Financially needy U.S. undergraduates can receive scholarship monies for study abroad programs worldwide through the new Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is named after Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY), the sponsor of legislation that sets aside $1.5 million to broaden and increase opportunities for study abroad by undergraduate students who face financial constraints. The Institute of International Education (IIE), a New York-based non-profit organization, administers the program through its Southern Regional Office in Houston, Texas under a grant from the Bureau.
AASCU strongly supported the creation of the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, Gilman International Scholarships that provide up to $5,000 for American students to pursue overseas study for college credit. 302 students received Gilman scholarships during the 2001 academic year. Gilman Scholarships are available to students in receipt of Pell Grants, a needs-based program to support postsecondary education. Because of their limited financial means, most of those students would never have been able to aspire to an overseas study experience. AASCU's letter of support is listed below.
The Gilman program received $1.5 million each fiscal year in 2001 and 2002. The State Department budget, like most agency budgets, is still up in the air but is expected to be $1.5 again for FY03. The first one-half of 2002 Gilman recipients are enjoying their semester abroad right now and the second one-half will be chosen this week for the spring semester. Around 310 scholars are expected to receive these awards for this year.
Application forms are available at the Gilman International Scholarship website, <http://www.iie.org/gilman>. Additional information is available through IIE's Southern Regional Office by e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org<>, or by calling Michelle Pickard at (713) 621-6300 ext. 25.
University and college administrators and faculty should alert potential applicants to this scholarship opportunity for the 2002-2003 academic year. For additional information, contact: Catherine Friend, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, phone (202) 619-5548 or email her at email@example.com. Or, simply visit this address on the Department of State website for information on this valuable program.
This website has as a contact: Educational Information and Resources Branch, US Department of State SA-44, 301 4th Street, SW Room 349, Washington, DC 20547. The telephone is listed as 202-619-5434 and the fax 202-401-1433.
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