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Study Abroad: The Best Guide to Applying for Scholarships

Study Abroad Scholarships

Study abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to explore new cultures, gain a world-class education, and broaden their horizons. However, one of the most commonly cited barriers to studying abroad is the cost. Fortunately, there is a solution: studying abroad funding through scholarships. In this comprehensive guide, we will uncover the secrets of study abroad funding, providing you with a wealth of information on various scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities that can make your globetrotting dreams come true.

In this guide on study abroad scholarships, you’ll find info on…

  • Popular study abroad scholarships
  • International scholarships
  • Merit based study abroad scholarships
  • Foreign exchange student scholarships
  • Minority studying  abroad scholarships
  • Summer study abroad scholarships
  • study abroad loans, study grants, study fellowships, and study abroad fundraising ideas.

Scholarships to Study Abroad

About Study Abroad Scholarships

When it comes to international scholarships, the range of opportunities available is vast. From awards that cover airfare to full-ride scholarships, there are scholarships tailored to various backgrounds, academic achievements, and regions. By planning ahead and submitting well-thought-out applications, you can increase your chances of securing funding for your study abroad adventure.

Popular Study Abroad Scholarships

Several prominent study abroad scholarships are worth considering, as they not only provide financial support but also come with prestige and recognition. Some noteworthy scholarships include:

1. Fund for Education Abroad

The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Scholarship is dedicated to increasing opportunities for underrepresented students to studying abroad. FEA offers scholarships of up to $10,000 to students who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence, and a commitment to cultural exchange.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award : Approx $10,000 for academic year, $5,000 for semester, and a minimum of $1,250 for summer

2. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Named after former U.S. Representative Benjamin A. Gilman, this scholarship aims to diversify the pool of students studying abroad. It provides awards to U.S. undergraduate students with limited financial means, encouraging them to choose non-traditional study destinations.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: Approx $5,000

3. Boren Awards

The Boren Awards focus on national security and language proficiency. They provide funding to U.S. undergraduate students to study in regions critical to U.S. interests, such as Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Recipients commit to working for the U.S. government for a defined period after graduation.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: Approx $8,000 for summer programs, $10,000 for a semester, $20,000 for 6-12 months

4. IIE Generation Study Abroad Scholarship Program

  • Award: Various (Check the website for different scholarships, requirements, and deadlines)

This initiative has raised over $55 million to help students of diverse backgrounds achieve their overseas goals. The program offers multiple funding outlets through various partners, making it a rich source of scholarships for study abroad.

5. Golden Key

Golden Key scholarships are awarded to members of the Golden Key International Honour Society, a prestigious academic organization. These scholarships support members’ endeavors to study abroad, rewarding their academic achievements and leadership qualities.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, Post-Graduate
  • Award: Approx $5,000

International Scholarships

International scholarships are not limited to specific backgrounds or regions and are open to a diverse pool of students. Some international scholarships worth exploring include:

1. Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is one of the most prestigious and sought-after scholarships for studying abroad. Established in 1946, it offers grants for graduate students, young professionals, and artists to conduct research, study, or teach in more than 140 countries worldwide. The Fulbright program fosters mutual understanding and cultural exchange, making it an unparalleled opportunity for personal and academic growth.

  • Degree Level: Recent graduates, Graduate, Young Professionals
  • Award: Varies by country

2. Study Abroad Scholarships Essay Contest

The Study Abroad Scholarships Essay Contest is an initiative that encourages students to share their thoughts on international education through a well-crafted essay. Winners of the contest receive scholarships to support their study abroad endeavors, making it an excellent platform for aspiring writers with a passion for global learning.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: Approx $1,000

3. Room to Travel Study Abroad Scholarship

Room to Travel offers a scholarship aimed at reducing the financial burden for students planning to study abroad. The scholarship is open to all fields of study and provides financial assistance to those who demonstrate a commitment to cross-cultural exchange and academic excellence.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: Approx $1,000

4. HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarships

Hosteling International (HI) USA sponsors the Explore the World Travel Scholarships to enable young adults to engage in educational or service-learning trips abroad. These scholarships promote intercultural understanding and create lasting connections between participants and their host communities.

  • Eligibility: 18-30 years
  • Award: approx. $2,000

5. ScholarTrips-

ScholarTrips is a renowned organization dedicated to making study abroad opportunities more accessible. They offer a variety of scholarships for students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees abroad. ScholarTrips seeks to empower the next generation of leaders and global citizens through educational experiences abroad.

  • Degree Level: High school, Trade school, University-level
  • Award: approx $2,500

Merit-Based Abroad Study Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships recognize and reward students for their academic achievements and leadership qualities. Some prominent merit-based study scholarships include:

1. CIEE Merit Scholarships

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) offers merit scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence, strong leadership skills, and a commitment to cultural exchange. These scholarships are available for various study abroad programs and destinations.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $2,500 for semester, $750 for summer

2. CEA Merit-Based Scholarships

CEA Study Abroad provides merit-based scholarships to outstanding students looking to participate in their diverse range of study abroad programs. The scholarships aim to support students with exemplary academic records and a passion for intercultural experiences.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: Various

3. TEAN Merit-Based Scholarship

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) offers merit-based scholarships to students with exceptional academic achievements and a desire to explore the world through education abroad. The scholarship program encompasses a variety of countries and academic disciplines

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate

Foreign Exchange Student Scholarships

Foreign exchange student scholarships facilitate cross-cultural experiences by supporting students who wish to study abroad in specific countries. Some notable foreign exchange student scholarships include:

studying abroad Scholarship

1. Killam Fellowships Program

The Killam Fellowships Program enables undergraduate students from Canada and the United States to study at host institutions in each other’s country. This exchange program fosters a strong bond between the two nations while encouraging academic excellence.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $10,000 for a year, $5,000 for a semester

2. DAAD Undergraduate Scholarships

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers undergraduate scholarships for students from the United States to study in Germany. These scholarships promote academic and cultural exchange, allowing students to experience Germany’s renowned education system.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx 650 Euro per month

3. Japan Bridging Scholarship

The Bridging Project for Study Abroad in Japan offers scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs in Japan. The scholarship aims to enhance the understanding of Japanese culture and society among American students

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $2,500 for a semester, $4,000 for a year

4. Freeman-ASIA Program

The Freeman-ASIA Program provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with financial need to study in East or Southeast Asia. The program seeks to increase the number of U.S. students experiencing the cultural and educational diversity of Asia.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $3,000 for summer, $5,000 for a semester, $7,000 for a year

Minority Study Abroad Scholarships

Diversity abroad is celebrated through various minority study abroad scholarships. Students from diverse backgrounds, including those with financial need, first-gen college students, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students, can explore these opportunities:

1. ISA Diversity Scholarship

The ISA Diversity Scholarship, provided by the International Studies Abroad (ISA), is aimed at encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to participate in study abroad programs. This scholarship facilitates cross-cultural experiences and fosters global understanding.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $1,000 for summer, $2,000 for fall/spring

2. Diversity Abroad & FIE Scholarship

Diversity Abroad collaborates with the Foundation for International Education (FIE) to offer scholarships that promote diversity and inclusivity in study abroad. These scholarships support students from diverse backgrounds and provide opportunities for transformative international experiences.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $3,000
  • Deadline: October 15, 2017

3. HACU IES Abroad Scholarship

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) partners with IES Abroad to provide scholarships for students of Hispanic heritage who wish to study abroad. These scholarships aim to increase Hispanic representation in international education.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $2,500 for summer, $5,000 for a semester

4. Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Grant

The MSI Grant, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supports students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in participating in study abroad programs. This grant encourages diversity and intercultural exchange among students.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx $500 for summer, $2,000 for a semester

5. API Diversity Scholarship

The API Diversity Scholarship, offered by Academic Programs International (API), provides financial assistance to students from diverse backgrounds who wish to study abroad. This scholarship promotes inclusivity and global engagement among students.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
  • Award: approx $250-$750

Summer Studying Abroad Scholarships

Summer studying abroad scholarships enable students to participate in shorter-term international programs, gaining valuable experiences during their summer breaks. Some prominent summer study abroad scholarships include:

1. Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, offers fully-funded language immersion programs for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students. The program focuses on critical languages and encourages cultural exchange.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate, Graduate

2. Diversity Network Summer Scholarship

The Diversity Network Summer Scholarship aims to promote diversity and inclusion in study abroad programs. It provides financial support to students from diverse backgrounds who want to engage in short-term summer study abroad experiences

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: approx. $1,000

3. Fulbright UK Summer Institutes

The Fulbright UK Summer Institutes offer summer study abroad programs for U.S. undergraduate students interested in exploring British culture and academics. These Institutes provide a unique opportunity for cross-cultural learning and intellectual growth.

  • Degree Level: Undergraduate

Other Avenues for Funding Studying Abroad

Studying abroad offers a world of opportunities for personal growth and academic enrichment. While scholarships are a fantastic way to offset the costs of international education, there are other avenues available to fund your study journey. In this article, we will explore various alternative methods of financing your study abroad experience to make your dreams of global exploration a reality.

Study Abroad Loans

If your savings and scholarships don’t fully cover the cost, you can explore study loans, which can be repaid with interest later. Be sure to plan early and visit your university’s financial aid office for guidance.

Study Abroad Grants

Study abroad grants, like scholarships, provide “free money” for study purposes. They are typically managed by government agencies and established organizations.

Study Abroad Fellowships

Study abroad fellowships are prestigious awards that provide financial support, often covering tuition fees, living expenses, and additional allowances, to exceptional students seeking to study overseas. These fellowships recognize academic excellence, leadership potential, and a commitment to cross-cultural exchange

Studying Abroad Fundraising Ideas

Creative fundraising initiatives can help supplement studying abroad costs. Craft a compelling case and motivate potential donors by explaining how your study experience will contribute to personal growth or the greater good.


Foreign Scholarships for Indian Students to Study Abroad


Studying abroad doesn’t have to be out of reach due to financial constraints. With careful planning and dedication to the application process, a wide range of scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities are available to support your studying abroad journey. Embrace the opportunity to explore new cultures, gain a world-class education, and make lifelong memories as you embark on your study adventure!