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Updated as of May 16, 2022
The U.S. Department of State continues to update Travel Advisories, and the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) continues to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 globally. As a result of close consultation between ECA and U.S. Embassies and Consulates, the Gilman Program has temporarily updated travel policies to allow Gilman Scholars to study/intern in select locations with a Level 3 Travel Advisory.
Per long-standing policy, Gilman Scholars are permitted to study or intern only in locations with a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory. For programs starting on or after January 1, 2022, Gilman Scholars will be able to participate in programs in a select number of locations with Level 3 Travel Advisories. The program location must be a Level 1 or 2, or an approved Level 3 Travel Advisory exception location, at the start of the program. Gilman scholars must fully comply with their host country’s visa and entry requirements, including those related to vaccinations, quarantine, and testing.
Updates for 5/16/2022: Japan has been added as an exception. Please check the Department of State’s Travel Advisory page for current status of your host location.
The full list of countries is listed below. Please note that this list of Level 3 exceptions will be updated every TUESDAY by 12pm (EST).
- Mexico (note that the states designated as Level 3/Reconsider Travel or Level 4/Do Not Travel are not eligible. See the Travel Advisory for additional details).
Students traveling to Approved Selected Level 3 Countries must:
- Consult with staff at their U.S. college/ university and program provider to determine any additional precautions or contingency plans of which they need to be aware to study/ intern in the selected location.
- Determine their ability to travel to and enter the location and adhere to any additional requirements or restrictions, which may include vaccinations, quarantine, and testing.
- Complete a Gilman-provided weekly online check-in questionnaire for the duration of their program abroad, or until the Travel Advisory changes to a Level 1 or 2. These check-ins are required in order to maintain their status as a Gilman Scholar, and failure to complete these check-ins may result in termination of their status as a Gilman Scholar and may include repayment of Gilman funding.
- Respond promptly to any inquiries from the U.S. Department of State officials, including at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, and from the Gilman Program team to provide requested updates on their health and safety and any changes to their program status. These communications will be provided by email and it is incumbent upon Gilman Scholars to check their primary email address daily. Failure to respond to these communications may result in termination of their status as a Gilman Scholar and may include repayment of Gilman funding.
Travel Advisories and the approved Level 3 countries are subject to change, so students should continue to reconfirm this information as the proposed time period for the exchange approaches. The Gilman Program, under the direction of the U.S. Department of State, is the final decision-making authority regarding the eligibility of a location and the continuation of a student’s participation as a grantee of the Gilman Program.
COVID-19 TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS
Many areas worldwide are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and have taken actions that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice. If students are participating in programs in Level 1 or 2, or approved Level 3 locations, it is essential that they confirm their ability to travel to and enter the location and adhere to any additional requirements or restrictions that may be in place. Please note that situations are continuing to evolve, and students should continue to reconfirm this information as the proposed time period for the exchange approaches.
For more information on the safety and health support available to Gilman Scholars, Please check here for more information on the safety and health support available to Gilman Scholars.
Effective February 15, 2022
As global health conditions and the impact on study abroad continue to evolve, the Gilman Program has temporarily revised its policy related to the disbursement of funding to selected recipients. This policy is intended to support the planning and ability of Gilman Scholars to participate in study abroad programs as conditions allow without undue strain and financial burden. This policy continues the Gilman Program’s legacy of supporting access and equity to international experiences to U.S. undergraduate students with high financial need, while also balancing health and safety considerations due to the continued impact of the pandemic.
- Upon submission of all required documentation and approval, Gilman funds will be disbursed to recipients with programs in locations indicated on this list, regardless of the current Travel Advisory Level of the study/intern abroad location.
- While the Gilman Program reserves the right to request financial compensation in the event funds are not utilized for eligible expenses for a study/intern abroad program, Gilman recipients will not be required to return funding that has already been designated for or spent on eligible program expenses, regardless of the Travel Advisory Level.
- This update applies to active recipients who were awarded during the March 2021 Deadline Application, the October 2021 Deadline Application, with program start dates on or after February 14, 2022, and those applying in the current March 2022 Deadline Application cycle.
- In order for a student to officially study/intern abroad as a Gilman Scholar, have access to emergency support from the Gilman Program while abroad, and to receive Gilman alumni benefits, including Non-Competitive Eligibility for Federal Employment, the student’s destination must have a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory or be on the list of eligible Level 3 locations, at the start of the program. To make program changes, a student may:
- Elect to change to another program in an alternate location.
- Elect to participate in a credit-bearing virtual study abroad program or international internship. For more information on eligible options, Please check here for more information on eligible options.
- Elect to defer to a later program. Note that the program must begin by April 30, 2022, for March 2021 Deadline recipients, and by October 30, 2022 for October 2021 Deadline recipients.
- Elect to decline the Gilman Scholarship. As long as a student remain eligible, they may reapply in the future. Prior recipients who were unable to study abroad due to COVID complications will be given special priority consideration as part of the selection process.
