Excited about studying abroad, but wondering how to pay for it?
Good news -- you're definitely not alone! Studying abroad can get expensive but fortunately, there are ways to work around those hefty price tags.
While fundraising and taking up summer jobs is an option, did you know there are also scholarships and grants offered specifically for students who want to study overseas?
That's right, scholarships for study abroad are widely available from a variety of sources. You can even find these opportunities right here on Go Overseas -- we run several scholarships throughout the year.
Surprisingly, thousands of dollars worth of scholarships go unclaimed every year simply because no one applies for them. Some of this money could be YOURS.
The trick is knowing not only where to look for study abroad scholarships, but also how to apply for them. Even though they may not fully cover your study abroad costs, they'll help decrease your expenses and make your study abroad experience more affordable.
Without further ado: let's get started helping you win some study abroad scholarships!
Read more: 5 Ways to Study Abroad for Free or Cheap
How to score financial aid for study abroad
We've compiled as many study abroad scholarships and grants as we could find right here, but it's not an exhaustive one. In addition to looking here, here are some tips for finding more study abroad scholarships and grants:
- Apply for federal financial aid. Many students don't realize that these government grants and loans may be used towards study abroad. You can fill out the application, known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online at the US Department of Education FAFSA website
- Check with the government of the country you want to study abroad in -- some give financial support to international students.
- Visit your financial aid office, study abroad office, and foreign language departments to ask about potential funding sources.
- Ask your study abroad advisor if there are any scholarships specific to your major.
- Check the local organizations in your city, like Sons of Italy chapters, German clubs, Hispanic heritage groups, and more to see if they offer or host any scholarships.
- Do you identify as a BIPOC student? As travel strives to be more inclusive for all, we encourage you to take advantage of these scholarship opportunities, specifically for BIPOC students!
- Google, Google, Google! Browse the internet for any other scholarships and funding opportunities that may pop up!
If you follow these steps (plus review our own list of scholarships below!) we're confident you can find at least a few funding opportunities to make study abroad more affordable.
Free, popular scholarship search databases
The internet is an excellent resource for locating a large number of study abroad scholarships. Many of these scholarships will allow you to apply directly online; potentially, you can apply for dozens of scholarships in a few short hours. However, their one downfall is that a larger application pool will reduce your chances to be awarded aid, but remember, you have to be in it to win it! Here are some popular places to start:
- Scholarship Portal: This website provides a comprehensive free search database system for scholarships available throughout Europe; you can search by region, country and discipline
- FastWeb: This website will not only help you find study abroad scholarships, but scholarships of all kinds that may help you get through the rest of college. The service is free but offers a number of extra benefits if you decide to register
- IIE Passport: This database is a comprehensive search engine for all study abroad programs registered with IIE passport
- Scholarships for Study in Australia: This database provided by the Australian government gives students easy access to the available funding for international students studying there
These sites can be a great place to start when you're looking for scholarship opportunities across different study abroad destinations, subjects, and programs.
General study abroad grants & scholarships
As you'll see, there are lots of scholarships that are tied to the specific location or region where you're studying abroad. There is an equal number that can be used to fund your study abroad experience anywhere in the world.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness.
The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.
- A citizen of the United States;
- An undergraduate student in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States (including both two-year and four-year institutions);
- Receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application
- In the process of applying to, or accepted to, a credit-bearing study abroad or internship program, or a virtual international program.
Fund for Education Award
The mission of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is to provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population. FEA makes life-changing, international experiences accessible to all by supporting students of color, community college, and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs.
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the U.S.
- Study abroad program must be eligible for credit at the student’s home institution
- Study abroad program must be at least 4 weeks (28 days) in country/countries
Boren Language Scholarship
Fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Boren Scholars and Fellows study a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Swahili. Boren Awards are available to students of all proficiency levels who are committed to enhancing their skills.
- U.S. citizens at the time of the national application deadline
- A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
- At least 18 years of age or older at the time of the national application deadline
- Planning an overseas program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador Program
Stipends of $500 are available for those who successfully apply to become a Diversity Abroad Overseas Ambassador. The money is put towards a Spring or Fall semester volunteering or studying abroad program. Ambassadors are expected to blog about their experiences for the Diversity Abroad community with the aim of inspiring other members to travel.
- Must be enrolled full-time in, or recently graduated from, a U.S. university or college
- Have a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA at an accredited U.S. university or college
- You are energetic, creative and have a passion for international engagement
National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
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.
