Austin Community College District (ACC) has been recognized as a Top Producer for the Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Program for the 2020-21 academic year. 

ACC is the only community college in Texas to be named a Top Producer. The distinction, awarded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, honors colleges and universities for their efforts to make study abroad more accessible and inclusive.

“Austin Community College District’s achievement is a testament to its commitment to ensuring that America’s next generation of leaders – including students of all backgrounds – engages internationally to foster mutual understanding and develop critical skills in support of our national security and economic prosperity,” says Ethan Rosenzweig, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in a statement.

The highly competitive Gilman scholarship broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting Pell Grant recipients who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.

“Due to the global COVID pandemic, study abroad programs around the world were canceled during 2020-21. To fill that gap, virtual opportunities were developed that enabled students to have some kind of global education experience during the crisis,” says William Hayden, ACC International Programs director.

Despite the pandemic, nearly 300 Gilman-participating institutions sent nearly 800 Gilman recipients to 48 U.S. states, D.C., and Puerto Rico to study or intern abroad, including virtually, in 77 locations around the world. ACC had one Gilman recipient who did a virtual exchange.

“In recognizing the top institutions with students studying abroad as Gilman Scholars, the United States continues to prioritize its commitment to provide access and equity to international experiences for all Americans,” says Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Since 2001, the Gilman Program has enabled more than 36,000 American students to study or intern abroad in 160 countries. These diverse students serve as unofficial representatives of the United States, leading to stronger relationships between the U.S. and other countries.

To learn more about the Gilman Scholars program, visit

For more information about ACC’s Study Abroad Programs, visit