Study Abroad Scholarships

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How Do You Get Study Abroad Scholarships? 

Study abroad scholarships may help make your study abroad experience more affordable. Many universities, governments, and international programs offer scholarships for study abroad. Some college students may also wonder how to get scholarships to study abroad. Take our Scholarship Match Quiz to find awards that match your interests, goals, and field of study. Also check funding opportunities from these sources:

  • Colleges and universities 
  • Nonprofits
  • Private companies 
  • Local community 
  • Study abroad program providers such as CIEE
  • U.S. government (E.g. Federal Pell Grant)

Study abroad for academic credit is really popular says the Institute of International Education. Over 1 million international students come to the United States to earn a degree. Also per the IIE, about 341,751 U.S. undergraduate students studied abroad in 2017/18 alone. Reasons for studying abroad are to grow global skills, volunteer, intern or find a short term job.

Start the application process right away if you meet the scholarship’s’ criteria. It is wise to understand your budget and pick a location you want to travel to. Nailing basics down may also clear the way for a focused search that yields various scholarships to study abroad. Here are a few options to check for. 

  • All about location: Study in a specific city or country like the Middle East 
  • Language study: About learning or teaching a foreign language 
  • Student specific: For minority students, certain races, genders, religions, LGBT, etc.
  • Government fundedCome from a government agency as an incentive to study foreign affairs
  • Fields of study: Funds for specific majors that may have you enroll in required courses
  • Degree focused: Bachelor’s degree master’s, or PhD
  • Period of time: Academic year, semester programs, or summer study
  • School specific: Colleges in the U.S and abroad may offer financial aid 

What are the Eligibility Requirements for  Abroad Scholarships?

Many scholarships for study abroad base decisions on merit or need. Merit is about having a certain GPA, community service and extra activities. On the contrary, financial need looks at the Student Aid Report (SAR) on the FAFSA filed with your school. Other criteria might include: 

  • University students from a specific school only
  • U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States 
  • Ability to speak the language of the destination country
  • One semester of relevant college level course work 
  • Leadership or community service experience 
  • Being a full time student
  • Degree level and college major
  • Member of a certain group, agency, or organization

10 Study Abroad Scholarships You Should Apply for

These scholarships are for U.S. college students and others who may qualify. When filling out a scholarship application, you may need to submit an essay, transcripts, letters of recommendation. You should apply before the application deadline if you can because there may be a limit on the number of award recipients. The due date tends to be sometime in the academic term before your study abroad program begins.

  1. Boren Awards
  2. Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award
  3. Golden Key Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship 
  4. Dr. Marianne Cooley Study Abroad Scholarship (China) 
  5. Frank and Thu Triplett Study Abroad Scholarship (France) 
  6. USAC’s University of Bristol (Bristol, England) Study Abroad Program
  7. Janice Proctor Memorial Scholarship (Fall – Torino, Italy)
  8. USAC Stem Scholarship 
  9. Good Colleges Study Abroad Award
  10. Travel Safe Abroad Scholarship Program 

What Do Study Abroad Scholarships Cover?

The financial support you receive may cover transport in the host country, airfare, meals, books and course costs. Some larger sums may provide a stipend for housing and medical insurance as well as language study.

Scholarships for studying abroad may vary along with living expenses in every city or country. You may have to pay out of pocket so make sure to stay within your budget. Another thing to keep in mind is the value of a country’s currency which tends to fluctuate. 

8 Tips to Applying for Scholarships for Study Abroad 

  1. Pick a destination for your study abroad and be clear about your budget
  2. Reach out to your university, guidance counselor, financial aid office and ask for help
  3. Apply for as many scholarships that you are eligible for
  4. Contact the go to person for each study abroad scholarship for details on what it takes to receive one
  5. Provide a strong application by updating your resume.
  6. Perfect your application essay but don’t copy and paste answers, be unique!
  7. Follow the application directions to complete the paperwork for each one 
  8. Don’t let grades suffer, stay organized and apply early or by the application deadline

Study Abroad Scholarships by Destination 

There are over 180 host regions that American students go to study abroad. Of them, the 5 most popular countries that community college students chose in 2019 are Italy, Spain, UK, Ireland and France. 