- GPA higher than 2.5
- Must be learning one of the languages listed
Rotary International Scholarships & Grants
The Rotary Club operates one of the largest and longest-run private study abroad funding programs offering up to $25,000 in scholarships to fund one year of academic study, room and board, and other associated expenses. Students are named Cultural Ambassadors and are expected to give presentations both on their home culture while abroad and on the culture of their study abroad destination upon returning home. Scholarships are given through local branches.
Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship
The Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded biannually to passionate students who want to explore the world. At Tortuga, our mission is to help travelers avoid the cost and hassle of checked luggage with carry-on-sized travel backpacks, including students studying abroad. When customers purchase luggage from us for their trips, they are “paying it forward” by funding scholarships for students like you.
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or currently studying in the US on a student visa
- Be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing at a four-year, degree-granting college or university in the U.S.
- Have applied to or been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit by your college or university
Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. One hundred twenty-five $1,000 grants are awarded each year.
- Applicants do not have to be Society members but must attend an institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi chapter.
- You have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
- You have applied to or been accepted into an accredited study abroad program before the session deadline and provide a letter of acceptance or a letter confirming your application, on official letterhead, as part of your application.
- You are not a sitting Phi Kappa Phi board member, divisional vice president, member of the Study Abroad Award committee or Society employee.
The Ashley Soulé Conroy Foundation Scholarship
Ashley Soulé Conroy’s family wants to reward your desire to explore and experiment with different people and places and ways of living, just as the founder’s daughter has. That’s why they set up a scholarship for undergraduates in need: to change lives.
- Must be a U.S. citizen enrolled as an undergraduate in a college or university
Graduate-only study abroad scholarships
Below, you'll find a list of scholarships that are available only to about-to-be graduates and graduate students. Be sure to check deadlines and scholarship windows.
While competitive, this prestigious option is for recent college graduates, master- and doctoral-degree candidates, and young professionals with less than five years of work experience. Arts, humanities, and social sciences students may enroll in a graduate degree program (master’s or doctoral), or attend courses without seeking a degree. Additional options include conducting research and attending courses, or just conducting research alone.
- Applicants must be citizens or nationals of the United States of America at the time of application.
- Applicants must meet the language requirements of the award to which they are applying and demonstrate sufficient competency to complete their project and adjust to life in the host country.
- Strong preference for those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant.
- Preference will be given to applicants whose higher education was undertaken primarily at educational institutions in the United States.
- Candidates who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States will be given preference, provided their qualifications are approximately equivalent to those of other candidates.
- For most programs, applicants who have had extensive, recent previous foreign experience in the host country are at a competitive disadvantage but are still eligible to apply.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Funding & Awards
The AAUW supports women pursuing a variety of graduate academic opportunities. Grants are typically in the range of $2,000-$30,000 to pursue topics including community development, international projects, and career development -- and the funds can be used for study programs as deemed appropriate as part of the AAUW application.
- Women only
Churchill Foundation Scholarship
If you want to pursue a master's degree in science, mathematics, or engineering, consider the Churchill Foundation Scholarship. The Scholarship covers academic expenses for nine, ten, or twelve months, depending on the academic program. There’s also the Kanders Churchill Scholarship in Science Policy “to address the growing divide between science and science policy”.
- Must be an Undergraduate Senior at a Participating University
MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship
One $3,000 scholarship is awarded, plus two $1,000 scholarships to one student from each geographic area: Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, India, and Asia (omitting India). Once awarded, the scholarship is disbursed to the university or college of the application, directly. Besides this, the company has a special Women in STEM Scholarship annually assigned to female international/DACA students in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.
- Must be an international student accepted or currently studying at a full-time program at a U.S. or Canadian school
The Cornaro Scholarship
If you’re a paying member of Kappa Gamma Pi, you’re in luck. Awarded to an exceptional KGP applicant every year as of 1985, the application requires several essays illustrating the applicant's values, experiences, financial need, and involvement in the community.
- Be a current KGP paying member and accepted into graduate program
Finduddannelse.dk Sustainability Scholarship
This Danish platform wants to help students change the world. They are focused on graduates who enroll in a master’s program that will help alleviate the impact of climate change and make the world a more sustainable place. Are you the next world savior?
- Must have applied (or will apply) to a master's program that can help you make the world more sustainable
Program-specific study abroad scholarships
Some study abroad scholarships require you to participate in a specific study abroad program. Here are some of the most popular ones we've found.
CET Academic Programs Scholarships
CET is a study abroad provider with locations in Brazil, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Jordan, and Taiwan.
CET offers scholarships and financial assistance for their high school abroad, gap year abroad, and college study abroad programs. Financial assistance and scholarships are need and merit based.
Upon applying to any CET program, you'll gain access to CET's scholarships application.
