By Nicklas Matsumoto | Staff Writer

It has been over 10 years since KapCC has had a Gilman scholar to study abroad, but the opportunity to break that streak is being offered for this summer.


The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship offers study-abroad programs for students in the U.S. The current opportunity provided this spring is for study abroad or internship programs in Wales.


“If you ever talk to a diplomatic residence at the East-West Center (an organization that provides international information and analyses) or anyone who is from the Department of State and mention Gilman, I mean, that is instant name recognition and is very prestigious,” said Brandon Higa, a KapCC campus advisor. “This is huge. Kapiʻolani has not had a Gilman scholar in over 10 years.” 

Higa has been working at KapCC for the past 12 years. He has partnered with Shawn Yacavone and Jennifer Bradley to revive the Gilman program here at KapCC for the first time in over 10 years.


The Gilman scholarship will award accepted applicants up to $5,000 ($8,000 for critical language scholarship applicants) to take their studies overseas. Minorities may receive an additional $2,000 through CIEE because KapCC is a minority-serving institution (MSI). 

To apply for the scholarship opportunity, visit the site: GIlman-Global Wales Awards. The deadline to apply for the Gilman-Global Wales Award is March 2.

Applicants don’t need to be a minority but must be a U.S. citizen. This diplomatic program is intended for students in the U.S. to study and even intern overseas. Therefore, applicants must be applying or accepted for a study-abroad or internship program for academic credits. Candidates are encouraged to file their FAFSA and apply for Chancellor Louise Pagotto’s scholarship, the Queen Kapiʻolani International Travel Scholars Endowed Fund, provided through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. 

“You really open up your world when you go overseas,” Higa said. “There’s just so much to be said about that by anyone who has traveled, whether it’s for leisure or for a longer stay in a more organized program. But the Gilman scholarship is really intended for people who have not been abroad before.”

It is important to consider the U.S. Department of State’s risk of travel right now due to Covid-19, which may prevent people from going to other countries such as Wales. Also, consider the other countries and their travel restrictions. According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom as of Feb. 6, “Passengers arriving to Wales by air, land, or sea from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) are required to self-isolate for 10 days.” Information is constantly changing, so visit this site for the latest information.

Awardees have freedom in deciding where they want to study, but they are also responsible for their own well-being. Each institution will have its own protocols. Because the Covid-19 protocols of each institution vary, participants must be vigilant in practicing safety precautions (wearing a mask, physical distancing, and thorough hand washing).


Applicants should consider various travel costs and budget accordingly. Costs may vary between each university. The study-abroad program for Aberystwyth University, a university in Wales, is approximately $9,608.90 (£7,000), according to its site. That means that even with the Gilman scholarship, students will have to pay about $4,600 for tuition in addition to personal expenses.

Other expenses to account for may include airfare, meals, ground transportation, any extra fees for applications at institutions, and optional materials for supplemental reading. There is a selection of participating Welsch universities to pick from for the Gilman-Global Wales Award. Remember to inquire if the residence halls are available to stay at. Be sure to inquire about upfront costs for the university’s study abroad or internship program.


If, for whatever reason, this opportunity is inconvenient during this time, be assured that more occasions to apply for a Gilman scholarship will be available. It usually occurs during spring and fall cycles. There may be virtual study-abroad alternatives available as well.

For more information about the Gilman scholarship opportunity, go to:

Scholarship for Study Abroad & Internships (In-Person and Virtual) through the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship

Scholarship opportunity: Gilman-Global Wales Awards

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship