Benjamin A. GILMAN International Scholarship Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. To be eligible for the Gilman Program, applicants must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof that they will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship. The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001.

The Gilman Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security). Veterans of military service are encouraged to apply, and preference is given to veterans when other factors are equivalent. By supporting undergraduate students who have high financial need, 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, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) or other minority-serving institutions, students attending community colleges, rural students, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation.


  • Develop a generation of future American leaders who represent the rich diversity of the nation and have the international networks and skills to advance U.S. national security and economic prosperity.
  • Expand the U.S. student population that studies and interns abroad, helping more young Americans to gain the professional skills, language abilities, and knowledge of the world needed for successful careers.
  • Broaden the destinations where U.S. students study and intern abroad, in order to build relationships, foster mutual understanding, and represent American culture and values, including in developing countries and countries critical to U.S. national security.

This is a congressionally funded program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and named after the late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York. With his support, the program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. Shortly thereafter in 2003, Congressman Gilman retired after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the Committee on International Relations.

Visit for more information and to apply.

up to $5,000