High School Abroad

12 High School Abroad Scholarships to Apply for in 2020

Valerie Stimac

Valerie was the previous Managing Editor and helped produce all of the amazing articles and guides you see on Go Overseas. She attended grad school abroad in London.

For any high school student, mention scholarship, and you’re almost undoubtedly speaking about college. But did you know that there is a whole array of scholarships out there for other educational purposes? Like language learning, advancement in the arts, and yes, even study abroad? If you are a high-schooler who wants to study abroad but is worried about finances, (after all, you still have four years of college yet to come!) consider applying for a scholarship before you let “I can’t afford it" become yet another excuse.

Quick Tips for High School Study Abroad Scholarships
  • Check with your program provider to see if they offer scholarships first. CIEE and Youth for Understanding, for example, offer partial and full scholarships to their students in select programs/countries. This is generally the best place to start your scholarship search.
  • Read the small print carefully. Some scholarships cannot be used with another scholarship while others can only be used towards tuition fees, but not towards daily expenses (like room and board). Others still are specific to a region or academic field and you would qualify if you are studying in Japan, for example, but not Mexico. Make sure your scholarship can be used towards your program!
  • Apply to as many scholarships as you can! The more you apply for, the more likely you are to win one. Simple logic, right?

Being proactive, aggressive, and organized will help make that study abroad bill feel smaller and smaller and smaller until poof, it's almost gone! Enough of this, let's get to the good stuff. Here are 12 awesome scholarships that help high school students study abroad.

Scholarships for Studying Abroad in High School

After you've found the perfect high school study abroad program, it's time to get your finances in order. Check out these scholarships, but don't end your search here. Be sure to double check other unique scholarship options to your community. Perhaps your place of worship, your local rotary club, or your Mom's coworkers will be sources of extra money to help you pay for your trip!

Brandon Goodman Scholarship

Students with at least a 2.0 GPA who complete a 250-word essay about their academic goals and contributions to their community are eligible for this scholarship open to high school and university students studying abroad.

  • Award: $300
  • Requirements: None
  • Deadline: Monthly
  • Application: Click Here

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program

For those accepted into The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program, the U.S. State Department will provide full scholarships to study abroad in Germany -- no previous language required! As Germany is a top country for studying abroad, this is a competitive but great opportunity for high school students to get a jump start on international education.

  • Award: Varies
  • Requirements: GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Deadline: December 2020
  • Application: Click Here

Define Yourself Scholarship

High school seniors who plan to attend college in the following academic year are able to apply for this ongoing monthly scholarship awarded to students just for “Being you!" It is not merit based, but applicants have to create a profile on GoEnnounce about themselves. Students will continue to be considered for the scholarship so long as they keep an updated profile.

  • Award: $500
  • Requirements: None
  • Deadline: The 30th of every month
  • Application: Click Here

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Program (YES Program) is perfect for international students who want to spend part of their high school career in the U.S. The program invites students from countries with significant Muslim populations to live with a host family and attend up to one year of high school in the U.S. Students from over 40 countries are eligible.

  • Award: Varies by country
  • Requirements: must be a high school student currently living in one of the participating countries
  • Deadline: Varies by country
  • Award: Click Here

The National Langue Security Initiative

The National Langue Security Initiative is a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department to encourage language learning in specific languages the U.S. has identified as high importance. The scholarship covers language immersion programs for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian and Turkish through one of their programs.

  1. Award: Varies
  2. Requirements: GPA higher than 2.5; must be learning one of the target languages
  3. Deadline: 2020 date has not been released
  4. Application: Click Here

Sol Abroad Scholarships

Sol Abroad offers five scholarships for their summer programs, which is great for increasing your odds of winning one! The scholarships range from $100-$500 so they can help reduce costs to make their programs more affordable. You'll need to be in good academic standing and meet some other requirements to apply; check their website for the full details to make sure you qualify before penning your application essay.

  • Award: $100 to $500
  • Restriction: Sol Abroad participants only
  • Deadline: April 1, 2020
  • Application: Click Here

AFS Program Scholarships

High school abroad provider AFS offers several scholarship options for students, depending on which country you want to visit. They offer over $4.5 million annually in scholarships and grants, so check out their website for full details. Here are a few examples of the 2020 scholarships they offer:

  • The Keith A. Voigt Study Abroad Scholarship is a merit and needs-based scholarship that awards $8,000 for all semester and year high school programs. Household income must be $85,000 or less. Application deadline is February 13, 2020.
  • High School students passionate about photography, filmmaking, videography, and design are eligible for the Visual Storyteller Scholarship. A full, merit-based scholarship. To apply, you must write a short story, provide a letter of reference, and submit a portfolio by March 23, 2020.
  • The BP Global Stem Academies scholarship offers a full ride to spend four weeks in the USA, Brazil, Egypt, or India focusing on STEM education and skills. The deadline is March 9th, 2020.

AFS also has the Global Leaders Scholarship program, which offers need-based scholarships to students on any AFS program, and can be combined with other scholarships.

  • Award: Varies
  • Requirements: Need for financial aid (household income under $65,000)
  • Deadline: On a rolling basis
  • Application: Click Here

CIEE Program Scholarships

If you want to go overseas with CIEE during your high school career, they offer partial scholarships to qualified students to help cover the cost. Scholarships are available for their programs in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and Swede, so you have plenty of choices!

  • Award: Varies
  • Requirements: CIEE program participants only
  • Deadline: Rolling, on a first come, first serve basis
  • Application: Click Here

Greenheart Travel Scholarship

Greenheart Travel, a company that offers programs for high school abroad, language learning, and volunteering abroad, has a new scholarship this year for first-time travelers. If you've never gone overseas before but you're keen to get started ASAP, their scholarship may be a great option to help you make your high school abroad dreams come true.

  • Award: Varies by program
  • Requirements: First-time traveler participating in a Greenheart Travel program
  • Deadline: February 15th, 2020
  • Application: Click Here

The Experiment in International Learning Scholarships

The Experiment in International Living offers a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships to worthy high school students looking to participate in their program. The eligibility requirements vary depending on where you live and other demographics -- and your GPA is taken into account for some scholarships too.

  • Award: Varies
  • Requirements: Must apply for/be enrolled in an Experiment in International Learning program
  • Deadline: Varies, generally Jan. or Feb. 2020
  • Application: More Scholarship Info

SYA Program Scholarships

SYA, another high school abroad provider, also offers scholarships for students enrolled in their programs. Their SYA merit scholarships are a great starting point, but they also offer additional special scholarships depending on your academic performance and what program you want to attend.

  • Award: Varies; $5,000 - $25,000
  • Restriction: SYA participants only
  • Deadline: February 12, 2020
  • Application: Click Here

YFU Financial Aid Fund

If you are an active member of your high school's key club, this scholarship is for you! Applicable for travel in nearly 40 countries. Some previous language study may be required to be eligible. Check out the YFU-USA scholarship database for even more funds to help you study abroad as a teen.

  • Award: Varies, depends on financial need
  • Requirements: Applicant for a YFU program
  • Deadline: March 15, 2020
  • Application: Click Here

For high school students studying abroad and looking for scholarships and funding, don’t let the long lists of “undergrad only" scholarships get you down – they’re out there! Keep your feelers out, use your program as a starting point, and talk to local organizations that support students in your area. You may surprise yourself by finding money to help you study abroad in the most unlikely of places.

This post was originally published in August 2013, and was updated in January 2020.

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