Gilman Scholarship Offers Study Abroad Opportunity for Low Income Students

by Goran Poljak

Are you looking for a life-changing experience, a real challenge or even just something on your resume that will make you stand out to universities and future employers? Studying abroad encompasses all of these aspects and more, but to most students, studying abroad seems like dream. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program could help make this dream a reality.

The Gilman International Scholarship offers grants to undergraduate students with limited financial means and from historically underrepresented groups such as first-generation college students, ethnic minority students, and students with disabilities who wish to pursue academic studies or credit bearing, career oriented internships abroad. This program has been active since 2001 and has helped over 17,000 students study or intern abroad in over 140 countries.

“We are really interested in americans going abroad and participating in the communities and gaining experience while also bringing that knowledge back to the U.S.,” – Kyle Cox, I.I.E representative

A representative from the International Institute of Education, an organization that provides dozens of other student awards, spoke to WCC students about the Gilman International Scholarship program. This year, the Gilman program will award over 2,900 students up to $5000 to study abroad. The entire application process is online that mostly requires a transcript from your current university as well as interview themed essay to share your study abroad goals.

The money the scholarship awards students will cover study abroad travel expenses such as room and board and book fees. The Gilman program is just one of many awards the I.I.E can provide students, as they recommend students apply for as many awards as possible to pursue their educational goals. The Gilman and other scholarships are incentives for young American students travel abroad.

“We are really interested in americans going abroad and participating in the communities and gaining experience while also bringing that knowledge back to the U.S.,” said Kyle Cox, an I.I.E representative who shared what the Gilman Scholarship can offer.

The percentage of American students studying abroad is low relative to other countries, but the well-needed aid by scholarships like the Gilman program gives students the opportunity of studying abroad while also motivating them to have the experience of a lifetime.

“I’m excited to travel outside my community and to see what else is out there and what i can come back with,” said WCC student Oscar Salazar when asked about the Gilman program.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship as well as the online application can be accessed through the Gilman scholarship website at and students who need to more information and guidance on this and other scholarships can find assistance in room 249 in the WCC library.

WCC students are especially recommended to study abroad as many students will move on to four-year institutions and bigger career aspirations. Experiences like studying abroad will build the type of character and experience that top universities and employers are looking for.

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