7 Scholarships That Will Give You Money to Study Abroad

 July 20, 2020
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

study abroad scholarships
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

When it comes to studying abroad, navigating financial aid can be tough. Though your aid might apply if you enroll in a university-affiliated study abroad program, it probably won’t cover all of your living expenses. And it definitely won’t cover extra baguettes or spontaneous weekend trips.

That’s where study abroad scholarships can help. Although some are big and some are small, every dollar (or euro) will help you have a more financially secure experience.

Here are seven scholarships for studying abroad.

1. Scott’s Cheap Flights
2. Boren Awards
3. Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)
4. Tortuga
5. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
6. Go Overseas
7. Hostelling International (HI)

Plus: Where to find more study abroad scholarships

1. Scott’s Cheap Flights

Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email newsletter that alerts travelers about airline deals. And, wanting to help young travelers see the world, it awards one $1,000 scholarship each fall and spring.

Applicants must be U.S. permanent residents enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program. To throw your hat in the ring, you’ll submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay based on a prompt; the most recent one was “Why is travel important to you?”

Important note on the ways to pay for college study abroad programs
Remember that scholarships almost always don’t need to be repaid. That’s what makes them such a great alternative to study abroad loans that need to be repaid with interest.

2. Boren Awards

If you’re interested in working for the federal government, it’s worth giving the Boren Scholarship a look.

It offers a whopping $10,000 for 12 to 24 weeks or $20,000 over 25 to 52 weeks to students who study less commonly taught languages in underrepresented regions “critical to U.S. interests.”

Students can apply to study in any country outside Western Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Preference is given to those who stay for six months or more, and those who study one of the following languages:

borenawards.org

3. Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)

The nonprofit FEA offers a range of scholarships for students who want to broaden their travel horizons.

Scholarships are available for a full year ($10,000), semester ($5,000) or summer (a minimum of $1,250, prorated by the number of weeks).

To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who’s enrolled at an undergraduate institution. Preference is given to those with demonstrated financial need — especially to community college, minority and first-generation students.

4. Tortuga

Tortuga’s biannual study abroad scholarship was suspended in 2020 to account for the international coronavirus pandemic. When it’s up and running, though, it offers one lucky winner $1,000 and a Tortuga travel backpack. The winnings are sent directly to your program or university and can be used for tuition, room and board, books or travel.

Applicants must be studying at a four-year university in the U.S.

Once you apply, however, note your submission becomes the property of Tortuga — and could get posted on its blog or social media accounts. Winners should expect to be featured.

How to win a scholarship to study abroad
Click the link above to learn about how Gabby Beckford won $41,027 worth of study abroad scholarships, including $20,000 via the Boren Scholarship.

5. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Funded by the State Department, the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship program is targeted at students who might not study abroad due to financial circumstances. It awards upwards of 3,000 annual scholarships of up to $5,000.

To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen and Pell-grant recipient who’s studying at an accredited undergraduate institution. Awards are based on academic records, diversity of background, program and destination and community impact. You could receive additional funding if you study a critical-need language.

Best of all, the scholarship comes with a year of noncompetitive eligibility hiring status with the U.S. government — which gives you an advantage when applying for government jobs.

6. Go Overseas

It makes sense that the popular study abroad website Go Overseas would offer its own scholarships.

They range from full-tuition scholarships for studying abroad in Ireland and New Zealand to partial funding for taking a gap year. There are also biannual scholarships for studying and volunteering abroad starting at $500.

Have a specific country in mind?
Japan study abroad scholarships
Scholarships for U.S. citizens studying in Canada

7. Hostelling International (HI)

When you travel abroad, you’ll probably stay at hostels — and before you go, you should probably apply for HI’s Explore the World Scholarship. In 2019, the company awarded 115 scholarships of $2,000 each.

Unlike many of the other programs, you don’t need to be studying abroad in an official credit-earning capacity; your trip simply must incorporate education or volunteering.

To be eligible, you must live in one of the metro areas where HI has a presence:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Sacramento, Calif.
  3. San Diego
  4. San Francisco
  5. Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md. and Va.
  6. Chicago
  7. New Orleans
  8. Boston
  9. Minneapolis
  10. New York City
  11. Portland, Ore.
  12. Austin, Texas
  13. Houston
  14. Richmond, Va.

