The Benjamin Gilman Scholarship Program, (an international study abroad scholarship) which is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, rewards those applicants majoring in only a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) program. The main objective of the program is to financially assist US undergraduate students planning to study abroad. The Gilman scholarships are provided to those applicants who are planning to apply or have been accepted into a study abroad program recognized by the student’s accredited institution of higher education in the US. The Gilman international scholarship cycle for summer 2010 is a pilot for the STEM fields. It presents a scholarship opportunity program second to none for college students.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – ECA (http://exchanges.state.gov) works towards enabling mutual understanding between the people of the US and the people of the other countries. This mission is accomplished through nternational education exchange programs with more than 160 countries. ECA has over 1 million program alumni around the world, including more than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current and former heads of state and government. The total investment done under the international exchange program in 2008 was more than $1.5 billion.
The Gilman scholarship for summer 2010 has been changed to a Pilot for the STEM fields of study. For the year 2010-11, 125 scholarships are to be awarded to the students studying abroad during the summer of 2010. Each study abroad scholarship will be up to $5,000 and the average Gilman scholarship award would be $3,000. The major criteria for application are as below:
- Applicant should be receiving or would have been approved to receive the Federal Pell Grant – grant provided for the low-income applicants for education.
- Applicant should be attending a program that is recognized in the US.
- Minimum 28 days of study in one country (selected countries as per list).
The applications are to be done online either in Oct 2009 or in April 2010. However the date needs to be confirmed on the website. The program’s objective is to assist students from a diverse range of colleges and universities including, but not limited to: two and four-year public and private colleges, Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other Minority-Serving Institutions from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. It provides scholarship opportunities to those sections and communities of the society that would have not visited any foreign country due to financial constraints. The program encourages diversity and hence one of the selection guideline is the diverse background of the applicant as well.
International education exchange programs allow students from various countries to interact and share information and knowledge with each other. As citizen diplomats, they gain not only knowledge and insight into other countries and cultures but also life-changing personal and professional enrichment. Equally important, by sharing U.S. culture and values with foreign counterparts and audiences they lay a foundation of inter-cultural trust and friendship to last a lifetime. Such scholarship opportunities especially for people from disadvantaged background ensure that the objectives of the exchange program are achieved in the best possible manner and hence this Benjamin Gilman Scholarship Program for international study abroad college students.