June 15, 2024
Scholarships For Study Abroad Programs

Studying abroad is a transformative experience that opens doors to a world of opportunities. The allure of different cultures, academic enrichment, and personal growth often comes with a hefty price tag. This article explores the crucial role of scholarships in making study abroad programs accessible to a wider audience.

Scholarships for Study Abroad Programs

With steeping increases in the costs of undergraduate education, many students are caught between an (empty-wallet) rock and a (lacking-savings-account) hard place. The truth is, there are funds available for all kinds of students to study abroad. And you’re not alone: most students are hoping to find a way to study abroad for cheap. Besides, who wouldn’t want to offset semester tuition bills to instead bulk up the wine and cheese budget?! Here are Scholarships for Study Abroad Programs

1. Rotary Foundation Global Study Grants

The Rotary Foundation offers scholarship funding through the Rotary Foundation Global Grant scholarships. The scholarship funds graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years.  The minimum budget for a global grant scholarship is $30,000 which can fund the following: passport/visa, inoculations, travel expenses, school supplies, tuition, room and board, etc.

2. OFID Scholarship Award

OFID (The OPEC Fund for International Development) offers a fully-funded scholarship to qualified applicants who wish to study for a Master’s degree in an accredited University around the world. The scholarships are worth up to $50,000 that covers the tuition fees, monthly allowance to cover living expenses, accommodation, insurance, books, relocation grants, and travel costs.

3. Critical Language Scholarship

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides American students (Bachelors & Masters) with the opportunity to enjoy fully-funded overseas summer language and cultural immersion programs through the awarding of Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) each year. Applicants are selected based on their commitment to studying non-traditional languages abroad, including Arabic, Japanese, Swahili, and Russian. The Critical Language Scholarship is only open to American undergraduate and graduate students

4. American Association of University Women Fellowships & Grants

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has a long history of empowering women, not only in the United States, but all over the globe. AAUW is one of the biggest funding sources for graduate women all over the the world, providing more than three million dollars in funding to outstanding women through more than 200 fellowship and grants annually.

This scholarship is offered for summer and semester programs and is intended for students with identities historically underserved in education abroad. This can include, but is not limited to, individuals who identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, LGBTQIA+, First-Generation College Students, U.S. Military Veterans, students with disabilities, and/or students at Minority-Serving Institutions. This scholarship is worth $2,500 – $5,00

  • Accepted to a semester or summer study abroad program, 8+ week Internship, or Service-Learning program.

6. Fulbright Foreign Student Program (USA)

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program are prestigious scholarships for international students who wants to pursue a Master’s or PhD degree in the United States. Generally, the grant funds tuition, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance, etc. The Fulbright program provides funding for the duration of the study.

7. Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees

Enrolled on one of Erasmus Mundus’ joint master degrees, you could receive a full scholarship covering your tuition fees and your living costs. Typically lasting between one and two years, the program would send you to at least two participating universities based overseas.

8. Clarendon Scholarships at the University of Oxford

Every year, the Clarendon Scholarships fund awards 140 much-prized postgraduate scholarships offering a full ride at the University of Oxford on the basis of academic merit, across all subjects. You will be automatically considered for the scholarship if you meet the January application deadline for your chosen course.

9. Australia Awards Scholarships

Administered by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia Awards Scholarship is a long-term development award that provides Bachelor, Masters, & PhD students from developing countries with the opportunity to undertake full-time study in any participating Australian institution at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level.

10. Global Experiences Scholarships

Global Experiences scholarships are available for any term and range from funding for women or underrepresented students to students who embody their core values best. With internships in key cities all over the world, it is worth checking out Global Experiences programs, especially when you could end up participating at nearly no cost to you!

11. Gates Cambridge Scholarships (UK)

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are full-cost awards for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.  The scholarships are open to all international students from all over the world.  A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge namely: university fees, maintenance allowances, airfare, and some dependent’s allowance.

12. Eastern European Study Abroad Scholarships

Eastern European Study Abroad (EESA) offers merit and need-based scholarships to students interested in studying abroad with EESA who are financially disadvantaged. Applicants must submit an essay answering a required question and meet minimum GPA requirements to be eligible for EESA Scholarships. The scholarship is worth $2,500.

13. IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

IFSA is deeply committed to making study abroad accessible to as many students as possible. We believe that cost should never be a barrier: that’s why we offer financial support to a larger proportion of our students than any other organization.

Financial assistance is available for IFSA January term, semester, year, and summer programs. Scholarships include the IFSA First-Generation Scholarship and IFSA Diversity Scholarship, as well as program-specific scholarships in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK. We also offer $2,000 IFSA State School Grants and IFSA Minority Serving Institution Grants to all qualified applicants.

Once you’ve started your IFSA program application, you’ll gain access to IFSA’s scholarship application.

  • Enrolled in a IFSA study abroad program

14. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Canadian government scholarships and fellowships offered to international students undertaking postgraduate study within the natural and social sciences or health research

15. Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at University of Toronto (Canada)

The Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at the University of Toronto is intended to recognize international students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and creativity and who are recognized as leaders within their school.  The scholarship will cover tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residence support for four years.

Tips to help you win study abroad scholarships

1. One scholarship, one application.

Avoid the temptation to mass-apply for multiple scholarships. You need to create individualized, unique cover letters for each and every scholarship that you apply for. Sure, you can reuse certain content or rearrange your resume in similar ways, but in general, make sure your application is unique each and every time.

2. Describe your life after study abroad.

Many students fail to recognize their semester or summer of studying abroad as a smaller piece to their life puzzle; however, life will go on after you return. How do you anticipate being different? How do you plan to incorporate the lessons you learn while abroad onto your university campus or into your life in your home communities? Educators geek out over students that are willing to discuss bigger picture connections.

3. Connect it to your heritage.

If you are going to a region or continent that is linked to your family history, why not use your study abroad experience as a way to get better acquainted with your second, third, and fourth cousins? These experiences are once-in-a-lifetime and add unique depth to your overall time abroad.

4. You don’t have to be a pro-athlete or star of the decathlon team.

Let’s be honest: study abroad scholarship judges were probably not the end-all, be-all of their college campuses. Average joe’s are welcome. The key is to highlight your best qualities and demonstrate your passion for cross cultural interactions.

5. Apply for multiple scholarships.

It may be hard to stomach, but don’t count on a single application to score a fully funded study abroad program. Apply early, and apply often. The more times you throw your name into the ringer, the more likely you are to score a sweet, sweet study abroad scholarship.


This is but a small sample of the many scholarship options that can help you pay for your study abroad program. Even though price is a big consideration, you shouldn’t let it stop you from going on meaningful international travel. We sincerely hope you utilize all of the numerous scholarship resources offered to students! I wish you luck with your search!


  1. Are scholarships available for all study abroad programs?
    • Scholarships vary, but many programs offer financial aid. Research thoroughly for options that align with your goals.
  2. How can I increase my chances of securing a scholarship?
    • Focus on crafting a unique and compelling application, highlighting both your financial need and academic merit.
  3. Can I work part-time while studying abroad on a scholarship?
    • Some scholarships may allow part-time work. Check the terms and conditions of your specific scholarship.
  4. What happens if I don’t secure a scholarship?
    • Explore alternative funding sources and consider more affordable study abroad options.
  5. How do study abroad experiences impact future career prospects?
    • A study abroad experience provides a global perspective, enhancing your resume and opening up international networking opportunities.