Scholarships for Study Abroad in Africa

In 2017/18 about 14,416 U.S. study abroad students went to Africa. Places like Cape Town, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya were among the most visited. Studying abroad in Africa might give you the chance to help the local community or study wildlife. For instance, you might spend a semester studying an endangered species or how to bring water to an underserved region.

Heather Jo Leibowitz Memorial Scholarship 

This need based award is from the School for Field Studies (SFS). It honors the memory of Heather Jo who helped communities in Tanzania. Preference goes to those students who want to follow in her footsteps. Once accepted into a program and having paid a commitment deposit, you may apply for SFS financial aid. A complete application asks for a copy of your SAR report from your FAFSA so award amounts vary.

Scholarships for Study Abroad in Asia

About 5.2% of U.S. students chose to study in Japan in 2017 to 2018, making Asia a very popular place. The region offers an opportunity to engage with the host culture, learn an Asian language and study its history, religions and more. 

Freeman ASIA 

These awards are for U.S. undergraduate students with proven financial need who want to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The funds help the recipient with the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, books, etc. Grant amounts are up to $3,000 (summer programs), semester / quarter awards of up to $5,000 and up to $7,000 for a full academic year. 

Morgan Stanley Scholarships for Study in Japan

Morgan Stanley plans to offer two awards of $7,500 each. The awards underscore the firm’s long term presence in Japan. Cosponsors of the scholarships are the US Japan Bridging Foundation and the American Association of Teachers of Japanese. Eligible applicants must also be U.S. citizens / permanent residents and university students in the states. An interest in economics and international finance and being already accepted for study in Japan for the academic year are must haves.

Scholarships for Study Abroad in Europe

Europe hosts over half of U.S. study abroad students. Italy, Spain and France lead the way, all rich in history, culture, language and things to see and do once done for the day. Other students also head to Amsterdam, Belgium, London, Austria, Portugal and Prague.

DAAD Scholarships

Every year the German Exchange Service (DAAD) supports over 100,000 German and international students and researchers from around the globe. DAAD scholarships are mainly for graduates, doctoral and postdocs. As a result, they fund study and research visits and some intern positions in Germany. Depending on the program, the award may consist of a flat rate travel stipend and monthly scholarship sum. At the moment, it is € 750 ($886.23) for undergraduates, € 850 for graduates and € 1,200 for doctoral/PhD students. Many other benefits are available as well. Since each education program is unique, it comes with its own set of eligibility requirements which tend to be about merit. 

Scholarships for Study Abroad in Latin America

Latin America spans 33 countries including Chile, Argentina, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador and Guatemala. Some students choose a country to explore their roots, learn a language, teach or help a community in need. 

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)-AIFS Scholarships

HACU along with AIFS offers scholarships for U.S. college students in need. The awards are open to Hispanic students from HACU member schools. If you are eligible, the scholarship pays up to 50% of the AIFS semester or summer program fee. In order to qualify, you must be a current freshman and have one semester of college completed at the time of applying. 

Inter American Press Association Scholarship Program 

These awards are for journalists or students in their final year of journalism studies. If you are between 21 and 35 years old and fluent in the language of the host country, you may qualify. The award of $20,000 is for one academic year of study at a Latin American journalism school. Also, you must send in a form and documents related to your program. 

Program Specific Scholarships for Study Abroad

There are several notable providers of study abroad programs. Many have a fund for education abroad scholarships that interested students may apply for. As a rule, program specific awards are for a certain major and may pay for a semester, summer or year long period.

Institute of International Education (IIE) 

IIE commits to diversity and inclusion so supports programs that share these values. They also manage more than 200 programs with participants from over 180 countries. When searching their site, you choose where you are from, what and where you want to study.

Chevron International REACH Scholarship: This program is for full time students in social sciences, arts and humanities. Specifically for the sons and daughters of Chevron employees and retired workers.Use the funds to study in East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, or The Americas. Amounts range from $500 to $2,500 for one academic year.

International Studies Abroad (ISA)

There are over 68 abroad programs to choose from the ISA. There are a variety of study abroad programs with internships, volunteer work, intensive language, gap year and high school abroad. ISA program cost consist of tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. Applicants must apply for Fall, Winter/Spring or Summer. 

Castañeda Partnership Scholarship: These merit and need based awards help semester students from partner schools with the expenses of studying abroad. Eligible applicants for this study abroad scholarship must complete the ISA Budget and Funding Form in order to prove financial need.

