SF State Abroad in the News

SF State Recognized as a Top Gilman Recipient Producer for the Past 20 Years

San Francisco State University is being honored by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Committee for being a Top Producer of Gilman Recipients over the past 20 years. This recognition is an acknowledgment of SF State’s long, proud history of encouraging and supporting equity, diversity, and accessibility for participants in education abroad. Over the past 20 years, 483 SF State students have been awarded and accepted a Gilman Scholarship to fund their study abroad experiences. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $8,000 for students. Since 2001, SF State students have received over $2 million in Gilman Scholarship funding.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education. The program seeks to encourage students of limited financial means to participate in study abroad. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must also be eligible to receive a Pell Grant.

San Francisco State joins the Department of Education in believing strongly that study abroad must be equitable and affordable while giving all students a transformative opportunity that will have a lasting impact on them personally, academically, and professionally.

As the recent Department of State and Department of Education Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education noted, “All Americans need to be equipped with global and cultural competencies to navigate the ever-changing landscapes of education, international business, scientific discovery and innovation, and the global economy.”

The Gilman International Scholarship has been instrumental in making study abroad a reality for students who might otherwise feel like it is not financially feasible to study abroad, as it opens the door to study abroad for students of limited economic means. Historically, these students include underrepresented ethnic groups, first-generation college students, and transfer students.

SF State Abroad programs are an important part in supporting the mission of SF State and preparing SF State students for the challenges of the 21st Century as well as becoming “productive, ethical, active citizens with a global perspective” (https://senate.sfsu.edu/policy/revision-mission-statement-policy). To ensure equitable access to study abroad opportunities, SF State is committed to bilateral exchange programs, as they are accessible and equitable for our students. It is through exchange programs that SF State is able to send students abroad to earn resident credit, all while paying the same tuition and often enjoying a less expensive cost of living than they would have in San Francisco.

Scholarship recipient Jason Reyes, who studied at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands in Spring 2017, remarked that “receiving the Gilman Scholarship has oriented my academic and professional goals toward a more globally integrated path. I am much more well-rounded in my field now that I have experienced it in very different settings. I have gained skills and knowledge and had access to learning materials that I would not have otherwise been able to access. Ultimately, I graduated much faster by studying abroad, and created many strong relationships with my professors, both at home and abroad.” Stories like Jason’s illustrate how the Gilman Scholarship has helped SF State become a national leader for long-term exchange programs that help students of all backgrounds go abroad, gain international experience, and keep them on track for graduation.

Another Gilman Scholar, Felicia Garcia, who studied at Linnaeus University in Sweden for the 2016-17 academic year credited the advisors for their hard work in helping her obtain the scholarship. “The advisors at [SF State] always made time to help me with my scholarship application and essays. They provided easy-to-follow instructions, and helpful critiques to improve my essays. I am very thankful for the advisors at my university.” It is through the hard work of the study abroad advisors and the applicants that SF State has been successful.

To learn more about the Gilman and Gilman-McCain Scholarships visit www.gilmanscholarship.org. The website includes a full list of the institutions by category and additional information on the Gilman Program’s 20th anniversary.

The Gilman Scholarship is administered at San Francisco State University by Dr. Janelle Waldrep in the Office of International Programs within the Division of International Education.

Release date: October 28, 2021