Learning Abroad Center

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships

General Scholarship Information

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for US undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

Gilman COVID-19-Related Questions 

The official Gilman scholarship website addresses a number of questions related to COVID-19's impact on your scholarship eligibility, application process, and completion of the follow-on service project.

Resources for University of Minnesota Students

Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship: Virtual Info Session

Monday, February 15, 3-4pm

Advance registration is required to attend.

If you are unable to attend this session, or wish to review this information early, you may access the Zoom recording of a previous session from September 25, 2020 (login and UMN email required)

This session covers eligibility requirements, the application process, tips for applying, and additional resources. A significant part of the webinar will focus on guidance for crafting high-quality Gilman and/or Freeman-ASIA Scholarship essays.

Contact Thuy Doan with questions.

Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship:  Individual Feedback on Essay Drafts

For the March 2021 application cycle, the LAC will continue to offer individual essay feedback meetings via Zoom with advisers who have served as Gilman scholarship reviewers in the past. These meetings are available to info session attendees and may be scheduled after the webinar. If you would like feedback on your Gilman essay, email your draft to Thuy Doan at least one week prior to the info session. Note: advisers cannot review drafts submitted fewer than 5 business days before the application deadline. We recommend that you review Gilman's Composing Competitive Essays video prior to writing your draft. You may also find the Follow-on Service Project Info Session and Follow-on Project FAQ videos helpful in drafting your proposal idea. Students may also meet with an adviser any time before or after the webinar to discuss essay ideas even if they don't have a draft ready.  A list of available reviewers and their contact information will be shared at the info session and also is available via the Gilman Scholarship Checklist (under Certifying Gilman Advisers at the Learning Abroad Center).

Future Sessions & Workshops

Gilman/Freeman-ASIA Scholarship info sessions and workshops are offered every semester. 

Gilman Scholarships Checklist

Review the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships Checklist for step-by-step instructions specific to UofM students applying to this scholarship. The checklist also includes application tips and a list of certifying advisers at the Learning Abroad Center and the Office of Student Finance.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The applicant must be US citizen currently in good academic standing.
  • 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 program or internship. 
  • The applicant is applying to or has been accepted into a study abroad program or internship eligible for credit by the student's accredited institution of higher education in the US.
  • The applicant is studying or interning abroad for at least three weeks (no fewer than 21 days).
  • The applicant must be studying in a country or area with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System.
  • More eligibility details can be found on the Gilman application website.

Selection criteria

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support a diverse range of students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including but not limited to:

  • Students with high financial need 
  • Students studying in non-traditional countries, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand
  • Students with diverse ethnic backgrounds 
  • Students from a diverse range of institutions including four-year, public, private, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions.
  • Students with disabilities 


Students can study and intern abroad during the spring, summer, fall or academic year term. Refer to each term for specific dates on the deadlines and timelines for the application cycle.

Application Cycle Eligible Terms Student Deadline*

Spring Deadline

Programs beginning between May 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022, including:

May/Summer 2021

Fall semester 2021

Academic Year 2021-22

Winter Break 2022

Spring Semester 2022

Calendar Year 2022

March 2, 2021

Extended to Márch 9, 2021

@11:59pm Pacific Time

Fall Deadline

Programs beginning between December 1, 2021 and October 31, 2022, including:

Winter Break 2021-22

Spring Semester 2022

Calendar Year 2022

May/Summer 2022

Fall semester 2022

Academic Year 2022-23

October 5, 2021


*Study Abroad and Financial Aid Advisers have one week after the student deadline to submit their certifications.

Award Amounts

Over 3200 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for US citizen undergraduates to study abroad (with the potential of an additional $3000 for students who also apply for the Critical Need Language award). Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being approximately $4,000 for students on semester year programs and $2500 for short-term programs.

How to Submit Your Application

There are two components to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Application:

  1. Online application that includes uploading official transcripts. 
  2. Online certifications from the applicant’s study abroad and financial aid adviser.

Both components must be completed by the respective student and adviser deadlines in order for your application to be accepted. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered and extensions cannot be granted.

**Visit the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship website to learn more about this opportunity, review webinars with application tips, and to get started on your application.