- Enrolled in a CET program
AFS-USA Grants & Scholarships
The opportunity to study abroad should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial means. Annually, we award scholarships to about half of our study abroad students.
CISabroad Scholarships and Financial Aid
70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships, grants, or discounts to study abroad. We're unapologetically committed to increasing access to international education for all students.
Inclusive Engagement Scholarship
Semester at Sea is committed to fostering inclusivity among the shipboard community. They offer a number of need-based and merit scholarships for prospective students, including the Inclusive Engagement Scholarship, which gives a preference for underrepresented identities. Recipients will also have their flights covered through the scholarship.
- Eligible to all Semester at Sea applicants
- Recipients must post on social media 5 times during their voyage
- Recipients must participate in multiple leadership and mentorship roles throughout their voyage
AIFS Diversity Achievement Scholarship
AIFS offers a number of scholarships, including one for high achieving students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in education abroad.
- Must be enrolled in an AIFS program
- Must demonstrate high academic achievement and/or community service involvement
Seamester Scholarships & Financial Aid
Seamester offers a number of Financial Aid and Scholarship options available for those looking toward funding to make their experience possible.
ISA Scholarships and Financial Aid
ISA is committed to increasing all students’ access to study abroad’s many benefits. We don't let financial hardships to get in the way of a life changing educational experience.
IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid
We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.
Helen “Peggie” Miller Scholarship
The Helen “Peggie” Miller Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of her children who are AFS returnees to honor her legacy. This is a merit and need-based scholarship for students interested in studying abroad for a year or semester.
- Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Video entry submission
- Qualify for financial assistance
AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants & Financial Support
We believe a study abroad experience is an essential component of well-rounded university education and we are committed to providing financial assistance to as many students as possible in support of their goal to study abroad. AIFS also offers internship and study abroad + internship blended programs to support the development of personal and professional skills.
Verto Education Opportunity Grant
This grant awards students between $5,000 and $10,000 based on their household income, as long as it is under $125,000/year. Households that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may also apply for the Opportunity Grant in Latin America.
SIT Robert Kantor Memorial Scholarship
Each year one student will be granted $10,000 in scholarship aid to study abroad with a SIT program. Funded by individual donors and foundations, the requirements are tight: seeking first-generation college students who've never traveled abroad before, currently attend an HBCU, and demonstrate strong financial need.
- Must be enrolled in a SIT study abroad program
- HBCU, first-generation college student
- Must demonstrate extreme financial need
- Must have never previously traveled abroad
Global Experiences Generation Study Abroad Scholarship
Global Experiences offers scholarships for both summer and semester terms in any of the organization’s 11 global cities. They are currently accepting applications for summer and fall 2021 and 2022. Full scholarships are available for semester-long programs, with special consideration given to those who are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Global Experiences also contributes to those who receive a Pell Grant or Benjamin A. Gillman scholarship, for both in person and virtual programs.
Semester at Sea Scholarships & Financial Aid
We at Semester at Sea are committed to our students and understand the financial burdens placed on students to earn the best education possible. This is why Semester at Sea awards $5 million in scholarships and grants annually.
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid
USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.
API Scholarships and Financial Aid Information
API awards approximately $500,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 -$1,000 per student.
Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grant Travel Grant
The Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Travel Grant helps cover outbound and return airfare to all CIEE program locations for students who demonstrate financial need. All students who receive a Federal Pell Grants are guaranteed a GAIN Travel Grant. CIEE GAIN Travel Grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The School for Field Studies Scholarships
SFS works closely with your home school to help you fund your SFS program. Many applicants receive aid through their home institutions or other outside sources, so check with your financial aid office to see what aid may apply to an SFS program.
ISA Diversity Scholarship for American Students
ISA offers the ISA Diversity Scholarship with the goal of bringing the benefits of a global education to historically underserved student populations. This includes, but is not limited to, students identifying as underrepresented races, ethnic origins, sexual orientations, gender identities, as well as first generation college students and those with accessibility needs.
CAPA Scholarships and Financial Aid
Each year, CAPA awards $1.5 million in study abroad scholarships, grants, and affiliate benefits! CAPA also offers internship programs in several exciting cities around the world. With CAPA you can participate in a program in Dublin, Shanghai, Florence, London, Barcelona, Buenos Aires or Sydney.
CEA Scholarships and Financial Aid
Studying abroad will change your life, improve your employability, and enhance your global competence. That's why we commit more than $2.0 million each year to our financial and scholarship programs.
- CEA participants only
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid
Financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why IES Abroad offers more than $6 million in scholarships and aid. IES Abroad offers a number of diversity scholarships and grants to provide opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities in study abroad.
