Are There Scholarships for Study Abroad Programs?

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to see other countries and learn about different cultures. However, many students don’t even consider studying abroad because they think they can’t afford it, many organizations and scholarships exist to enable participation from all student groups.

Study Abroad Programs and the FAFSA®

The first step towards funding your study abroad dream should be filing your FAFSA® for Federal Student Aid. Any federal aid you receive through the FSA is transferable to an approved international institution provided you are taking a full course load and working towards your degree.

You will need to work with the financial aid offices at both your host school (in the United States) and the school at which you intend to study abroad to coordinate the financial details and requirements.

If your school offers a study abroad program, the odds are high that they also offer scholarships to qualifying students to help cover the necessary costs.

Scholarship Databases

Given the hundreds of available study abroad scholarships available, your best bet is to sort through searchable scholarship databases to find one that suits your criteria. Here are some of our favorite databases:

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Study Abroad Organizations

Many organizations exist to help students realize their dreams to study abroad. All these organizations offer scholarships and other assistance to connect students with their ideal program.

Universities Study Abroad Consortium – USAC offers programs in 28 countries in the Summer, Spring and Fall terms.

The Intern Group – Offers grants for students seeking internships in 11 countries. Grants total between $2,000-$2,500.

CEA Study Abroad Scholarships – CEA offers scholarships ranging between $500-$3,000 on basis of merit, diversity or need.

American Institute For Foreign Study – AIFS offers scholarships up to $5,000 for programs in 22 countries.

These organizations partner with schools all over the world, so contact your school’s financial aid office to find out what options are readily available to you.

Scholarship Databases

In addition to the organizations listed above, scholarship databases will also list all the opportunities that exist for your desired study abroad location and program. These are two of the most comprehensive databases available:

Program-Specific Scholarships

Several organizations exist to help students find scholarships to study abroad.

Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship Program – Offered to students with limited means, the Gilman scholarship is designed to diversify the field of students traveling abroad. Scholarships range from $3,000-$5,000, depending on program length.

Boren Scholarships – The National Security Education Program provides scholarships worth up to $20,000 for a full year to students pursuing language studies that are considered vital to the United States’ national defense.

Robert B Bailey Scholarship – Minority students can receive up to $1,500 to study abroad from the Council of International Educational Exchange.