The Most Competitive International College Scholarships

By D.A. Barber , last updated October 8, 2011

Knowing what the most competitive international college scholarships are can be useful since not all students have the finances to afford an opportunity to study abroad. Going overseas can not just be a great learning and cultural experience for students, but it also looks great on a resume or graduate school application. In fact, the business, cultural and networking opportunities that evolved from getting a scholarship for studying abroad can open many doors in future as well.

American Institute for Foreign Study Scholarship

The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) was founded in 1964, giving this organization some 40 years experience in overseas study programs. AIFS has helped over 1 million students get an international education by awarding more than $250,000 in scholarships each year for studying abroad in 19 countries through 6 different scholarship options for both the school year and summer time.

These AIFS awards go to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement in both grades and the required scholarship essays.

Fulbright Scholarship

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Scholarship is the largest U.S. government-sponsored international educational exchange program and offers grants to U.S. and foreign students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and professionals who wish to study or conduct research overseas. Established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress, the Fulbright Scholarship awarded roughly 6,000 grants in 2010 worth more than $322.3 million, to U.S. students to travel, study and research in more than 155 countries, while their foreign counterparts did the same in the United States.

The Gilman International Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens and was created to help students that lack the financial ability to study abroad. The program also gives preference to other under-represented students, such as those from community colleges, under-represented fields of study, diverse ethnic backgrounds, and with disabilities. The Gilman Scholarship also targets non-traditional study destinations, especially areas outside of regions like Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The RTKL Traveling Fellowship

The architecture firm RTKL Associates, Inc. established the RTKL Traveling Fellowship in honor of one of its founders, Francis T. Taliaferro, to encourage international travel for a professional degree. Each year, one $2,500 fellowship is awarded to a second-to-last year undergraduate or graduate architecture student with the best travel itinerary aimed to further their educational and professional goals.

ESAC Scholarship Program

Each year, the Europe Study Abroad Center (ESAC) awards 4-week trips to Prague, Czech Republic, for business, marketing, international business, and entrepreneurship college students and recent graduates. The program (July and August) is open to students from any college, degree major and country and includes an optional weekend excursion to Vienna, Austria.

The Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most recognized scholarships in the world. Each year there are 80 Rhodes scholars chosen worldwide, 32 of those come from the United States. Those chosen are given the opportunity to study at Oxford University with all tuition fees paid and a living allowance covering from 1 to 3 years. Students are free to pursue any course study of their choosing, including working toward a master’s, doctorate or a second bachelor’s degree.

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