Diversity Scholarship: The goal of these awards is to help minority students attain a global education. It is open to those who identify with various minority groups and first generation college students as well. You may receive from $2,000 to $5,000 if you are eligible. 

Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)

CIEE is a nonprofit that offers study abroad programs since 1947. They offer need based, merit and program based scholarships for various academic terms. Search their site by area of study, program type, country, city, terms and language of instruction. 

Need Based Semester Scholarships: These award amounts are based on the EFC from your FAFSA. If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant you may receive a GAIN Travel Grant up to $1,000 when you complete a CIEE scholarship application by the due date. Gilman Scholarship applicants may receive a Go Global Grant and a GAIN Travel Grant up to $4,000. 

Merit Based Scholarships: These awards are for eligible applicants with strong academic achievements. There are scholarships to study comparative studies, public health, marine ecology and more. 

The School for Field Studies (SFS)

SFS creates study abroad programs that make use of field based learning and research. Many of their programs also explore the environment and work to create a sustainable future. If interested in their programs, SFS works with your home school to help you fund your studies. All their study abroad scholarships which are need based require you to have a FAFSA on file with your current school. To gain admission, you must be at least 18 years old, have one semester of college level ecology, biology or environmental science and a 2.8 GPA.

Pell Grant Match Scholarship: SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for students using their Pell Grant to help pay for the cost of an SFS semester. The total award package may also include other scholarships, travel grants and loans SFS offers that you also qualify for.

Stephen F. Lee Memorial Scholarship: This is an endowed scholarship that honors SFS alumnus and faculty member Stephen F. Lee. Preferred applicants are seeking a marine program in Turks & Caicos of Panama. 

High School Study Abroad Scholarships

Studying abroad may be the experience of a lifetime for high school students. If you haven’t travelled much or would love to travel, then this is a good opportunity to build language skills and enhance your resume. When finding the perfect program, you may want to look for an intensive language study, or research summer options based on your interests.

Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Scholarship

This award is for motivated high school students aged 15 to 18 ½ who want to experience new cultures and learn a language through a full immersion in Germany. The way you learn is by living with a host family and attending a German high school. Other benefits include language lessons, and meetings with U.S. and German government representatives. The scholarship covers a U.S. to Germany round trip air fare, medical, lodging and meals plus about one month of language training when you arrive. The program also covers tuition and academic materials, in country transport and costs of obtaining a German residence permit or visa. To apply you must have a 2.5 GPA, interest in the German language and comply with U.S. Department of State eligibility policy.

Undergraduate Study Abroad Scholarships

Taking your your college experience abroad may expand your mind to new points of view, cultures, languages, art, history and so much more. If you don’t have the financial means to travel, an undergraduate study abroad scholarship might open the door to new adventures. It may also open new networks of potential friends and employers. 

Boren Scholarship Awards for International Study 

The Boren Scholarships fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to the United States. Award amounts goes by time spent abroad. The award amounts are up to $25,000 for 25 to 52 weeks, $12,500 for 12-24 weeks or up to $8,000 for 8 to11 weeks (STEM majors only). There are several Regional Flagship Language Initiatives or you may design your own study program. Successful applicants understand the national security implications of their studies abroad. You also must show an interest in working for the Federal government. To apply, you must complete a form and send transcripts, two letters of recommendation, language forms, two essays and a program description. 

USAC STEM Scholarship 

USAC is another nonprofit that provides study abroad programs in 26 countries. You may qualify if you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree with a declared STEM major or minor. Eigible applicants must also have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Multiple awards will be given in sums ranging from $750 to $1,000. To apply for an USAC scholarship, you must apply to the program first. 

Graduate Study Abroad Scholarships

As a graduate student, you may be ready to dive into research and focus on a topic you know about. Taking your studies abroad may be a perfect way to gain a global perspective while improving your language and professional skills. 

Churchill Foundation Scholarship

You may consider the Churchill Foundation scholarship if you want to pursue a master’s degree in science, mathematics or engineering at a participating institution. This study abroad award for graduate students covers university tuition and fees up to $60,000. You also receive travel and living allowances and special research grant of up to $2,000. Eligible college seniors must show outstanding academic achievements, extensive research experience, and unique personal qualities. 