You must also be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Between the ages of 18 and 30
  • Have demonstrated a need for financial assistance

You can sign up for HI’s study abroad scholarship alerts here.

The wide world of study abroad scholarships: where to find more

The study abroad scholarships above are general, and applicable to a wide breadth of students. But they’re just a small sampling of what’s available.

Depending on factors like where you’re traveling and what you’re studying, you can find many more. Consider seeking out scholarships for studying abroad from:

  • Schools: Don’t forget to see what scholarships your university or study abroad provider might offer; for instance, CIEE, IES Abroad and USAC all have scholarships for students who study abroad through their programs.
  • Countries: Even if you’re hoping to attend school in one of the countries that offer college at no cost, see what their governments offer to foreign students seeking financial aid.
  • Companies: Ask your employer to see if it has a resource like The Chevron International REACH Scholarship Program, or survey other organizations for opportunities.
  • Online databases: For example, if you’re a person of color, first-generation college student or from a low-income family, you should also check the searchable tool via Diversity Abroad for a range of study abroad scholarships.

While this list is a good starting point, ask around and research all your options. Not only could it mean more money when you study abroad, but it’s also a skill that will serve you well on your travels, too.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
2.49% – 13.85%1Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit College Ave

2.55% – 11.44%2Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.25% – 13.59%3Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit SallieMae

0.00% – 23.00%4Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit Edly

3.25% – 9.69%6Undergraduate
Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

N/A6Undergraduate
Graduate

Visit FundingU

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through Firstrust Bank, member FDIC, First Citizens Community Bank, member FDIC, or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC.. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

  1. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.
     
  2. Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
     
  3. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 9/15/2022. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.47% APR to 13.03% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 2.80% APR to 11.69% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. It is important to note that the 0.25% Auto Pay discount is not available while loan payments are deferred.


3 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

4 Important Disclosures for Edly.

Edly Disclosures

1. Loan Example:

  • Loans from $5,000 – $20,000
  • Example: $10,000 IBR Loan with a 7% gross income payment percentage for a Senior student making $65,000 annually throughout the life of the loan.
    • Payments deferred for the first 12 months during final year of education.
    • After which, $270 Monthly payment for 12 months.
    • Then $379 Monthly payment for 44 months.
    • Followed by one final payment of $137 for a total of $20,610 paid over the life of the loan.

About this example

The initial payment schedule is set upon receiving final terms and upon confirmation by your school of the loan amount. You may repay this loan at any time by paying an effective APR of 23%. The maximum amount you will pay is $22,500 (not including Late Fees and Returned Check Fees, if any). The maximum number of regularly scheduled payments you will make is 60. You will not pay more than 23% APR. No payment is required if your gross earned income is below $30,000 annually or if you lose your job and cannot find employment.

2. Edly Student IBR Loans are unsecured personal student loans issued by FinWise Bank, a Utah chartered commercial bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to eligibility criteria and review of creditworthiness and history. Terms and conditions apply.


5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of September 1, 2022, the 30-day average SOFR index is 2.23%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.
  • Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
  • Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

     

    Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.25%-10.35% (3.25% – 9.69% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.24% – 10.59% (4.24% – 9.93% APR). 

    Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.90% (3.75% – 9.68% APR). Fixed interest rates range from  5.22% – 10.14% (5.22% – 9.91% APR). 

    Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.35% (3.75% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.20% – 9.59% (5.20% – 9.39% APR).

    Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.75%-9.02% (3.75% -8.98% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 5.18% – 9.26% (5.18% – 9.22% APR). 

    Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.25%-9.21% (3.25% – 9.21% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.96%-9.50% (3.96%-9.50% APR).

    Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.58%-11.72% (6.58% – 11.62% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.40% – 12.82% APR). 

    Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 5.67%-9.17% (5.67% – 8.76% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.97% – 10.08% APR).


6 Important Disclosures for Funding U.

Funding U Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are made by Funding University which is a for-profit enterprise. Funding University is not affiliated with the school you are attending or any other learning institution. None of the information contained in Funding University’s website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by Funding University or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.