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Funding Your Trip Abroad

Multiple sources of financial aid are available to prospective study abroad participants to help pay for programs abroad, including private, federal, university and American Councils scholarships.

Financial Aid Sources

The prospect of studying abroad, exploring new cultures, and gaining new insights into the world is very exciting. The reality of paying for this invaluable experience, however, can seem quite daunting. Fortunately, numerous resources are available to help offset the cost of study abroad. Here are several worth exploring:

American Councils Funding Sources

To apply for any American Councils scholarships/fellowships, simply indicate your desire to be considered for financial aid in the appropriate section of the program application and complete all the questions and forms that follow.

  • Fulbright-Hays Fellowships: Provided by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by American Councils, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad fellowships are available to advanced-level Russian and Persian language speakers who plan to participate in the American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP-Moscow), and the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP-Dushanbe). Eligible participants must have a strong commitment to teaching one of these critical languages in universities or in K-12 schools, or to applying their language skills in government, international development, or other professional fields. Participants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who are undergraduate students with upperclassmen standing (juniors or seniors), graduate students, or U.S. K-12 teachers. Fellowship awards of $9,000 for the semester or $5,000 for the summer are available for overseas study of either Russian or Persian. Fellowship awards for online programs are also available: $2,900 for part-time semester or full-time summer online programs; $5,800 for full-time track semester online programs. Fulbright-Hays fellowships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit. Learn More →

  • Title VIII Fellowships: Provided by the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils, Title VIII fellowships are available to participants who hold a Bachelor's degree or higher and plan to participate in the American Councils Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP), the Balkan Language Initiative (BLI) or the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP). Participants must also be U.S. citizens. Title VIII fellowships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit; past awards have been made for as much as 75% of the program cost. Learn More →

  • AC Study Abroad Alumni Scholarship: As a way to thank our returning participants, all AC Study Abroad Alumni that enroll in another AC Study Abroad program will automatically receive a $500 scholarship towards a summer program, or a $1,000 scholarship towards a semester program. Interested alumni should contact the AC Study Abroad Team via email.

  • AC Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship: The AC Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship is available to students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad and educational exchange programs. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who identify with certain racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, gender, disability, age, origin, ancestry or veteran statuses. The scholarship is also available to first generation college students, students from low income families, and students with a history of overcoming adversity. Awards typically range from $500 to $2,500. For Summer 2020, Presidential Diversity Scholarships in the amount $3,000 will be awarded to three exceptional students.

  • AC Study Abroad Language & Area Studies Expert Scholarship: Students that participate on consecutive summer area studies programs and semester or academic year language immersion programs will automatically receive an AC Study Abroad Language and Area Studies Expert Scholarship of $1,000 towards the cost of their semester-long program. Interested individuals must apply to both programs by the earlier deadline, and contact the AC Study Abroad Team via email. Cannot be combined with the AC Study Abroad Alumni Scholarship.

  • AC Study Abroad Need-Based Scholarship: All applicants to American Councils summer, semester, or academic-year overseas programs are eligible for partial fellowship awards from this fund. Awards are made on the basis of financial need and academic merit and typically range from $500 to $2,500.

  • Dan E. Davidson Fellowship: Established in honor of American Councils’ founder and President Emeritus and his four decades of leadership in the field of international education, the Dan E. Davidson Fellowship supports highly qualified and deserving individuals who would otherwise not have the opportunity to build the skills that allow them to operate, negotiate, and establish ties in countries critical to U.S. economic, political, and social interests through language study and area studies coursework. Carrying on Dr. Davidson’s legacy, fellowship recipients demonstrate a dedication to successful international collaboration and the development of greater mutual understanding between the U.S. and countries around the world. Fellowships of up to $2,000 will be awarded for summer study, up to $6,000 for semester study and up to $12,000 for academic-year programs. Learn more →

Federal Sources of Funding for Study Abroad

  • Boren Awards for International Study are available to both undergraduates and graduate students. Undergraduate students may receive funding to abroad in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Graduate students are eligible for awards to add an important international and language component to their graduate education. See the Boren Awards website for more details or contact your study abroad office.
  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship - The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad . This scholarship provides awards for U.S. 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. See the Gilman website for more details or contact your study abroad office.
  • The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships - This program provides allocations of academic year and summer fellowships to institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education to assist meritorious undergraduate students and graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and related area or international studies. Eligible students apply for fellowships directly to an institution that has received an allocation of fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education. See the FLAS website for more details or contact your study abroad office.

University Funding

  • Study Abroad Scholarships: Many colleges and universities, via their Study Abroad / International Education offices, provide scholarships to students for the sole purpose of studying abroad. Check with your study abroad office to find out if such scholarships are offered at your home university.
  • Financial Aid Packages - Are you receiving financial aid to attend your home institution? Many financial aid packages can be used to study on American Councils programs. Check with your study abroad office for more details.

Other Funding Sources

  • Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) - FEA conducts scholarship and grant competitions for U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in U.S. undergraduate programs. Preference is given to those seeking the study of a host country language and/or sustainable service-learning or volunteering component in non-traditional destinations. Preference is also given to applicants with demonstrated financial need and those who represent a group that is traditionally underrepresented in education abroad, such as minorities, first-generation college students, STEM majors, community college students, and students with disabilities.
  • Freeman Awards for Study in Asia - Freeman-ASIA provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students a with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. These awards are sponsored by the Freeman Foundation and administered by the Institute of International Education.
  • Study Abroad Scholarship Repositories - Many study abroad hub sites have detailed listing for a variety of scholarship sources. Sites like StudyAbroad.com and StudyAbroadFunding.org offer comprehensive study abroad scholarship listings.
  • Crowdsourcing - Among the newer methods of funding study abroad, crowdsourcing is a popular way to create a campaign to raise money for your program abroad. Crowdsourcing campaigns often appeal to parents, family, and friends who want to support an international education experience. Sites like FundMyTravel.com and many others offer the tools to start a great campaign.
  • Rotary and Other Community Clubs: Several community organizations have provided financial support to students on numerous American Councils programs in the past. If your local area has a Rotary Club, consider contacting its representatives to inquire about how you might apply to receive financial support for your study abroad plans.

Start your journey today.