Q. MY PROGRAM ABROAD WILL STILL TAKE PLACE IN A LEVEL 3 OR 4 COUNTRY. SINCE I AM FULLY VACCINATED AND HAVE COVID-19 INSURANCE COVERAGE, CAN I RECEIVE THE GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP FOR THIS PROGRAM?
A. The Gilman Program has had a longstanding policy not to allow scholarship funding to pay for travel to locations with an U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4. The safety of all Gilman Scholars is our top priority, and we are unable to make any exceptions to this policy.
Q. IF A STUDY ABROAD DESTINATION STILL HAS A LEVEL 3 OR 4 TRAVEL ADVISORY Leading up to THE PROGRAM START DATE, WHAT OPTIONS DOES A RECIPIENT HAVE FOR THEIR SCHOLARSHIP?
A. Recipients may:
- Change to a credit-bearing program in a location that has a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory. Students may follow these steps to update their program information.
- Participate in a credit-bearing virtual study abroad program or international internship. Students may follow these steps to change to a virtual program.
- Defer to a later program. Note that the program must have a Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisory prior to the program start date. Students will only receive their funding for programs in locations with Level 1 or 2 Travel Advisories. Students may follow these steps to defer.
- Decline the Gilman Scholarship. Students may reapply during a later application cycle if they plan to study abroad in summer 2022 or beyond. Although prior recipients who were unable to study abroad will not be guaranteed a scholarship, they will be given special consideration as part of the selection process. Students should indicate that they will be declining the award on the Notifications page in their Gilman portal or by contacting their Gilman regional advisor.
Q. MY OVERSEAS PROGRAM IS STILL MOVING FORWARD, AS THE CDC HAS DEEMED MY HOST COUNTRY AT A LEVEL 1 OR LEVEL 2. WHY IS THIS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR GILMAN?
A. The Gilman Program has a longstanding policy that a program abroad must be in a location with an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or Level 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System.
Q. WILL RECIPIENTS BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO A COUNTRY OR AREA WITH A TRAVEL ADVISORY 3 OR 4?
A. Recipients will not be permitted to use their Gilman Scholarship to fund a program in a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory country/area. The Gilman Program is monitoring Travel Advisory Levels closely and will reach out to affected students directly with any updates as scheduled departure dates approach. For more information on this topic, please see page on Eligibility.
Q. I HAVE NOT YET SEEN A FINAL APPROVAL FOR MY SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING, DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE?
A. The Gilman Program will review documents and distribute funds for virtual programs or programs with a Level 1 or Level 2 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory according to the payment schedule listed here. Due to our longstanding travel policy, the Gilman Program will not distribute funding for any program in a location with a Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory. If the Travel Advisory remains at a Level 3 or Level 4 within a month of the program start date, recipients will need to change programs in order to receive funds or defer their funding to a later date.
Q. HOW CAN A GILMAN RECIPIENT DEFER AN AWARD TO A FUTURE TERM OR CHANGE TO A DIFFERENT PROGRAM?
A. Students who are planning to participate in the same program during a later term will need to update their estimated program dates on the Notice of Award page in the Gilman application system. Please see the step-by-step guide for additional instructions.
Students who are changing to a different program or who initially applied for an in-person program and are changing to a virtual program will be required to complete a Program Change in their Gilman account. Please see the step-by-step guide for additional instructions. Students changing to a different program than indicated on their original Gilman application will also need an updated certification from their study abroad advisor.
Students with additional questions or concerns can contact a Gilman regional advisor.
Q. CAN A GILMAN RECIPIENT DEFER TO A PROGRAM BEGINNING IN 2022?
A. Recipients may only defer the scholarship to a term encompassed by their original application cycle. A Gilman recipient from the October 2019, March 2020, or October 2020 application cycles can defer to a program that starts no later December 31, 2021. A Gilman recipient from the March 2021 application cycle can defer to a program that starts no later than April 30, 2022.
Q. WHAT SHOULD A GILMAN RECIPIENT DO IF THEY WILL NO LONGER BE STUDYING ABROAD?
A. If a student is no longer planning on studying abroad or enrolling in a credit-bearing virtual program, they should decline their award in their Gilman account.
If a student has already received their Gilman Scholarship funds but will not be participating in an eligible program, they should contact their Gilman regional advisor. Students will be provided with information on how to account for how they spent their scholarship funds (ex: $500 on non-refundable airfare, $200 on visa fees, etc.). Repayments will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Q. ARE RECIPIENTS’ AWARD AMOUNTS ADJUSTED IF THEY CHANGE TO A NEW PROGRAM?
