One thing I regret not doing while I was in college was taking the opportunity to study abroad. Many students in my French class jumped at the chance to stay in Strasbourg for six weeks, immersing themselves in the language and culture. I would have loved to tag along, but my family obligations and bank account made the trip impractical for me, or so I thought. Of course, now that I realize how many financial aid resources there were for study abroad opportunities, I could just kick myself in the pants.
It never dawned on me to check with my French professor to see if the language department offered any scholarships or grants (they did!) or even the financial aid office. I just assumed that any education I received off campus would have to be paid for through my own personal piggy bank. I later found out that some of the college departments (music, business and engineering) even provided additional scholarships to students traveling outside the United States.
Another resource for possible aid is the embassy, consular office or department of education at the host country students intend to visit. Foreign countries are often eager to have students study at their universities, so they may provide some financial incentives to encourage them to participate in study abroad and/or exchange programs. Students may also find assistance through local organizations, such as the Asian American Institute or German American Chamber of Commerce. Large cities, like Chicago, host hundreds of similar community groups and many offer scholarships and other assistance to students who want to travel abroad.
Here are some additional study abroad scholarship opportunities for those who are considering a trip overseas soon.
Students, who are members of the Golden Key International Honour Society, and are planning to participate in a study abroad program, may be eligible for this scholarship. Awards are valued at $1,000 each. Deadline for applications is July 1.
The Gilman Scholarship Program assists students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding and plan to participate in a study abroad program. Students must be staying in a country that is not on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning List. Applications are accepted twice a year. The next deadline is October 1.
Each year, Academic Programs International (API) provides nearly $400,000 in scholarships for students studying abroad. The scholarships range in value from $250 to $1,000 per student. There are four different deadlines for submitting applications, so students can find money for any semester. The next deadline is October 15.
Students, who are emerging artists in the fields of dance, film, and literature, may be eligible for the Travel and Study Grant Program offered by the Jerome Foundation. Students must plan to travel between June 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016. The program is restricted to students in the five boroughs of New York City or the state of Minnesota. The application period will open later this fall.
The Fund for Education Abroad offers several scholarships for undergraduate students who plan to study abroad between May 2014 and May 2015. As many as 15 students may receive up to $10,000 each. Additional scholarships will be awarded to students who show an interest in Vietnam or identify themselves as something other than heterosexual. Students may also receive funding if they reside in the following areas: Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Connecticut. Applications are available in November.
Female students, who have received the Girl Scouts Silver or Gold Award, may be eligible for a semester, summer or full-year study abroad scholarship. Students must possess a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Scholarships are valued at $1,000 each. Applications are accepted beginning March 15, 2014.
One of the largest study abroad scholarship programs, the Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to individual students who plan to study in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests. Students must make a commitment to work in the federal government for a minimum of one year following their college graduation. More than 100 scholarships are awarded annually. Next deadline will be February 2014 (TBA).
Each year, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi offers 50 study abroad grants. Students must have a grade point average of 3.75 or higher, but do not need to be members of Phi Kappa Phi to apply. Study abroad travel must take place between May 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Grants are valued at $1,000 each. Applications will be in early 2014.
Students who are interested in participating in a study abroad program should begin their search for financial aid six to twelve months in advance. Other sources of possible funding include crowdfunding websites and scholarship search services, such as ScholarshipExperts.com.
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