Spring 2010

Check out the NEW Gilman Website

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has launched a new website, which includes the Gilman Scholarship Program’s website and the other over 200 programs IIE administers.  Check out both the new IIE and Gilman website at www.iie.org and www.iie.org/gilman.  Don’t forget there is a page for Resources for Alumni, which informs you of how to complete your Gilman Scholarship requirements upon your return from your study abroad program and other opportunities available to you as a Gilman Scholar.   

Gilman Correspondents through Reach the World

 Academic Year 2009-2010

 Spring 2010

 Rashidat Bakar – Japan  Amanda Abu-Nab – Argentina
 Gilbert Bonafe – Spain  Anamica Bedi – Brazil
 Hope Reynolds – Morocco  Howard Bennett – France
   Sam Boutelle – Jordan
   Cecibelle Falcon – Italy
   Alicia Jo Hill – Greece
   Jamaal Lewis – United Kingdom
   Kara Oikarinen – Ghana
   Amy Saekow – Thailand
   Ryan Sermon – Egypt
   Laura Whitney – Australia
 Follow their journeys and discoveries at www.reachtheworld.org.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program continues to collaborate with Reach the World for the Spring 2010 semester.  Reach the World (RTW) is a unique nonprofit organization with the mission of linking students and teachers to online, global journeys that have the power to expand learning beyond the four walls of the classroom.  Through this pilot partnership, the Gilman Program and RTW determined the Gilman recipients who will be participating as correspondents and relaying weekly journals and posts to young students in New York City classrooms, giving teachers information to incorporate into their curriculum and for kids to learn more about another part of the world through a new friend. 

Through a new online application for the RTW Correspondent position, the Gilman Program and RTW selected 11 more Gilman Scholars as the Spring 2010 Reach the World Correspondents.  Last Fall 2009 was our first cycle with Gilman-RTW Correspondents, of which 8 Gilman Scholars completed their semester abroad and three are still completing their academic year abroad.  The Gilman Program was very happy to have once again received an overwhelming response from current Gilman Scholars who were interested in this opportunity.  

Reminder for Recent Returnees

Welcome back to the Gilman Scholars who have recently returned from your time abroad. We hope you had an amazing experience that was academically, professionally, and personally rewarding. There are just a few things to do to conclude your responsibilities to the Gilman Scholarship Program.  Further information and assistance with these responsibilities can be found on the Gilman website’s Resources for Alumni page at www.iie.org/gilman.

* Update your contact information. Please email us at gilman_scholars@iie.org to update your contact information.
* Online Evaluations. Upon your return from abroad all Gilman Scholars are required to submit a Scholarship Recipient Evaluation. This document can be filled out online at the Gilman website's Resources for Alumni  page at www.iie.org/gilman 
* Follow-On Projects. If you have not already started your Follow-On Project, please remember you have 6 months from the date of your return to the U.S. to complete your project and submit your report to the Gilman Scholarship Program. For assistance or guidance, visit the Gilman website's Resources for Alumni  page at www.iie.org/gilman or contact the Gilman Staff at gilman_scholars@iie.org.

* Stay connected. The Gilman Scholarship Program has joined the social media movement in order to more actively engage with applicants, recipients, alumni, and advisors.  You can now follow us on Facebook (Gilman International Scholarship - Official Page), Twitter  and YouTube.


Distinguished Gilman Scholar – Lan Li
Fall 2008, Barnard College, United Kingdom

Congratulations to Lan Li for being selected as one of the four grand prize winners of the 2nd Annual ExchangesConnect Video Contest!  Lan was one of hundreds to submit an original short video relating to the theme of “Change your Climate, Change our World.”  Lan directed, filmed and edited a beautiful video in which along with her sister they narrate their thoughts and life lessons from the achievements of their grandfather, artist Li Xing Bai.  Lan has shared with the Gilman Scholarship Program her thoughts of the video contest process and what she will be doing with her prize – an international exchange program!

 “All I wanted to do was make weekly video blogs for my Gilman Follow-on Project.  Little did I know that this project would not only help me determine my future career path, but also give me the great fortune of keeping in touch with Gilman staff members two years after returning from London. Early this January the Gilman Scholarship e-mailed me about an ExchangesConnect Video Contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of State five days before the deadline.  Thrilled, I immediately learned as much as I could about it and prepared to upload a submission.


The theme of this year’s video contest was, “Change Your Climate, Change Our World.”  But instead of being limited to the weather, the definition of “climate” was extended to social environments and people in our surrounding community. I discussed various ideas with my parents and my sister, and my mother suggested that I make a video about my grandfather whom I had visited that summer while filming a documentary in China. A great believer in international education and cultural exchange, my grandfather always encouraged his children to make meaningful contributions to society through art and scholarship. He was passionate about sharing with others and learning from others, becoming one of the first artists from China to tour around North America in the 1980’s. 


Inspired, I collected some film footage of him, his work, and his past achievements and in a few days, I finished editing the visual portion of the project.  All that was left was a narration to do it justice.  I tried writing a script, but as I had learned from making video blogs, rehearsed lines always sounded stiff and disengaged.  So, I recorded an impromptu conversation with my sister as the two of us reminisced on what we found most remarkable about our grandfather.  Making lasting contributions to the world meant committing yourself to what you found most meaningful; to my grandfather, it meant living beyond the landscapes that he painted, by being inspired by them, sharing it with others, and using art to protect the environment that gave us so much. 


At that point, making the video was not so much about winning the grand prize, but producing something meaningful and sharing it with the world.  The rest that came was truly a surprise to me.  I was honored to be a finalist along with 39 other talented student filmmakers (be it their first time making a video or not), and shocked when the administrator of ExchangesConnect called me a few months later to tell me that “Living Beyond Landscapes” had won the grand prize: a two-week exchange program anywhere in the world.


While I do not know where I will go as of yet, I hope that I can continue to share my experiences through video blogging and through maintaining connections with everyone who has supported me and others like me.  Thank you to my wonderful family and my dearest friends. Thank you to the Gilman Scholarship staff members, to all those affiliated with the Institute of International Education.  Thank you for supporting students who never thought that they could study abroad, for expanding this community to those who seek financial aid, and for providing opportunities to dreamers who keep dreaming despite the odds.”  

As Lan referenced, she produced a series of video blogs on YouTube for her Gilman Follow-on Project that documented her 12-week experience abroad as a Gilman Scholar in the UK and other travel opportunities.  IIE invited Lan to attend the Annual IIE Fundraising Gala in New York where she met retired Congressman Benjamin Gilman, of whom the scholarship is named (as seen in image from Lan's YouTube channel).

You can view her winning video on ExchangesConnect at http://connectcontest.state.gov/contests/change-your-climate-change-our-world/winners and her Gilman Follow-on Project videos from the Gilman YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/gilmanscholarship  

Summer & Fall 2010 Application Deadline Approaching - April 6!

The Gilman International Scholarship Program has opened the next scholarship application for eligible students studying abroad during the Fall 2010 semester and Academic Year 2010-2011.  In addition, the Gilman Program is continuing the special pilot summer award cycle for students participating in summer 2010 study abroad programs. To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria listed above and must be majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field.  This pilot cycle for summer 2010 is only open to students in the STEM fields who meet the criteria listed above Click here to open the Summer 2010 fact sheet.

Even though as a recipient of the Gilman Program you are not eligible to apply again to receive a Gilman Scholarship, please share this information with your friends, peers, classmates, or during your Follow-on Project presentations.  You can also inform your audience that over 1,700 scholarships are being offered this academic year, so it's never been a better time to apply for a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad!