Study Abroad Scholarships 101: Everything You Need To Know About Qualifying And Applying
Studying abroad can be an expensive process. Financial aid and grants can help cover the costs of tuition. But even a great financial aid package doesn’t take care of all the hidden costs. With travel, lodging, dining out, and the higher costs of everyday life, it can really add up. That’s where study abroad scholarships come in.
However, experiences like study abroad shouldn’t just be for the privileged. And that’s why there are so many study abroad scholarships.
Here at the WayUp Guide, we’ve compiled an introduction to study abroad scholarships that will help you on the path to securing funding for your foreign adventure.
How To Get Study Abroad Scholarships
Like most things in college, Google search and your academic advisors (or other school officials) are your best bet. There are a ton of scholarships available for study abroad, you just have to be willing to fill out an application.
It can be very useful, though, to be detail-oriented throughout your search process. To make sure you don’t waste any of your own valuable application time, read the requirements for each scholarship thoroughly to confirm you qualify.
The more specific the scholarship is, the fewer qualified applicants it is likely to have. You should consider applying to niche scholarships and writing a thoughtful essay or personal statement. This way, you can increase your chances of actually getting the funding.
Another thing to keep in mind is that grades are often a huge deciding factor. The scholarship committee members will want to know that they’re not just paying for your vacation (even if they are). Try to be as thoughtful and honest as possible in your applications, too. If you had a bad semester grade-wise, then find a way to explain that in your essay.
How To Apply For Study Abroad Scholarships
Most applications involve submitting your academic transcripts, a personal statement or essay, and perhaps even a resume to a committee. The committee (or whoever runs the scholarship) will make a decision based on these credentials.
If the study abroad scholarships you’re applying for are available through your school, then you can often—but not always—apply through your school’s study abroad office. However, many of the best study abroad scholarships are open to the public and accept applications online.
As with all scholarships, though, many of them remain antiquated and accept paper applications. So, be prepared to buy some stamps.
Study Abroad Scholarships For Minorities, Under-Represented Groups, Non-Traditional Destinations, Those With Financial Need, And More
This list is just a tiny fraction of what’s available in terms of study abroad scholarships.
Many of these apply to CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) programs. CIEE is a great resource for those looking to find both programs and funding for study abroad. It’s especially helpful for those with specific academic or work interests.
- Gilman International Scholarship — Awards for Pell Grant recipients with special attention paid to those headed to non-traditional study spots and studying “critical need languages.”
- GAIN Travel Grant — Helps cover airfare to and from CIEE program locations for students who demonstrate financial need.
- Boren Scholarship — Grant funded by the federal government for those studying STEM abroad in non-traditional locations (AKA, not Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada), with special attention paid to those locations where there are more sensitive US security interests.
- Fund For Education Abroad — Fund granting scholarships to students with financial need intending to study abroad.
- Study Abroad in Japan: Bridging Scholarships — Scholarships granted to those wishing to study abroad in Japan offered by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation.
- BUTEX Scholarship — Scholarship for students studying abroad at BUTEX-affiliated United Kingdom universities. Check the website for the full list of member schools.
- Turkish Coalition of America Scholarships — Awards provided to students studying abroad in Turkey by the Turkish Coalition of America.
- USAC Study Abroad Scholarships — Scholarships for students studying abroad with USAC-affiliated schools. USAC is composed of public universities from around the country. Check its website to see if your school is affiliated.
- RAINBOW Scholarship — Scholarship program for those identifying as LGBTQ+.
- Through The Looking Glass Scholarships — Scholarships for those who have parents with disabilities.
- McDermott Merit Scholarship — CIEE scholarship for those studying nursing, health sciences, and public health.
- Ping Scholarship For Academic Excellence — CIEE scholarship for those with superior academics.
- Ritzmann Tropical and Marine Ecology Scholarship — CIEE scholarship for those studying in the field of marine/tropical biology and ecology.
- Study Abroad Scholarships Essay Contest — Merit-based scholarship contest based on the contents of an essay.
Pro Tip: Keep Applying, Ask Around, And Don’t Give Up
The rule that goes for all scholarships goes for study abroad scholarships, too: Don’t stop applying. There are so many study abroad scholarships you can apply to. If you’re running out of scholarships to apply for online, then ask your study abroad or academic advisor for more. They will be able to provide you access to scholarships available either online or through the school.
For any other study abroad FAQs, tips, tricks, or more, be sure to check out the WayUp Guide.