The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. The University of Florida consistently has many students receive the Gilman Scholarship; typically, about 30% of the students who apply from UF are awarded. Awards are varying amounts up to $5,000.
To be eligible to apply for this scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:
- U.S. citizen
- Undergraduate student
- Federal Pell Grant recipient
- Studying in a country with an overall Travel Advisory level of 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System. *Note that students may apply for the Gilman while their program destination has a level of 3 or 4 due to COVID-19, however, the level must be lowered to a 1 or 2 by the time their program starts.
This scholarship aims to encourage students to study in diverse countries and world regions, as well as encouraging them to study critical need languages (those deemed important to national security). Students who are historically underrepresented in study abroad are especially encouraged to apply, including but not limited to:
- Military Veterans (preference given when other factors are equivalent)
- First-Generation Students
- Students in STEM
- Ethnic & Racial Minority Students
- Students with Disabilities
- LGBTQ+ Students
Gilman Scholarship Information Sessions
UF Study Abroad Services holds semesterly info sessions about the Gilman, which will be displayed on this page and promoted on our social media when approaching. These sessions outline the program’s mission, application process, and submission requirements. Former UF recipients also often attend to present on their own experiences applying for and studying abroad with the Gilman. If you are unable to attend an information session in-person, our presentation is linked here for your review: 2021-22 Gilman Scholarship Info Session.
Gilman Essay Tips & Resources
If you are in the process of applying for the Gilman Scholarship, below are several resources that we encourage you to take advantage of in writing and editing your essays:
- Gilman Application Process & Submission Tips
- Composing Competitive Gilman Essays (Video)
- Tips for Applying to the Gilman (University of Colorado Boulder)
- 33 Tips for Applying for the Gilman Scholarship from Past Gilman Winners (USAC)
- 8 Tips for Making Your Gilman Scholarship Essays Stronger (USAC)
- How to Study Abroad on a Gilman Scholarship (CAPA)
- Successful Gilman Essay Sample
Follow-On Service Project Ideas
The Follow-On Service Project essay of the Gilman Scholarship application is often a challenge for students. Your project idea should be both tangible and creative, and promote both the Gilman in particular and study abroad in general. Below are a few projects that students have completed in the past and that you may choose to use, or incorporate in some way. It is important to note, however, that these essays are always best when ideas are original and you can make personal connections to the project, its outcomes, and its intended audience.
- Promote the Gilman Scholarship at our Study Abroad Fairs
- Present about your experience applying for the Gilman and studying abroad at our Gilman Scholarship Information Sessions
- Help review Gilman essay drafts at our Scholarship Writing Workshops
- Join our team of Study Abroad Peer Advisors to promote study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship to your peers
- Give a presentation to an organization you’re involved with at UF or in the local community
- Create a blog or social media account for your time abroad, regularly posting content geared toward other students
- Write an article about your experiences abroad, including how you got the Gilman, and submit it to The Independent Florida Alligator or another media outlet
UF Writing Studio
We strongly encourage you to visit the UF Writing Studio, which offers one-on-one appointments to review and edit your essays. Please note that these appointments are intended to help you better structure your essays and address all points of a prompt, not merely to detect spelling or grammatical errors. Online tutoring is also available. For more information, please see the UF Writing Studio’s website, visit them in 2215 Turlington Hall, or contact them at 352-846-1138.
Scholarship Writing Workshops
UF Study Abroad Services also hosts a semesterly Scholarship Writing Workshop, during which former Gilman recipients, as well as UFIC staff, are available to review your essays and provide advice. Sample copies of both good and bad essays, as well as a “Guide to Good Essays for the Gilman”, are available. These workshops will be displayed on this page and promoted on our social media when approaching. We ask that you come prepared to these workshops with either a physical or digital copy of one or more essays.