Studying abroad used to be reserved for the elite and powerful, but luckily this is no longer the case, and most countries have recently been pushing for their students to study abroad. This means that new study abroad scholarships are popping up every day, as cost should never be a reason not to study abroad. I’ve compiled a list of people to reach out to who can help with finding study abroad scholarships, as well as websites and other study abroad scholarship resources.
When beginning your scholarship hunt, start with the most obvious place: your university’s study abroad department. Most study abroad offices have tons of resources available about all kinds of scholarships, and many even offer scholarships or grants themselves. After, check with your major/minor departments and professors to see if they know of any concentration-specific study abroad scholarships available. Language departments in particular usually give away international education scholarships, so talk to your professors about it. Oftentimes non-department-specific scholarships are available as well, so check with your university’s financial aid department to see if they give out any scholarships that all majors are eligible for.
Larger program providers such as AIFS, CIEE, API, and IES always give out several study abroad scholarships per location, so be sure to apply for any that are being given out for your host location. Some programs also give out academic scholarships or diversity scholarships that are not location specific, so talk to your program provider about if you are eligible for any others.
Public study abroad scholarship databases
The beauty of the internet is that most information is public. Take advantage of this! Scan through other universities’ scholarship directories and apply for them yourself. Some examples are Arcadia University and University of Kansas. If you are looking for other public databases, use NAFSA‘s list of study abroad scholarship databases and websites as a jumping-off point. The same goes for other international education websites such as studyabroad.com and InternationalScholarships.com.
The US has recently been pushing for more students to study abroad, so there are now tons of federal scholarships available. These range from location-based to specific language study, with some being open to all types of students. Some popular language-based scholarships include the Critical Language Scholarship, NSLI-Y, and the Boren Award. If you’re looking for a location-based scholarship, check out the Congress-Bundestag Exchange, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, or the Foundation for Asia Pacific Education Scholar. The most popular general study abroad scholarships include Fulbright, Gilman, American Council of Learned Societies, and the Foundation for Global Scholars.
Meaningful travel companies
Did you know that there are companies out there that just give away entire study abroad semesters? Keep an eye on websites such as Go Overseas and GoAbroad.com, as they are almost always running scholarship contests to awesome places like Australia and Ireland. Even if they are not giving away a scholarship that you are eligible for, take advantage of GoAbroad.com’s scholarship directory and Go Overseas’ scholarship directory to find others to apply for. Also, depending on where you are planning on studying abroad, there may be some location-specific scholarships available from companies who advocate for that region and make their location more appealing. An example is a company like the Arava Institute, who offers scholarships to students studying abroad in Israel.
There are tons of national and international scholarships available based on who you are and what you are doing.
Different criteria include:
• What you are studying? Majoring in something unique? Writing a thesis or doing research on a very specific topic? Look into scholarships based on your academic background and goals.
• Are you a minority? Check out websites like Black Excel or Diversity Abroad.
• Are you disabled? Use the Abroad With Disabilities website as a resource and then see if your program offers scholarships for students with disabilities.
• Do you practice a certain religion? See if there are any scholarships you qualify for. Once again, don’t forget to utilize the power of the internet and generic websites such as scholarships.com to see if you qualify for any specific scholarships.
Read next: 10 countries where you can study abroad for free
Use your connections
Talk up your study abroad opportunity to anyone who will listen! Don’t be afraid to utilize every resource possible, including personal networks (your high school/old teachers, family and friends, heritage groups, your religious organization), your town/city (Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, and other local chapters often offer scholarships), and your current or previous places of employment. Many companies love sponsoring students, so don’t hesitate to talk to your boss/previous bosses about helping you further your development. No amount of money is too little, so apply for everything and anything! Many of these scholarships have very short application processes, with some only requiring a photo submission. Even if you only win $100 per scholarship, they add up quickly. You never know what you’ll get!
We’ve got a list of places to look, laid out as a printable checklist to help you to find as many study abroad scholarships as possible to apply to. Grab it for free:
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