The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a great source of funding for UC Merced study abroad students and many of our students are ideal applicants. The deadline for summer 2018, fall 2018, and the 2018-19 academic year is March 6, 9:59 PM California time.
The statement of purpose for the Gilman is your best chance to make a positive impression on your scholarship reviewers; there is no other place where you can discuss why your case is compelling and why you should be awarded a scholarship. Question #6 may be the most important for UC Merced students:
What challenges, if any, did you face in your decision to study or intern abroad? How did you meet these challenges and what impact do you foresee them having on your experience abroad? These could include, but are not limited to, being a parent, being a non-traditional student, having a learning or physical disability, being in a field of study for which it is difficult to incorporate study abroad, etc.
The scholarship aims to support those who might not study abroad due to financial constraints and those traditionally under-represented in education abroad.. The Gilman wants you to discuss how these impact your ability, your decision to study abroad; this means you must disclose these facts for consideration.. What are some of those categories? Here are some we see at UC Merced:
- First-generation college students
- STEM students
- Students with disabilities
- Students with diverse ethnic backgrounds (Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans are all under-represented within study abroad)
- Transfer students
- Non-traditional students (i.e.. reentry students, students over 24, married students, students with children, veterans)
It is not enough to fall into one of these groups for consideration; you need to disclose how they impact your ability to study abroad.. Are you a first-gen student? Was it hard to convince family to support you to go abroad? Are you an engineer or a biology student? Do you have any difficulties related to completing your degree requirements with study abroad? Are you Latina student? What challenges have you faced with convincing your family to study further away for 4 months? Are you a transfer? How are you limited in your opportunities to study abroad with limited time at UC? Many of these under-represented categories also have implications of financial access; please discuss those implications.