College provides the perfect time to explore the world, and study abroad opportunities and scholarships allow students to see a different portion of the world while still fulfilling degree requirements. Study abroad opportunities are offered throughout the world and, if your particular university does not offer a study abroad program in the ideal location, it possible to partner with another university. With the availability of scholarships and other financial aid options, studying abroad also can be affordable for most students.
Most colleges and universities partner with foreign universities to provide study abroad programs for students. If you know you would like to study abroad in college, consider choosing a school based on its study abroad options. If already in school, visit your school’s Office of International Affairs or whichever office handles the study abroad programs to see what programs are available and compare their costs. Inquire in that office about specific scholarships available from the university to help offset the cost of studying abroad.
Once you have chosen a study abroad program, visit your college’s financial aid office to find other scholarships available to you. Some scholarships and grants you already have may be applied to a semester spent studying abroad. The financial aid office may also have a list of additional scholarships for you to seek out.
Many organizations offer their own scholarships to help students study abroad. Most scholarships are location-specific or tied to a study abroad program offered in partnership with that organization. For example, the Boren Awards for International Study provide scholarships and fellowships for students interested in studying languages that are not commonly taught. Sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), scholarships may be awarded in amounts up to $20,000 and require students to use their experience to contribute to the area of national security. For more information, visit www.borenawards.org.
AFS, a program that promotes and plans international exchange programs, offers study abroad scholarships for high school students throughout the school year and during the summer or while taking a year off for college students. Scholarships include the Global Leaders scholarship, which provides full and partial scholarships for any destination, state-specific scholarships and special scholarships for students traveling to Japan, Costa Rica or Argentina. A special scholarship is also available for students studying in Muslim countries. In addition to scholarships, AFS provides students with fundraising resources to help offset the cost of the trip. Visit www.afsusa.org to learn more about the scholarships.
DiversityAbroad seeks to provide study abroad opportunities for students who would not normally be able to enjoy such an experience. The program manages multiple study abroad scholarships for disadvantaged students. Scholarships begin at $1,000 and may be high enough to cover the entire cost of a trip. Visit the financial aid section at www.diversityabroad.com to learn more about scholarships and other financial aid opportunities or loans.
In addition to study abroad scholarships, seek out a sponsor in an individual or organization who may be willing to fund your study abroad trips. Many churches and local businesses will help fund a student's desire to study abroad.