A. No, Gilman recipients’ award amounts will not be adjusted. If a student changes from one program to another program, their award amount will remain the same. The only exception would be a recipient of the Critical Need Language Award who is no longer studying the critical need language.
Q. CAN A GILMAN RECIPIENT DEFER THEIR AWARD TO A LATER TERM IF THEY WILL BE TRANSFERRING FROM A TWO-YEAR INSTITUTION TO A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION, OR VICE VERSA?
A. Yes, if a Gilman recipient can still use their scholarship if they have transferred institutions since receiving the award. Recipients in this situation should contact their Gilman regional advisor and provide their new institution name.
Q. CAN A RECIPIENT USE THE GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP TO PARTICIPATE ON A STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM AFTER GRADUATING?
A. Gilman recipients must be current undergraduate students for the duration of their study abroad program.
The Gilman Program is allowing exceptions to this policy only for recipients of the Cycle 1/October 2019 and March 2020 application cycles. For more information, please contact your Gilman regional advisor. Students who fit these circumstances must begin their programs by December 31, 2021. Note that this exception is specifically in response to COVID-19 and will not be applicable in future terms.
Q. WHAT IS THE DEADLINE FOR RECIPIENTS TO NOTIFY GILMAN ABOUT NEW PROGRAM PLANS?
A. Please contact the Gilman Program once you have identified a program that you are planning to participate in. Students do not need to have applied to or been accepted to a program in order to update their Gilman account but should have an idea of a first-choice plan.
Award documentation is due on a rolling basis based on the program start date, with deadlines listed here.
Q. CAN A GILMAN RECIPIENT use THE SCHOLARSHIP TOWARDS AN ONLINE PROGRAM?
A. Yes, recipients can use their Gilman Scholarship funds to pay for credit-bearing virtual study abroad or international internship programs. The following options are considered eligible virtual abroad programs:
- Online courses at an institution based outside of the United States;
- Via direct enrollment 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.
If a student originally applied for an in-person program but will be switching to a virtual program, they should follow the instructions below to complete a Program Change in their Gilman account.
Q. Is a virtual hybrid program allowed?
Yes, with the following parameters: Gilman considers a program as hybrid if altogether the virtual and in-person components are needed to meet the program length requirement of at least 21 days for students from four-year institutions or 14 days for students from two-year institutions. However, if the program’s virtual or in-person component meets the program length requirement on its own, the student must indicate their program as only virtual or in-person. For any hybrid or in-person program, the location must have an overall Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2 prior to the program start date.
Q. CAN A RECIPIENT PARTICIPATE IN A VIRTUAL PROGRAM AND ALSO TRAVEL TO THE COUNTRY WHERE THE PROGRAM IS HOSTED?
A. The Gilman Program cannot provide funding for a program in a country with a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4. If you participate in a virtual program as a Gilman Scholar, your program must be completed from within the U.S. or a country with a Travel Advisory Level 1 or 2.
Q. I am no longer able to attend the program in my application, but i found a different program. Can I still receive the Gilman Scholarship?
A. If your program has changed since you applied, please indicate this on the Notice of Award page in your Gilman account. The Gilman team will review these changes and let you know if any additional information is required. Note that the updated program must still meet the eligibility requirements.
Q. can i defer my gilman scholarship?
A. In some cases, a Gilman recipient may defer their award to a future term. To do so, please provide your updated program details on the Notice of Award page in your Gilman account. Your Gilman regional advisor may reach out to you for more information.
Q. What transcript do I need to submit?
A. All Gilman Scholarship recipients must upload, via Gilman’s online system, an official transcript from their current institution indicated in their Gilman Application. Your current transcript must include your “in progress” term and/or the completed term before your Gilman Application. If this is your first academic term at your current institution you will need to submit an official enrollment verification letter, including your name, academic courses, issued from your registrar’s office or study abroad office in place of your home institution transcript.
Q. How do I merge documents to create one file?
A. The system will only allow you to upload one file per section and the file size must not exceed the MB file size limitation given. Therefore, you will need to save all pages for each required document into one file.
The Gilman Program has detailed instructions available to help you upload your transcript and other documents, including merging, compressing, and rotating files.
