How to Study Abroad Like Lizzie McGuire: The Gilman Scholarship

What unrealistic expectations DIDN’T the Lizzie McGuire movie set? 

1. Serendipitously meeting an Italian pop star by the Trevi Fountain 


2. Pragmatically exposing said Italian Pop Star 


3. Successfully impersonating an Italian Pop Star 


4. Traversing Rome carefree 

However, the most brazen expectation of them all is that these students could afford to travel to Rome in the first place. As a senior in college, I can barely afford shampoo let alone a roundtrip ticket to Rome, study abroad tuition, and spending money (have you seen that garbage US dollar to Euro conversion rate?). 

Coming from someone who works to pay their own tuition and rent, The Lizzie McGuire Movie is propaganda from college study abroad departments, and frankly this conspiracy theory is pretty high up on the list next to non-believers of the moon landing and flat-earthers. That being said, studying abroad like Lizzie without being bogged down by finances is ambitious but doable. The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship grants students of limited financial means the opportunity to study abroad, all expenses paid. 

Sounds as suspicious as the movie, right?


This summer, I studied abroad in London for six weeks, and I didn’t pay a single dime—overlooking, of course, all the coffee, tea, and money spent on lavish cuisine while I was there but that doesn’t really count now does it? I’m talking about airfare and tuition, all of which was taken care of thanks to the Gilman Scholarship. 

I never thought I would be able to study abroad because I support myself financially, and the thought of buying a $1,000 plane ticket on top of a fat stack of tuition made me want to kiss and hug my savings account and never let it out my sight. Because of this scholarship, however, I was able to make all of my UK fantasies come true this summer, except for the part where I fall in love with a British prince but whatever, details, details. My experience was so wonderful I could never thank the Gilman Scholarship enough, and because early applications for the spring and summer are currently open, you could be the next Lizzie McGuire jet-setting off to Rome or you could be me sipping on overpriced bean water as I listen to British accents. The sky's the limit.

The Gilman Scholarship will cover up to $5,000 towards your intern or study abroad, and as an extra bonus Jonas, if you are studying a critical needs language while abroad, you can also apply for an additional award up to $3,000, combining to a granddaddy total of $8,000 possible in scholarship money. I’m sorry, Lizzie Mcguire whom?

The early application deadline for the spring and summer semester is at 11:59PM Central Daylight Time (CDT) on October 2, 2018. If you are worried about having a late start on the application, have no fear. From personal experience, though I do not recommend it, I started my application two weeks before the deadline, submitted the application at 11:58PM while profusely dripping sweat and to my amazement, I still received the scholarship. #chase #your #dreams

If you still need more time past October 2 for your application, or you’re not sure of many logistical details yet, don’t worry. The October deadline is just for early applications, and there will be another application cycle where you can still apply depending on what academic semester you are planning to go. For instance, I applied back in March for the following summer semester. If you’re interested in more information, contact your University’s Gilman Scholarship advisor who will be better able to answer deadline information as the program post them. 

To check if you are eligible for the scholarship, please follow this link:

To gain a more holistic view of the scholarship, or if you have any additional questions, here is the main website link:  

To apply for the scholarship, please follow the link:

Good luck to all future applicants; may all your wildest Lizzie McGuire fantasies come true - because this is what dreams are made of. 

Sources: (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6)