- Must be enrolled in an IES study abroad program
Study abroad scholarships by destination
Some scholarships are tied to a specific destination, region, or country. We have collected many of these below, organized by region. Read on to explore each region briefly and find relevant links to the scholarship opportunities you are interested in.
Scholarships for Study Abroad in Africa
If you crave an unconventional, less-trodden study abroad path, Africa is a continent of incredible diversity and opportunity. Explore Northern Africa with its strong European and Middle Eastern influences, Western Africa and its booming cities, or Eastern and Southern Africa with their wildlife migration and safari experiences. All are possible if you study abroad in Africa!
- The Heather Jow Leibowitz Memorial Scholarship: Named in honor of a School of Field Studies (SFS) alumni, this scholarship is offered for students who choose to study abroad with SFS in East Africa. Click here to learn more.
- The American Research Center in Egypt Fellowships: For students in specific relevant majors, ARCE offers a variety of fellowships and grants ranging from $600 to $4,000. Click here to learn more.
Scholarships for Study Abroad in Asia
If your study abroad dreams include spending a semester (or longer) in an Asian country, these scholarships may help those dreams come true.
- Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan: $2,500-$4,000 for study abroad in Japan, these can also be used for travel and living expenses. The give out 100 scholarships, on average. Click here to learn more.
- Freeman Asia: $3,000-$7,000 scholarships to spend up to eight weeks in one of 15 Asian countries. Perfect if you've never explored specific countries in Asia. Click here to learn more.
- Henry Luce Foundation, Luce Scholars Program: This fellowship encourages cross-cultural understanding between 15-18 graduate American students and the destinations that they visit in Asia. Click here to learn more.
- IDB King Abdullah University International Scholarships: KAUST Fellowship supports individuals during their graduate studies at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Saudi Arabia. That includes full tuition support, a monthly living allowance and more. Click here to learn more.
Scholarships for Study Abroad in Europe
Europe is one of the world's most popular regions to study abroad. From learning art history in Italy to public health in Norway and everything in between, studying abroad in Europe offers a wide variety of opportunities -- and scholarships to help pay for it!
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarships: Each year, DAAD offers a variety of scholarships to encourage students to study abroad for a semester or postgraduate degree. Click here to learn more.
- Eastern Europe Study Abroad (EESA) Scholarships Up to $7,000 for semester and academic year-long programs for study in Eastern European countries. Click here to learn more.
- The Koscuiszko Foundation Scholarships: If you are of Polish descent or want to study abroad in Poland, the Koscuiszko Foundation offers a variety of scholarship opportunities. Click here to learn more.
- Sons of Norway Scholarship: Similarly, if you are of Norwegian descent, there are a variety of scholarship opportunities offered through the Sons of Norway. Click here to learn more.
- Walter Jensen Scholarship: $2,000 scholarship to help a deserving student study abroad in France and study the French language. Click here to learn more.
- American School of Classical Studies in Athens: If you want to deepen your studies on ancient Greece you can do it with the help of the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science Grant. Click here to learn more.
Scholarships for Study Abroad in Latin America
Latin America blends European charm and American cultural heritage -- whether you choose to study in Central or South America, you're sure to find a destination that calls to you.
- Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) study Abroad Scholarshisp HACU help students at participating universities study abroad in programs throughout Latin America and the rest of the world. Click here to learn more.
- Spanish Studies Abroad Scholarship: The Center for Cross-Cultural Studies offers merit- and diversity-based $500-$1,500 scholarships for students enrolled in their Spanish programs in Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico and (outside Latin America) Spain. Click here to learn more.
Scholarships for Study Abroad in Oceania
Southeast Asia and Oceania countries are popular for gap years and backpack travelers; did you also know they're great for study abroad? From Australia and New Zealand to smaller island and peninsula countries, studying abroad in Oceania offers unforgettable cultural immersion and world-class education.
- East-West Center Scholarships & Fellowships: Almost any student interested in studying abroad in the Oceania region can find a fellowship or scholarship opportunity through East-West Center. Click here to learn more.
- American-Australian Education Fund: Open to U.S. students who are interested in or are currently studying abroad in Australia. The application period is from September 1st to October 15th each year. Click here to learn more.
- Education New Zealand Scholarships: Education New Zealand wants to help students to focus on their education rather than financial issues. Click here to learn more.
This is just a snapshot of the ample scholarship opportunities available to aid in funding your study abroad experience. While cost is an influential factor, it shouldn't push you away from pursuing meaningful travel abroad. We hope you take advantage of the many scholarship resources available to students! Good luck in your search!
Preparing to study abroad? Explore these helpful reads: