The results are in: study abroad is worth it. But how do you pay for it?
Countless researchers have shown that studying abroad will benefit you by making you more creative, more employable, more mature, and happier — yet a shockingly small number of American students go abroad each year (only 10% of American undergrads went in 2017). One of the biggest reasons? They’re not sure how to pay for study abroad.
So, can you study abroad for free? The short answer is no, but the long answer is more hopeful. While it may seem that study abroad is expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Many students know that financial aid will cover study abroad (visit your study abroad office for details), but what most don’t know is that you can apply for scholarships outside your university from organizations that want to help you pay for study abroad programs. These orgs give hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in scholarships because they want to make it so anyone can study abroad. Some scholarships can even help you get a job after graduation! (see the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship below).
Some opportunities are for particular groups of people, like study abroad scholarships for minorities, while others are based on where you live or where you want to go. Study abroad can change your life – so without further ado, here are The 11 Best Scholarships to Pay for Study Abroad:
This scholarship offers up to $10,000 for U.S. Citizens or permanent residents at U.S. colleges/universities to study abroad. FEA gives preference to students with demonstrated financial need, and students from underrepresented groups in education abroad, offering study abroad scholarships for minorities, first-generation college students, and community college students.
The Rainbow Scholarship, which provides scholarship money and mentorship to LGBTQI students who want to study abroad.
The Hiliary Echo Douglas Scholarship, for students wishing to study abroad in Southeast Asia.
Where can I go? Current FEA Scholarship Recipients study abroad all over the world! Requirements include an online application with unofficial transcript, a Financial Aid form filled out by your Financial Aid Office, and 1 letter of recommendation. Visit website for updated deadlines.
This Scholarship offers up to $8,000 for students who might not otherwise study abroad because of financial constraints. Extra funding is available to applicants who want to study a critical language such as Arabic or Hindi. Another perk: because it’s funded by the U.S. Government, Gilman Scholars can apply for jobs in the federal government under noncompetitive eligibility for 12 months after their program.
Where can I go? Spring 2018 Gilman Scholars will study abroad in France, Germany, Thailand, and more.
Requirements include an online application, 2 essays of 750 words, official transcripts, and documents from a study abroad and financial aid advisor. Application Deadline: March 6 for Summer, Fall or Academic Year programs, October 3 for Spring programs.
This scholarship offers $1,000 for study abroad programs in addition to their Outbreaker Backpack, to help young people experience the world beyond their college campus. It’s awarded biannually to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or students studying in the US on a student visa who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate college/university.
Where can I go? Past recipients have done study abroad in France, England, and more. Requirements include acceptance into a Study Abroad program, a 500 word essay, and photo contributions via social media.
Application Deadline: December 20 for Spring, May 20 for Fall.