College offers the perfect time to travel and see the world because students often do not have the responsibilities of a job and family to tie them down. When coupled with a study abroad experience, students have the opportunity to work on their college coursework while visiting another country and gain invaluable experience in the process. Unfortunately, study abroad programs are expensive, but scholarships make studying abroad an option for a wide variety of students.
AIFS offers multiple study abroad programs for students and, along with those programs, provides scholarship opportunities to help pay for them. The company awards over $600,000 in scholarships each year to help students complete semester and study abroad opportunities. Through the AIFS International Scholarships, 40 students will receive $1,000 each by writing an essay explaining how studying abroad will affect their academic and personal growth. Specific scholarship programs also target African-American and Hispanic students by providing scholarships to pay for up to 50 percent of a study abroad program.
SIT Study Abroad provides approximately $750,000 a year in study abroad scholarships that range from $500 to $5,000. Scholarships help encourage a diverse group of students to complete study abroad experiences for a semester or during the summer. Specific scholarships target different majors, such as engineering students or students studying Middle Eastern or Islamic Studies. Many scholarship also give preference to minority groups, such as the Diversity Fund and HBCU Scholarships for students attending historically black colleges and universities.
The Boren Awards for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program, provide opportunities for students from the United States to study abroad in countries and with programs that relate to U.S. National Security. Through the programs, students study less commonly taught languages in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Western Europe. Students may earn up to $20,000 in scholarships to study abroad for a full school year, $10,000 for a semester of study and $8,000 for summer programs. Students submit proposals to apply for the scholarships, with preference given to longer periods of study. Summer scholarships are limited to students with a focus on math, science, technology or engineering.
CIEE offers scholarships to help students complete study abroad opportunities throughout the school year. In order to apply for a scholarship, students choose a CIEE program and submit a 500-word essay to the company outlining the chosen program, their financial need and what goals or outcomes they hope to focus on during the program. Students may apply for more than one scholarship on each application. Scholarships focus on specific students, including scholarships available exclusively to minority students and scholarships for students who wish to study abroad in Asia. Scholarship amounts vary, but typically range from $1,000 to $8,000 and may cover all program fees.
Since 2000, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship has provided study abroad scholarships for students. Scholarships are available exclusively to students who receive a federal PELL grant and are currently studying at a two or four year college or university. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, students must study in one country for at least four consecutive weeks and not plan to study in any country on the U.S. Travel Warning List. Scholarships are worth up to $5,000, but students studying languages on the critical needs list may earn up to $8,000.