Study abroad scholarships are abundant to help college students afford traveling outside the United States and immersing themselves in a foreign culture.
According to the NAFSA, 304,467 U.S. students studied abroad in 2014. That was a 5.2 percent increase from the previous academic year. College-aged youth are discovering that study abroad programs can significantly help hone foreign language skills, find new interests, and build real-world life experience. Study abroad students are able to learn the social, cultural, and political climate in foreign nations better than in any classroom. Learned skills allow study abroad alumni to have an above-average job placement rate of 97 percent within 12 months.
The following are 20 great scholarships for study abroad students to tour the globe from India to Italy and Iceland.
Reviewing Top Study Abroad Scholarships
1. AIFS Generation Study Abroad Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th and October 1st
Each semester, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) awards the Generation Study Abroad Scholarships for $1,000 for up to 40 undergraduates who will be studying abroad in select nations, including England, France, South Africa, New Zealand, and Brazil. Eligible candidates must attend an accredited U.S. college, carry a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and demonstrate financial need. Applicants must attach a 1,000-word essay describing how foreign study fits into their career goals.
AIFS Generation Study Abroad Scholarships
1 High Ridge Park
Stamford, CT 06905
2. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
Since 2001, the Institute of International Education (IIE) has offered the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for $5,000 to undergraduate students of limited financial means who wish to pursue academic study or internships abroad. Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, have good standing at an accredited college, receive the Federal Pell Grant, and plan to study abroad for at least 28 days. Preference is given to non-traditional destinations in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships
1800 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027
3. BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow Scholarship
Deadline: March 14th
Through the American Field Service (AFS), the BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow Scholarship is presented annually with 23 full scholarships for studying abroad in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, or South Africa. Eligible recipients must be aged 15 to 18, qualify for need-based financial aid, display academic excellence with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and exhibit sincere interests in STEM majors important to the energy industry. Underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow Scholarship
120 Wall Street 4th Floor
New York, NY 10005
4. CIEE Global Scholar Grants
Deadline: April 1st
Valued at $10,000 apiece, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) gifts the Global Scholar Grants annually to high-achieving college students maximizing their foreign study by learning in three cities in one semester. Eligible candidates must attend an accredited U.S. higher education institution, be at least sophomores, and possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Chosen scholars must study at three CIEE Global Institutes and record their experiences with digital storytelling.
CIEE Global Scholar Grants
300 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101
5. Critical Language Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 30th
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLSP) is offered by the U.S. Department of State to fully fund undergraduate and graduate students who are studying abroad. To qualify, candidates must plan to study a critical language abroad for at least two months, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. Applicants must be at least 18 and currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program.
Critical Language Scholarship Program
1828 L Street NW Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20036
6. David L. Boren International Scholarships
Deadline: February 9th
The National Security Education Program (NSEP) funds the David L. Boren International Scholarships for giving $8,000 to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduates wishing to study in world regions critical to America’s interests, such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, be matriculated in an accredited bachelor’s program, and display foreign language proficiency. Recipients must agree to work in federal national security for at least one year.
David L. Boren International Scholarships
1400 K Street 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
7. Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowships
Deadline: October 11th
Inaugurated by the U.S. Department of State in 2012, the Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowships are granted for graduate students who are studying abroad in African Union, Burma, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Kosovo, Malawi, Nepal, Peru, Samoa, Timor-Leste, or Ukraine. Eligible applicants must hold a master’s degree with at least two years of full-time work experience in public policy, including public health, education, agriculture, and economics. Fellows will spend 32 hours per week in professional assignments abroad.
Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowships
809 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
8. Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship
Deadline: June 15th
The Golden Key International Honour Society has created the Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship to award $5,000 annually to full-time or part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolling in a study abroad program for academic credit. Eligible Golden Key members must submit an academic transcript, resume or curriculum vitae, and one-page personal statement describing their rationale for studying abroad. There’s also the International Summit Travel Grant for $500.
Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship
1040 Crown Pointe Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30338
9. Joseph A. Towles African Study Abroad Scholarship
Deadline: November 22nd
Sponsored by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Joseph A. Towles African Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded for $10,000 to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are approved to participate in a study abroad program in any African nation. Qualified candidates must attend a UNCF-affiliated university, be of African American descent, have at least sophomore standing, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Joseph A. Towles African Study Abroad Scholarship
1805 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
10. Kosciuszko Foundation Year Abroad Scholarships
Deadline: January 5th
The Kosciuszko Foundation’s Year Abroad Scholarships bestow a full tuition waiver, 1,350 zloty monthly stipend, and additional $900 per semester to undergraduate or graduate students from the United States who are studying the Polish language abroad at Jagiellonian University. To be eligible, candidates must be at least sophomores, have U.S. citizenship, hold a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and meet admission guidelines. Applications must include official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a two-page personal statement.
Kosciuszko Foundation Year Abroad Scholarships
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
11. Laura M. Bush Traveling Fellowship
Deadline: September 28th
Named in honor of the former First Lady, the Laura M. Bush Traveling Fellowship was established by the U.S. Department of State to award $2,500 to students briefly studying abroad in a foreign country associated to the mandate of UNESCO. Qualified recipients must be U.S. citizens, be 18 to 25 years old, currently attend an accredited U.S. university, expect to travel abroad for four to six weeks, and show interest for participating in public diplomacy events.
Laura M. Bush Traveling Fellowship
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
12. McDermott Health Sciences Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
As one of 14 scholarships for studying abroad with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), the McDermott Health Sciences Scholarships are gifted for $2,500 to U.S. undergraduate students to study in Argentina, Botswana, Dominican Republic, or Thailand. Qualified recipients must attend a four-year, accredited university in the United States with a major in health science, public health, nursing, or health education. Selection is based on academic merit, financial need, and healthcare career promise.
McDermott Health Sciences Scholarships
300 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101
13. Morgan Stanley Scholarships for Study in Japan
Deadline: April 8th
In the amount of $7,500, the Morgan Stanley Scholarships for Study in Japan are presented by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) for two U.S. students majoring in economics, international finance, or international business who are accepted into a study abroad program in Japan. For consideration, applicants must submit an online application with an official transcript, faculty letter of recommendation, and short 500-word essay explaining their interest in Japanese culture.
Morgan Stanley Scholarships for Study in Japan
Boulder, CO 80309
14. Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
Deadline: February 15th or September 15th
Twice annually, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society provides 50 Study Abroad Grants for $1,000 apiece to deserving undergraduate students who are accepted into a study abroad program for any global nation. Eligible candidates must be matriculated at an accredited U.S. institution, be actively involved in Phi Kappa Phi, and carry a minimum collegiate GPA of 3.75. Students attending North Carolina State University could qualify for the McKenzie Study Abroad Grant.
Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
7576 Goodwood Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(800) 804-9880 ext. 235
15. Rainforest Alliance Kleinhans Fellowships
Deadline: February 28th
The Rainforest Alliance awards the Kleinhans Fellowships each year for $20,000 to graduate students who are pursuing forestry research projects abroad in Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, or Brazil. Eligible candidates must be earning a master’s or PhD degree at an accredited U.S. institution for forestry, ecology, botany, conservation, or environmental science. Applications must include a research proposal, budget plan, resume or CV, and two letters of recommendation.
Rainforest Alliance Kleinhans Fellowships
233 Broadway 28th Floor
New York, NY 10279
16. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarships
Deadline: February 15th
The Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society offers the Stemler Study Abroad Scholarships for $1,000 to $2,000 to 20 outstanding initiated undergraduate members who need financial support to undertake a study abroad program in the upcoming year. Qualified applicants must attend a U.S.-based institution, be actively involved in ALD activities, achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5, maintain full-time enrollment, submit two faculty recommendations, and write a 250-word personal goals statement.
Stemler Study Abroad Scholarships
P.O. Box 444
Fairport, NY 14450
17. TEAN Merit-Based Scholarships
Deadline: November 15th or May 15th
Ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) grants several Merit-Based Scholarships biannually to undergraduate students at the bachelor’s level who are accepted into a TEAN program to spend a semester studying abroad. Students must have achieved academic excellence with a minimum GPA of 3.5, show leadership skills in extra-curricular activities, and serve as community role models. Applicants must write a one-page essay describing a challenging intercultural interaction they’ve experienced and overcome.
TEAN Merit-Based Scholarships
18. Vaya a America Latina Scholarship
Deadline: March 17th
The American Field Service (AFS) awards the Vaya a America Latina Scholarship for $3,000 each year to U.S. undergraduate students who are spending the summer studying abroad in the Latin American countries of Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, or Paraguay. Eligible candidates must be applying for a four to eight-week trip, attend an accredited college in the United States, have good standing, and exhibit unmet financial need. There’s a $75 application fee unless waived with a promo code.
Vaya a America Latina Scholarship
120 Wall Street 4th Floor
New York, NY 10005
19. Walter Jensen Scholarships for Study Abroad
Deadline: March 15th
For $2,000, the Walter Jensen Scholarships for Study Abroad are bestowed by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) to support U.S. citizens who are studying abroad in a Francophone country for a semester or entire year. Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old, be non-native French speakers, attend accredited American colleges, and pursue a bachelor’s or master’s education degree for teaching high school French.
Walter Jensen Scholarships for Study Abroad
302 North Granite Street
Marion, IL 62959
20. William and Fannie Steinberg Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st or November 1st
The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) awards the William and Fannie Steinberg Scholarship for $2,000 each semester to undergraduates accepted into any IES Abroad program, including Netherlands, Morocco, Austria, China, Australia, Turkey, and Germany. Eligible applicants must have good academic standing, attend an accredited U.S. university, be active community service volunteers, and exhibit a commitment to peace and civil liberties.
William and Fannie Steinberg Scholarship
33 West Monroe Street Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60603
Studying abroad is a life-changing endeavor that doesn’t come cheap. In addition to college tuition, you’ll have to afford housing, airfare, textbooks, and living expenses in another country. Lack of financial means shouldn’t hold you back from exploring the world though. There are plentiful grants and scholarships for studying abroad to support your expedition. Unlike loans, scholarships won’t leave you strapped with debt and high interest rates. Whether you’re planning a summer trip or entire year abroad, fund your travel dreams by applying for these 20 great study abroad scholarships.