Government Funded Scholarships and Grants

First, you may receive federal student aid for a study abroad program if you are eligible. Your home university must take part in federal aid programs. You also have to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal student aid may help make international schools more affordable and cover part of the tuition bill. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

The U.S. Department of Defense also offers programs that aim to boost skills in foreign language and culture. Boren Awards are one of these initiatives. On the flip side, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program helps young professionals and artists from abroad study and conduct research in the United States. 

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program. It helps students of limited means to study or intern abroad in order to gain skills in national security and economics. If you are a U.S. citizen and undergraduate receiving Federal Pell Grant funding, you may qualify. About 2,500 scholarship go out each year in amounts of up to $5,000. You must fill out an application form and send two essays and official transcripts.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program – English Teaching Assistantship (ETA)

The ETA programs place Fulbright recipients in classrooms abroad where they help out local English teachers. ETAs help teach English while also serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. You first must choose a host country. This could be in Europe, Sub Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, East Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa or the Western hemisphere. The award amount varies as does the number of recipients. But, these tend to be full scholarships worth up to $50,000. Applicants must fill out a form and send support documents. Three letters of recommendation, personal statement, transcript, statement of grant purpose and a language evaluation report.

List of Study Abroad Scholarships

Check out our list of study abroad scholarships worth

Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation Scholarship

This scholarship is available to University of Nevada, Reno students who hold a 3.0 GPA or higher, graduated from a Carson City, Douglas, or Washoe County high school, are first-generation and/or demonstrate high financial need (EFC under $8000), and have completed their MyNevada General Scholarship Application by February 1.

Total: $4000

Awards: 4

Deadline: October 15

Frank and Thu Triplett Study Abroad Scholarship (France)

Dr. Frank Triplett is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Mount Union and a USAC Visiting Professor in Pau, France. Students with a 2.5 GPA or higher attending the Lyon or Pau, France programs are eligible. Awards go out each fall and spring semester. Preference will be given to students with high financial need.

Total: $4000

Awards: 4

Deadline: October 15

R.J. Simcoe Memorial Scholarship

University of Nevada, Reno students who are Nevada residents, hold a minimum 2.75 GPA, and are attending any Spain program are eligible. Eligible students must also have completed their MyNevada General Scholarship Application by February 1. Two $500 awards will be given each fall.

Total: $1000

Awards: 2

Deadline: October 15

Study Abroad in Europe

Study Abroad in Europe offers all-inclusive programs such as internship opportunities and Study Abroad Placement for College and High School Students and MBA Programs for Graduate Students are available. Study abroad courses may be transferable to the student’s home institution. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Total: $25000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

Janice Proctor Memorial Scholarship (Fall – Torino, Italy; Spring – Thailand)

Colin Proctor, USAC Torino alumnus of Fall 2010, founded this scholarship with his sister, Megan Proctor, in memory of their late mother, who encouraged and supported their desires to study abroad. Eligible applicants must be attending the Torino, Italy or the Thailand program. Preference is given to students with high financial need.

Total: $4000

Awards: 4

Deadline: October 15

USAC First Gen NV Scholarship

This scholarship is available to current UNR TRiO Scholars and current/former UNR First in the Pack participants at the University of Nevada, Reno, have not previously studied abroad in college, and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Students must also attend a study abroad workshop prior to the application deadline in order to be considered.

Total: $3000

Awards: 2

Deadline: October 15

USAC First Generation Scholarship

USAC awards students financially to assist with their study abroad expenses. For this award, applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and have parents who did not graduate from a 4-year institution.

Total: $10000

Awards: 10

Deadline: October 15

Honors College Scholarship for Alternative International Experiences

This scholarship is for those who want to take part in a non credit bearing international experience. For e.g., a service learning trip. Priority goes to Honors College students who show both need and merit. And, who make a strong case for why they deserve to go. One time awards range from $1,000 to $2,000 given availability of funds.

Total: $20000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

USAC Frank and Carol Nota (Italy)

Students with declared majors or minors in English, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, Italian language/cultural studies, or education. Applicants with GPAs of 3.0 or higher attending a summer, fall, or spring Italy program are eligible. Two awards will be given each summer, and one award will be given each semester.

Total: $2000

Awards: 3

Deadline: October 15

USAC Diversity Excellence Scholarship

This scholarship promotes diversity on USAC programs and is available to University of Nevada, Reno students who hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. Award amounts range from $500-$1000 and are available in every term. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Total: $4000

Awards: 4

Deadline: October 15

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