Q. What if I am unsure of my Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact?
A. The Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact is the person the Gilman Program could contact in case of an emergency abroad that might concern you (i.e. program coordinator or director, host institution international student services, faculty leader, etc.). This person would be able to communicate with you directly and confirm your safety and/or location if requested by the Gilman Program. The contact information you provide needs to be the most accurate information possible. If you are not sure of the appropriate Overseas Study Abroad Program Contact, then please contact your program provider, U.S. study abroad advisor or host institution to determine this information to complete your online award documentation.
Q. What type of photo do I upload for my online award documentation?
A. Please upload a high-resolution digital image of yourself as a .gif or .jpg file. This photo should be a high-quality image that is a close-up or head-shot of you. (For example: A copy of the photo you took to apply for your passport). The Gilman Program may use this photograph for future print or web publicity.
Q. I am unsure of my travel plans at this time. What option do I choose on the Fly America Act Agreement?
A. We understand that you may not have your travel plans finalized at the time your Gilman Award Documentation is due. In this situation, you will need to select the third option stating that “I am unsure of my travel plans at this time. I understand that if I am unable to use a U.S.-flagged carrier to travel to my study abroad site, I cannot use Gilman International Scholarship funds to pay for my airfare.” See the Gilman Fly America Act Guidelines for additional information.
Q. I will be using two different airlines in route to my study abroad program destination. How do I indicate this on the Fly America Act Agreement?
A. You can use your Gilman Scholarship funds to purchase your airfare as long as you leave the United States and arrive to an international destination on a U.S.-flagged carrier. You will indicate this by selecting the first option and listing the U.S.-flagged carrier that you will be using to depart from the U.S., arriving to an international destination. You do not need to list your connecting airline carrier. Keep in mind that if you are using a foreign carrier to fly out of the U.S. you may not use your Gilman Scholarship funds to purchase your airfare. See the Gilman Fly America Act Guidelines for additional information.
Q. How do I know if the airline I am using is a U.S.-flagged carrier?
A. If you are unsure if the airline you are using is a U.S.-flagged carrier you can go to the airline’s website and see where the headquarters is located. If the headquarters is located in the U.S. then it is a U.S.-flagged carrier. Some examples of major U.S. carriers are United, American Airlines, Delta, Jet Blue, and U.S. Airways. See the Gilman Fly America Act Guidelines for additional information.
Q. How do I know if the airline I am using is a foreign flagged carrier?
A. If you are unsure if the airline you are using is a foreign carrier you can go to the airline’s website and see where the headquarters is located. If the headquarters is not located in the U.S. then it is a foreign carrier. Some examples of major foreign carriers are British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Korean Airways, Cathay Pacific and TACA. The agreement form online also provides you with the most common foreign carriers. See the Gilman Fly America Act Guidelines for additional information.
Q. I have already purchased my airfare. Do I still need to fill out the Fly America Act Agreement?
A. Yes, you will still need to complete the Fly America Act Agreement. You will indicate on the Fly America Act Agreement whether you are flying on a U.S. or foreign carrier. See the Gilman Fly America Act Guidelines for additional information.
Q. What if I cannot view the Gilman introduction Video?
A. If you are not able to view the Gilman Introduction Video with the link provided in the online award documentation, please contact us immediately. We will assist you as soon as we can since you are required to view this video in order to complete your online award documentation.
Watch the Acceptance Letter Guidelines video here to review the requirements for your proof of acceptance document.
Q. I have not received my official acceptance into my study abroad program. What should I do?
A. We understand that every program notifies the applicants of their acceptance at different times. However, in order to receive your award, you must be fully accepted into your program. If you have not received your official acceptance into your study abroad program by the award documentation submission deadline you will need to contact the Gilman staff to inform us of your situation.
Q. I received my official acceptance into my study abroad program through email. Can I upload the original email?
A. Yes. You may print and scan or screen shot the original email and upload as your proof of acceptance. The email must include your full name, identify the program and host location, and include the dates or academic term of your program. Your upload should contain the entire email message, including the “To,” “From” and “Subject” fields. We will not accept the text copied and pasted into a Word document. Watch this video for additional guidance.
Q. I have been nominated and/or conditionally accepted into my study abroad program. Can I upload my nomination and/or conditional letter as proof of acceptance?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot accept your nomination or conditional letter as proof of acceptance into your study abroad program. Nomination letters are not an official acceptance. Nomination letters are provided by your home institution nominating you to the host country institution. Admission is contingent upon approval by the host institution. Additionally, conditional letters are not an official acceptance. Conditional letters will have a condition that you have to abide by in order to be officially accepted. In order to complete your Gilman Online Award Documentation, you will need to upload your official acceptance letter or email from your study abroad program or host institution.
Q. Can my U.S. study abroad advisor write a letter confirming my acceptance into my study abroad program?
A. Yes. If for some reason you do not have your official acceptance letter into your study abroad program, but you have been accepted, you can have your U.S. study abroad advisor confirm your acceptance. Your advisor will need to draft a letter confirming your acceptance into your study abroad program, stating the host country and program dates. The letter will need to be signed by your advisor and you can upload it into your online award documentation.
Q. My acceptance letter is not written in English, will the Gilman Program accept the letter?
A. No. If your acceptance letter is not written in English, then the Gilman Program cannot verify that as proof you were accepted into your study abroad program. However, you can accompany the acceptance letter with either an English language translation produced by the study abroad program, host institution, or a home institution language professor, or a confirmation letter from your study abroad advisor.
Q. Do I upload my Gilman Scholarship Award Letter as proof of acceptance into my study abroad program?
A. No. Your Gilman Award Letter is notifying you that you are a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship Program; your Gilman Award Letter is not your acceptance letter into your study abroad program. You will receive an acceptance letter or e-mail from the program provider or host institution notifying you whether or not you have been accepted into your study abroad program. The letter or email that you received is what you will upload as proof of acceptance into your study abroad program.
Q. What forms of U.S. citizenship can I provide?
A. All Gilman Scholarship recipients must provide proof of U.S. citizenship. You can upload a copy of one of the following into your online award documentation: the photograph page of your valid U.S. passport, your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate as a U.S. citizen, or your U.S. naturalization certificate. Please make sure your upload image is clearly visible.
Q. I am currently in the process of obtaining my U.S. citizenship. What should I do?
A. In order to receive your Gilman Scholarship funds you will need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship before your program begins. If you are currently in the process of being naturalized, you will need to contact the Gilman staff to inform us of your situation. We will be unable to provide funds without proof of U.S. citizenship.
Q. I am currently applying for a visa to allow me to enter my study abroad country and I had to send my passport with my application. What should I do?
A. You can upload a copy of your U. S. birth certificate or your naturalization certificate. If you do not have your U.S. birth certificate or your naturalization certificate to upload to your online award documentation, please contact the Gilman staff immediately to inform us of your situation.
Q. I am currently applying for my U.S. passport and I had to send my U.S. birth certificate with my application. What should I do?
A. You should make a photocopy of your U.S. birth certificate for backup purposes. If you have a photocopy of your birth certificate, please upload a copy as proof of U.S. citizenship. If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate you will need to contact the Gilman Program to inform us of your situation.
Q. My passport is expired. Can I submit a photocopy of my expired passport?
A. No. We will not accept expired passports as proof of U.S. citizenship. You will need to upload copy of your valid U.S. passport’s photograph page. If you do not have your valid U.S. passport, you can submit a copy of your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate, or your naturalization certificate.
Q. Will a copy of my driver’s license or social security card suffice as proof of U.S. citizenship?
A. No. You must upload a copy of one of the following: the photograph page of your valid U.S. passport, your U.S. birth certificate, your U.S. passport card, your birth abroad certificate, or your naturalization certificate.
Watch the insurance guidelines video here to review the requirements for your proof of insurance.
Q. What type of coverage is required for my international health insurance?
A. We require that students have four types of coverage in their international health insurance plan: 1.) accident, 2.) sickness, 3.) emergency evacuation, and 4.) repatriation of remains. You should review your international health insurance plan to make sure you are covered for the benefits mentioned above. Please view this video for additional details on this requirement.
Q. I am covered under my parent’s health insurance plan. Is this plan acceptable?
A. We will accept your parent’s insurance plan as long as the plan covers you internationally and provides coverage for health, accident, emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains. You will need to submit the coverage details for this plan that specifically states the required international coverage along with your insurance identification cards that state your name and enrollment period.
Q. What is the summary of benefits?
A. The summary of benefits indicates the specific coverage included in your insurance plan. This should show that you have the coverage types required for all Gilman recipients: accident/sickness, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains. This can be submitted as a document accompanying your insurance ID, or indicated in a letter from your insurance provider or representative from your home institution or study abroad program.
Q. My international health insurance is included in my study abroad program fees. What documents do I submit for proof of international health insurance?
A. Some study abroad programs automatically enroll their students in an international health insurance plan. If you receive a copy of your insurance identification card and summary of benefits, you can upload these documents. If that is not available, you can request a letter from your study abroad advisor or your program confirming that you will have insurance coverage for your program. This letter should indicate that you are covered for accident and sickness, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains for your entire program.
Q. I have domestic health insurance. How do I know if it covers me internationally?
A. Many domestic health insurance plans will not cover you internationally. You will need to review your insurance plan to make sure it covers you for health insurance, accident insurance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains while overseas. If your domestic insurance plan does not cover you while overseas, you will need to obtain international insurance. You can contact your study abroad office or program to see if they offer coverage, or recommend plans. You can also purchase an iNext card which includes the required coverage.
Q. I do not have international health insurance. How do I obtain international health insurance?
A. There are many options available to obtain international health insurance coverage. Check with your program provider to see if you are automatically enrolled in an international insurance plan; some programs provide this to their students as part of the program fees. You can also speak with your study abroad advisor who can provide options for international health insurance coverage. You can also purchase an iNext card which includes the required coverage.
Q. Can my study abroad advisor write a letter confirming my international health insurance coverage?
A. Yes. Your advisor can produce a letter confirming your international health insurance coverage with the name of the insurance provider, the coverage details (specific to the Gilman Program’s requirements of accident & sickness, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains), and the coverage dates. The letter will need to be signed by your advisor and you can upload it into your online award documentation.
Q. I have not received my international health insurance documents from my program provider. What should I do?
A. You can reach out to your program provider to find out when they will be able to provide this information. Another option is to include a letter from them indicating that you will have the required coverage for the entirety of your program. Please view this video for additional details.
Q. I purchased an inext card, but i do not have it yet. What should I do?
A. If you purchased an iNext card online, you will receive a receipt of purchase via email. You can upload the receipt to your online award documentation.
Q. Who sponsors the Gilman Scholarship?
A. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The Gilman Scholarship Program is funded through an annual Congressional appropriation.
Q. How does the Gilman Program obtain my bank information to issue my scholarship funds?
A. All recipients will register with the payment service Zelle, so that payment can be sent electronically via IIePay. The Gilman Program will never ask you to provide your personal bank information over the phone or email.
Q.How do I set up my bank account with Zelle so I can receive my payment?
A. Upon submission and approval of all required documentation, you will receive an email from Bank of America (email@example.com) alerting you that your payment is available. Please add the email above to your contacts list so that the notification email is not send to a spam or junk folder.
The email will prompt you to click the “Register to Accept Payment,” link which will direct you to the Zelle website. Follow the indicated instructions to register your U.S. bank account. DO NOT register with Zelle until you receive the notification that the funding transfer is available
After you register, you will receive a confirmation email prompting you to verify your account via your email address (not telephone number). For additional information, please see troubleshooting tips
Q. What if my bank already has me signed up for Zelle or I already have a Zelle account?
A. You can indicate whether or not the email address you have on file with the Gilman program matches the email address associated with your Zelle account, making updates as needed on the Payment Information page, within the Notice of Award section on Gilman online account. Please see the Registration and Payment Processing Steps on the Gilman website.
Q. I have a joint account with someone. Is this okay?
A. Yes, as long as you are one of the account holders.
Q. I received the Zelle registeration confirmation email, and I verified my account using my cell phone number, is this ok?
A. No, the funds transfer does not recognize telephone numbers as verification. Please contact Zelle to correct this at Customer Service at 1-866-839-3488, 1-501-748-8506 (outside the U.S.) 7 days a week, 8am — Midnight Eastern Time or CustomerService@clearxchange.com.
Q. When will i receive my gilman scholarship funds in my account?
A. Once you have completed your Gilman Scholarship Award Documentation successfully and your award documentation is approved, Gilman staff will notify you of when you should expect to receive your funds. You will receive an email from Bank of America informing you that your disbursement is available.
Q. What if my bank does not work with Zelle?
A. Don’t see your bank or credit union listed? Don’t worry! Zelle’s network of participating financial institutions is always growing, and you can still use Zelle by downloading the Zelle app for Android and iOS. Otherwise, if you continue to have issue registering through Zelle, please contact your Gilman Advisor.
Once you have completed your documentation and your payment has been initiated, you will receive a confirmation email and access to the Abroad section in the Gilman portal. You will need to provide contact information for yourself and an on-site advisor (such as a coordinator for international/exchange students), within 72 hours of arriving in your host country.
Midpoint check in
If you are on a program of six weeks or longer, we will reach out to you in the middle of your program to hear about your experiences. Please respond when you receive your midpoint advising message – we enjoy hearing from your and any feedback you have about your experience, either positive or negative. Feel free to reach out to us at any time during your Gilman experience!