Want to study abroad but think you can’t afford it? Think again, says Rachele Kanigel, who wrote this blog post as the co-director of ieiMedia’s new program in Kyoto, Japan.
One of the best ways to raise money for a study abroad program is to apply for a scholarship from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. This federally funded program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad.
Several students have won Gilman scholarships to study abroad with ieiMedia. This year, Amy Venn, a student at Valley City State University in North Dakota, won a Gilman scholarship to study in our Oslo, Norway, program, and you can see several of her blogposts here. In 2013 Taylor Gilman a journalism student at Metropolitan State University, won a $4,000 Gilman scholarship to study with ieiMedia in Istanbul. Kat Russell, a student at California State University, Northridge, won a $5,000 Gilman scholarship to study in Istanbul in 2011. You can read about her experience in this piece she wrote for MediaShift.
The Gilman program is designed to “broaden the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints,” according to the program’s website. It aims to “support students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.”
This year the Gilman program will award more than 2,800 scholarships of up to $5,000. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need; the average grant is $3,000. About 27 percent of students who apply win Gilman scholarships.
The program is open to students from public and private institutions from all 50 states; Washington, DC; and Puerto Rico.
To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, an applicant must:
- Be a citizen of the United States;
- Be an undergraduate student in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States (including both two-year and four-year institutions);
- Be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of his/her study abroad program or internship;
- Be in the process of applying to, or accepted for, a study abroad or internship program of at least two weeks for community college students and four weeks for students from four-year institutions, in a single country and eligible for credit from the student’s home institution. Proof of program acceptance is required prior to award disbursement;
- Plan to study in a country not currently under a travel warning issued by the United States Department of State. (ieiMedia never holds a study abroad course in these countries when they are on the travel warning list.)
Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray study- or intern-abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.
The Gilman Program offers two summer application cycles for summer programs. The deadlines are Oct. 4 and March 7. People who apply in October will find out in late February; those who apply in March find out in May.
All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on the date they are due. The online application system will close at this time and no more applications will be accepted. This deadline also includes uploading official transcripts from your current college or university and any transfer institution listed in your application.
Here are some tips for applying to the Gilman program:
- Before you begin the application, contact the appropriate offices at your school to determine the correct study abroad and financial aid adviser(s) who must certify your application. Some institutions designate a specific financial aid or study abroad adviser to certify all Gilman Scholarship applications.
- Submit your application at least a few days before the due date to ensure that you do not miss the deadline as a result of technical difficulties or because of heavy traffic on the Gilman website. Make sure your application is complete!
- Some institutions require a written release of information form before your advisers can certify your application. Failure to submit a written release of information form to your adviser, if required by your university, will delay the processing of your application.
- The Gilman application requires two essays: the Statement of Purpose Essay and the Follow-on Service Project Proposal. When writing your Statement of Purpose essay, stress what you hope to gain from the program and how it will help you fulfill professional and personal goals. For more information about the essays, visit the Gilman program website. (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program/Application-Process/Essays)
- Eligible programs must be a minimum of four weeks (28 days)— or two weeks (14 days) for current community college students — in one country and can be as long as one academic year. Students who are interested in ieiMedia’s Kyoto program should also plan to participate in the optional three-day Japan English Model United Nations Conference immediately before the international reporting program, so that study-abroad experience will meet the 28-day requirement.
If you do not qualify for a Gilman scholarship, contact your financial aid office and study-abroad office to inquire about other funding opportunities.
Students who aspire to be travel writers or who simply want to share their study-abroad experiences now have several opportunities to do so—including a chance to win $1,000 in a contest whose deadline is October 31.
Abroad Scout, a portal website for study-abroad programs, wants students to write posts for their blog. According to the site: “You can write about a country or city, a project you worked on while abroad, a particular observation you had, a story regarding your experience, or anything else that has to do with you and your international education. Some topics to consider are food, places, culture, customs, faux paus, activities, events, classes, professors, processes, visas, program types, and learning.” Recent student posts include a guide to Italian bureaucracy; a fiction writer’s story about Santiago, Chile; and an account of how one student learned the difference between Spain and Basque country. For more details, visit this page.
Life After Study Abroad magazine, a new publication, is looking for writers for its website and print magazine. For the website, say editors Noah Peden and Tonya Tooley, “We’re constantly looking for students to write about their study abroad experience in our Life After Abroad section. This section is filled with amazing articles on how to deal with reverse culture shock and stories of study abroad experiences from other students.” The editors are also gearing up for Issue 2 of their print publication, which will appear in April 2014. Stories in the first issue include “Why an Internship Abroad is the Missing Piece on Your Resume” and “How to Get the Most Out of Your Volunteer Abroad Experience.” See the writers’ guidelines for more details.
GoAbroad.com, an online directory of study-abroad programs, is hosting the Next Great Travel Writers Contest. Students can win up to $1,000 to put toward another adventure abroad. “We are looking for interesting, colorful, and precise details that show a knowledge or experience of the place or activity featured in the article,” say the contest rules. Stories can fall into one of three categories, according to the site:
1. “Guidebook With A Twist.” This is a unique and interesting “how-to” or informational travel guide about features or characteristics in a specific city or country — with info not easily found in the usual tourist guidebooks.
2. “Travel Feature.” This is a colorful and informational feature article about some sort of activity, event, social custom, or unique tradition that travelers might want to try and experience while abroad.
3. “Top Five/ Top Ten.” This is a “roundup” article where writers can get creative with their Top Fill-in-the-Blanks — places to see, things to do, items to bring, etc. — in various countries or parts of the world.
See the Contest Entry Guidelines for more details. And hurry—the deadline is October 31, 2013.
Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) has launched the Turkish Airlines World Travel 101 Sweepstakes. This monthly promotion gives students attending an accredited U.S. college or university the opportunity to win a round- trip ticket to any of Turkish Airlines’ more than 200 destinations.
Students can enter via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/
Turkish Airlines will give one round-trip ticket to any of Turkish Airlines’ global destinations to two students each month from January to June 2013. Students can only enter once per month, regardless of the number of e-mail addresses or Facebook accounts they may have. Approximately a week after each month ends, the Judging Agency will conduct a random drawing from among all eligible entries received during the previous month.
Rules for the sweepstakes are available at http://www.
ieiMedia has no relationship with Turkish Airlines.
The competition for 14 scholarships and five internships is open to undergraduate and graduate students studying at American colleges and universities — and Americans studying abroad — who aspire to become foreign correspondents.
The OPC Foundation internships allow students to work in foreign bureaus of leading international news organizations, such as the Associated Press and Reuters, and at foreign English-language media companies like the South China Morning Post and Cambodia Daily. The foundation pays travel and living expenses for interns for one month.
Winning a prestigious OPC Foundation award has helped launch numerous careers in foreign reporting. If you’re looking for inspiration, see what some past winners are doing now.
Applications are due Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.
To apply, submit a Cover Letter, Resume and Writing Sample. Your name and school should appear at the top of each page. The Writing Sample of approximately 500 words should concentrate on an area of the world or an international issue that interests you. It can be in the form of a story, news analysis or a traditional essay. Recent winners have written on such diverse topics as playing black jack on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, political activism in Morocco, and social upheaval in China. Applicants are also encouraged to submit essays showing a strong understanding of, or interest in, global economic issues such as trade, finance, emerging markets, immigration or environmental impacts.
The Cover Letter should be autobiographical in nature, addressing such questions as how you developed an interest in this particular part of the world, a story pitch, or how you would use the scholarship to further your journalistic ambitions. We hear the judges respond well to applications showing strong reporting skills, color, and understanding or passion.
You may email, fax or mail your application. Email is preferred.
William J. Holstein
Overseas Press Club Foundation
40 West 45 Street
New York NY 10036
Winners will be contacted in December so that arrangements can be made for them to attend the Foundation Scholarship Luncheon on Feb. 22, 2013 in New York City. Recipients are expected to attend. David Rohde, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent and investigative journalist for Reuters, will speak at the luncheon, which will take place at the Yale Club.
For more information, contact Jane Reilly, Executive Director, at email@example.com or call 201-493-9087.
Looking for a way to raise money for a study-abroad adventure? InternationalStudent.com has launched its seventh annual Travel Video Contest and the Grand Prize is $4,000.
To enter the competition, you need to create a short video (up to 5 minutes in length) saying why you want to study or travel abroad. If you are currently studying abroad, your video can describe any trip you would like to take. If you are not currently studying abroad, your entry must describe a study-abroad trip you’d like to take (feel free to use one of ieiMedia’s programs for inspiration).
Review all of the rules and regulations to make sure you are eligible.
Looking for ideas of what judges will be looking for? Check out videos from previous winners.
The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The contest will be judged by a panel consisting of two previous winners of the contest (Sandy Florez, 2009 Winner, and Matt Brattin, 2006 Winner), as well as two international education gurus (Jim Crawley and Joe Avison).
The main criteria videos will be judged on are originality, passion for the trip, creativity and quality of the video.
One catch: The grand prize winner will be expected to maintain a blog documenting the trip. This blog will start immediately after the winner is announced, and will continue through the trip until the winner returns to school. Contributions are expected at least once a week during the preparation for the trip and daily during the trip.
That’s quite a commitment.
Click here for details on how to enter the contest.
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by Ali Tejani, University of Texas at Dallas, Istanbul Project 2015