certain areas within Level 1 or 2 countries may be designated as either “Do not travel to” (Level 4) or “Reconsider travel to” (Level 3) locations. Students will not be allowed to travel to these areas. This is especially true for some programs in Mexico, where travel warning levels vary by state.

Not sure about your study abroad plans? Visit the Padnos International Center, 130 Lake Ontario Hall

Gilman Scholarship - Interest Form

After you complete the form, the Office of Fellowships will follow up with details on how to apply to the scholarship. You are required to work with the Office of Fellowships in order to apply for this scholarship. For more information email: [email protected]

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Page last modified May 28, 2024