Over the past 20 years, some Barnard students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to study abroad due to financial constraints have done so thanks to the College’s partnership with the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, which “aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.” On October 27, in celebration of the Gilman Program’s 20th anniversary, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs publicly recognized Barnard College as a “Gilman Program Top Producing Institution.”

Since 2001, Barnard has produced 87 Gilman Scholars, with an average of three to four students winning scholarships each year. Accepted scholars — who are academically interested in the arts, STEM, business and law, education, languages, health, and humanities and social sciences — receive up to $5,000 and the option to study in all world regions.

Recent flyer from Barnard Global, promoting studying abroad.

“Barnard College is proud to be recognized as a Gilman Scholarship top producer. Barnard is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in its community, and that goal includes making study abroad accessible to all its students,” said Giorgio DiMauro, Associate Provost of International Initiatives and Special Projects in the Barnard Global office. “Even with financial aid support, study abroad often requires financial outlays that can make it a daunting step for low-income students. The Gilman Scholarship provides students with the financial resources and the confidence to make study abroad a reality.”

DiMauro credits Barnard Global’s Krista Rockholt, Associate Director of Study Abroad, with playing an instrumental role in recent years in encouraging students to apply to Gilman’s scholarship and partnering with key campus offices and programs — Financial Aid, Student Success, and Beyond Barnard — to highlight the scholarship, host info sessions, and work individually with students on their applications.

“It’s imperative for every student to have access to study abroad, in order to engage the world from another cultural perspective,” said Rockholt. “Study abroad builds empathy, critical thinking, and intercultural competence, key proficiencies for a leader in any field. Gilman is designed to ensure students with financial need, and those who have been historically marginalized, have the opportunity to cultivate these skills.” 


In addition to funding, the nationally competitive program gives students special access to federal employment resources and to the program’s growing alumni network. Upon completing the program, students commit to developing a service project to promote study abroad in their communities. The College’s 2018-2020 cohort of five scholars — Deyanisse Monegro ’20, Nabila Nawrin ’19, Lan Nguyen ’21, Mirthia Prince-Figuereo ’20, and Hawa Tunkara ’21 — studied in Brazil, France, India, South Africa, South Korea, and the U.K. (The program was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) Barnard is proud that — even with Gilman pausing applications in 2020 — it is being recognized for sending nearly 90 students to study abroad over the past two decades.

“Our colleagues in the Barnard Global office have led the way in encouraging students to apply, thus giving a multitude of low-income students over the years the opportunity to benefit from study abroad,” said Christine Valenza Shin ’84, Associate Dean of Beyond Barnard. “Beyond Barnard is committed to lowering barriers in support of all students wishing to apply to a range of fellowships and scholarships that support travel, graduate school, and leadership opportunities across the country and the world. We work with staff and faculty partners across campus to educate and encourage our students to become confident applicants and awardees.”

To learn more about the Gilman and Gilman-McCain Scholarships and how their diverse alumni are pursuing impactful careers in the government, nonprofit, and private sectors, visit gilmanscholarship.org. The website includes a full list of the institutions by category and additional information on the Gilman Program’s 20th anniversary.

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