Students who receive Pell Grants from the federal government are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Program. Students studying abroad for the fall semester, the spring semester, as well as summer session may apply for these competitive scholarships and earn as much as $5,000 (in addition to the Pell Grant award) toward their study abroad program expenses.
Several TCNJ students each semester win this scholarship – they usually work carefully on the application, which involves an online form with two essays. One of these essays needs to focus upon some type of plan that the student will implement upon return in order to spread the word about study abroad. Here are some articles about TCNJ Gilman winners:
“Senior Valery Lavigne reflects on her study in China at a Washington, D.C. event marking the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao,” TCNJ Press Release, January 19, 2011 (with video from Valery’s presentation at Michelle Obama’s event at Howard University that celebrated study abroad in China)
“Gilman Scholarships Help Students Broaden Their Perspectives of the World,” TCNJ Magazine, November 2010
The staff at the Center for Global Engagement is always happy to help students prepare their applications. If a student plans to study abroad in the summer or the fall, then s/he should start to prepare an application to the scholarship in the February prior to that summer session or that fall semester. For spring study abroad students, applications should be started in September. We are happy to work with rough drafts of essays as well as provide hints as to how students can share their stories about study abroad after they return.
The Gilman website has many helpful links to get students started – everyone should take a look at it. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.