- Students who receive Gilman funding, but who cannot travel abroad as a Gilman Scholar because the student’s destination is a Level 4 or non-eligible Level 3 location, will be considered “Gilman recipients,” but not “Gilman Scholars” with alumni benefits. These Gilman recipients may elect to study abroad as private citizens and will not have to return funds spent on – or obligated for — eligible program expenses. Students who receive funds to these locations will be required to certify that the funds received were spent on eligible expenses. Students will be expected to return any unused funds.
- Gilman recipients who do not study/intern abroad as Gilman Scholars will not be eligible for Gilman alumni benefits, including Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) for federal employment, or activities, including programs offered either by the Gilman Program or the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
If a recipient continues with a program in a non-approved Level 3 or Level 4 location, they do so as a private citizen without the support of the Gilman Program while abroad, including assistance with emergencies or departure back to the United States or access to the alumni benefits as described above. Students should:
- Consult with their home institution and program administrator, consider the health and safety guidance of their program and local authorities and confirm that they will have reliable access to health care, if necessary.
- Discuss with their program any necessary precautions and contingency plans should the situation worsen, including border closures or potential costs associated with a quarantine.
- Read information from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and ensure their information is up to date in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When will March 2022 deadline applicants know if they are selected to receive a Gilman Scholarship?
A. The Gilman Program anticipates notifying applicants and their advisors in May 2022.
Q. WHAT KIND OF VIRTUAL PROGRAMS OR INTERNSHIPS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR GILMAN?
A. The following options are considered eligible virtual abroad programs, all of which must be credit-bearing:
- Online courses at an institution based outside of the United States;
- Via direct enrollment, an exchange program or a program provider;
- Virtual faculty-led study abroad programs;
- Virtual international internships;
- Virtual intensive language programs at an institution based outside of the United States; and/or
- Students may also propose internationally-focused virtual programs for review by Gilman Program staff. They should email Gilman@iie.org.
Yes. A student may participate in a credit-bearing hybrid program (both virtual and in-person) if the in-person portion has a Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2 prior to the program start date.
Q. What programs or countries are acceptable for the application?
A. Programs must be credit-bearing and located in a country/area with an overall Travel Advisory of Level 1 or 2, or, after January 1, 2022, one of the additional eligible countries additional eligible countries listed here. Please refer to eligibility for more details.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
Q. Can the Gilman Program help Gilman alumni currently abroad return to the United States?
A. The Gilman Program cannot assist Gilman alumni who are currently abroad to return to the United States. The Gilman Program’s emergency travel assistance was solely to support students who departed immediately after travel restrictions were enacted. Individuals remaining in their study abroad countries should reach out directly to the U.S. Embassy’s Office of American Citizen Services for questions and support, if needed.
Q. Do Gilman Scholars who returned early need to complete their Follow-on Service Project?
A. Yes, Gilman Scholars who returned early will be required to complete their Follow-On Service Project within 6 months of their return to the U.S.
Q. How do Gilman Scholars extend their Follow-on Service Project deadline?
A. To request an extension, scholars need to log into the Gilman Alumni Portal and click the Follow-on Report tab to propose a new and reasonable deadline for the project along with a brief explanation of the extension request.
Q. How can a Gilman Scholar who has returned early revise their Follow-on Service Project Proposal?
A. If a Gilman Scholar who returned early is unable to complete their Follow-On Service Project as proposed in the application, they should contact Gilman with the reason for revision and the new plan. Then they should summarize the new Follow-on Service Project plan in paragraph format by addressing the following questions:
- Briefly outline your proposed project to promote the Gilman Scholarship and international education. How will this project impact your home university or community? What are your project goals?
- What is your target population and how will your project impact this group?
- How will you integrate the impact of your experiences abroad into your project? What medium will you use to express your message? (ex: presentation, flyer, social media, etc.)
- What, if any, campus departments, student organizations, and/or community organizations will you collaborate with in promoting the Gilman Scholarship and international education? Have you already made contact with these groups?
Q. Do advisors need to edit certifications for applicants whose programs were canceled?
A. No. Advisors do not need to edit certifications for applications submitted if the programs were canceled. Students who are changing to a different program or participating in a credit-bearing virtual program will be required to complete a ‘Program Change’ in the Gilman application system. Once they have provided their updated information, advisors will be prompted to certify new program information. Note that students who are participating in the same program indicated on their application, but during a later term, they will not be required to get their updated program dates certified by their advisor.
Q. CAN MY STUDENT APPLY FOR A PROGRAM IN A COUNTRY OR AREA THAT IS CURRENTLY A TRAVEL ADVISORY LEVEL 3 OR 4?
A. If a country or area is at a level 3 or 4 only due to COVID-19 at the time they apply, Gilman will still consider them eligible for review. However, if the applicant becomes a recipient, the program location must have a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory or an approved level 3 exception before the program start date. Otherwise, the recipient will not be paid and the program will not be considered eligible. The Gilman program will work with them on alternative options.
Q. CAN GILMAN SEND FLYERS AND POSTERS TO ME?
A. At this time Gilman is providing free digital flyers, posters, and other resources to advisors. You may find them under Advisor Outreach Tools and Advisor Resources.
Q. Where can I find additional State Department and CDC Guidance and Resources to provide students and colleagues?
A. Other resources for up-to-date information regarding the current global health conditions include, but are not limited to: