Applicant Newsletter #3

Follow-on Service Project Tips

Thank you for your interest in the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and for starting your application!  This newsletter will focus on helping you formulate a creative and feasible Follow-on Service Proposal.

If you have any questions as you prepare your application, please contact the appropriate Gilman staff member (according to your last name):

A - K
Phone: 832-369-3484

L - Z
Phone: 832-369-3485

What is the Follow-on Service Project Proposal?

To help expand the impact of the Gilman Scholarship, all Gilman Scholars are required to carry out a Follow-on Service Project upon their return from abroad that helps to promote international education and the Gilman International Scholarship Program. This project can be done on your home campus or in your local community and must be completed within six months of your return to the United States. All applicants must submit a project proposal within their application. This proposal is closely reviewed during the selection process. When composing your project proposal it is helpful to keep the following in mind:

  • Will you carry out this project on your campus or in your local community? What impact will your project have on this group and how will your project interest your target population in international education and/or encourage them to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship?
  • What arrangements will you need to make to publicize your project? For example, will you post notices to all Pell grant recipients on campus or send invitations to presentations to members of a specific campus population or academic department?
  • Are there already established campus or community organizations, offices, student groups or networks that you can utilize in reaching out to your target audience?
  • What is the timeline for your project and how will this impact your target audience?
  • What are the methods you can utilize, such as PowerPoint presentations, websites, slide shows, photos, etc., that can assist you in achieving your project goals and reaching your target audience?

The Gilman Scholarship Program encourages you to have your essay reviewed by your study abroad advisor prior to submission.

Examples of Follow-on Service Projects

The list below provides examples of successful Follow-on Service Projects that have been conducted by Gilman Scholars. We encourage you to be creative and develop projects that fit well with your interests, connections on campus, or in your community.

  • Christopher Salcedo, University of California, Santa Barbara – While he was abroad in Turkey, Chris wrote a weekly column for the Santa Barbara Independent, his hometown newspaper.  His column examined whether Islamic culture helps or hinders living sustainably.  Read more about his project on the sidebar and check out his column here.
  • Donald Brett Srader, Macalester College – Donald set up an exhibition on the culture of Thailand at Kidfest, a local children’s festival in the Twin Cities. At the festival, he taught traditional Thai dance and basic Thai phrases to about 80-100 local and underprivileged youth from the area. 
  • Cindy La, University of California, Los Angeles, since study abroad is oftentimes hard for students in the STEM fields, Cindy gave a presentation to fellow students in the science department about her experience studying in Chile and how to fit study abroad into the required curriculum.
  • Patrick Friedel, University of Iowa, Patrick collaborated with a local high school teacher to assist with the incorporation of his experience and knowledge of Egypt into their new Middle East Affairs class.
  • Casey McAuliffe, Southwestern University, Casey collected children's books of legends and folktales from different regions of Ecuador and performed a reader's theatre at a local elementary school.
  • Liliana Lewicka, California College of the Arts, Liliana held an art exhibition at her home institution displaying her personal work from her Scandinavian design and Swedish art classes and providing information on the Gilman Scholarship.

Upcoming Webinars

Gilman staff lead discussions focused on various application topics. Tune in to hear more about the scholarship program from Gilman staff and alumni.

Composing Successful Gilman Scholarship Application Essays
February 16, 2012 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST
Register now

Composing Successful Gilman Scholarship Application Essays
February 28, 2012 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST
Register now

The Gilman Scholarship Program has developed multimedia resources to assist students with the application process. Check out the Gilman website at to see informational podcasts & videos of past Gilman recipients as well as upcoming webinars. You will also find links to our YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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We have also created an informational video on the Gilman Scholarship Program.  This video is a great resource to learn more about the program!


Don't Forget

Have your essay proofread. One of the most important things to remember for any essay is to have it read by an advisor or professor. Spell check and grammar check are fine, but a good proofreader will find things that your word processing software won’t. For example, study abroad is often spelled wrong in an essay as study aboard. Both are spelled correctly according to spell check, but the later is incorrect in context. In addition, a proofreader can often make suggestions on how to clarify a point that may not make sense to someone else.

Work with your writing center on campus. Take the first draft of your essay to your campus writing center or to a composition professor. These individuals have invaluable expertise in writing essays for scholarships and can be a great resource on your campus anytime you need to prepare an essay.

Check for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. Before submitting your application, be sure to double check your essay. Did you spell the names of cities correctly? Spell check will not always correct these mistakes. Be sure you have proper punctuation and do not type your essay in all lower case or all upper case letters. Most importantly check for correct grammar. Grammar check will not always correct your sentence properly so it is important to have someone else look at your essay thoroughly.

Order & Upload your Transcripts

If you have specific questions regarding the transcript requirements and how to upload your transcripts, please visit the transcripts tab on the Apply section of our website. 

You will need to request your transcripts from the appropriate institutions and have them mailed directly to you. Do not have your transcripts mailed to the Gilman Scholarship Program.

    If you have any difficulty obtaining a transcript from a particular institution it is very important that you contact the Gilman Program. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the selection committee. If selected to receive a Gilman Scholarship, you will be required to have one official transcript from each institution listed in your online application mailed directly to the Gilman Scholarship Program before you can receive your scholarship funds. Additional information will be provided to Gilman Scholarship recipients at the time awards are offered.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of the Gilman website is a great resource for applicants. Most of your questions can be answered by reviewing the FAQs. However, if you have further questions, feel free to contact:

    Other Resources

    Visit the following websites to research other possible study abroad scholarships and opportunities:

    NEXT NEWSLETTER ~ February 21

    •    Application Deadline: March 1
    •    Polishing your Application
    •    Last Minute Reminders