Whether you want to learn a new language or explore a different culture, studying abroad during college is an experience like no other. With thousands of programs to choose from, you could soon be strolling down the streets of Paris or hiking the slopes of Machu Picchu.

But even as more U.S. undergraduate students study abroad – upward of 313,000 in the 2014-15 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education – many worry about the costs of living in another country.

Fortunately, a number of organizations recognize how valuable going abroad can be, and they want to help you pay for it. Below are just six of the many scholarships that can help you finance your study abroad experience, whether that’s for a semester or a year.

1. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: The Gilman Scholarship program promotes study abroad opportunities for undergraduates at U.S. institutions with exceptional financial need, doling out more than 2,900 scholarships each year. The program prides itself on supporting underrepresented applicants, including first-generation students; minority students; individuals with disabilities; science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – majors; or anyone attending a community college.

If you’re angling for a Gilman Scholarship, prepare early – the deadline for the fall is March 6.

2. Fund for Education Abroad Scholarships: FEA is a nonprofit with a mission to increase the diversity of U.S. college students studying abroad. To that end, the organization awards scholarships of up to $5,000 for a semester abroad and $10,000 for a year.

Although any currently enrolled undergraduate who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can apply, FEA gives preference to students with financial need, along with minority, community college and first-generation students. You’ll need to submit an online application, financial aid form and recommendation letter from a professor or adviser.

All applicants who apply by Jan. 10 are considered for all of FEA’s available scholarship awards.

3. Boren Scholarships: If you’re interested in national security and not afraid to stray from the beaten path, a Boren Scholarship could be for you. These federally funded awards go to students who plan to study a less commonly taught language in a region that is “critical to U.S. interests,” according to the scholarship site.

Boren scholars may study in locations around the world, except for the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Winners receive up to $10,000 for a semester or $20,000 for six to 12 months. STEM students can get $8,000 for a summer program that is at least eight weeks long.

In addition to submitting a competitive application by the Feb. 8 deadline, you must commit to working in a national security role within the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

4. Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship: The creators behind Tortuga backpacks are passionate about exploring the globe. To encourage college students to study abroad, the company offers $1,000 Tortuga Scholarships – and a Tortuga backpack – twice a year.

Tortuga’s application includes a 500-word essay on what you hope to learn from studying abroad and how you might apply those lessons after returning home. The deadline for the spring 2018 scholarship is Dec. 20, and May 20 for the fall 2018 scholarship.
5. AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants: AIFS distributes more than $800,000 in scholarships and other financial support every year. Some of its scholarships only go to students enrolled in AIFS study abroad programs, which span more than 20 countries. But other awards are available for students participating in study abroad programs through their colleges.

Application requirements and deadlines vary by scholarship, as do award amounts, which typically range between $500 and $5,000. Interested students should contact their school’s study abroad director to see what AIFS awards they may be eligible for.

6. CEA Study Abroad Scholarships: CEA offers 20 study abroad programs to more than 4,000 students every year who choose to study through a CEA program.

CEA’s awards fall into three main categories: need-based, merit-based and diversity. Each has its own application requirements, and award amounts range from $400 to $3,000. While students pursuing CEA study abroad programs are eligible for earning academic credit, they must confirm the transfer process with their undergraduate institution.

If you want to study abroad, work with your school’s financial aid office to learn about your funding options and apply to as many scholarships as you can. With careful planning, you can turn your dreams of living internationally into a reality.

www.usnews.com

GC4women.org © 2019. All rights reserved.