Study Abroad & Scholarship Opportunities
PICKING PROGRAMS & APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS:
When you are thinking about studying abroad, there are several different options of program types you can choose from as well as several options to fund them. Whether you are staying for a summer, a semester, or a year to study Chinese, complete an internship, etc, it’s important to understand the different types of experiences that programs can provide and how to align that experience with your personal goals.
Read on below for a list of a few recommended programs as well as scholarships and fellowships to fund them!
- Americans Promoting Study Abroad
- Associated Colleges in China (Hamilton)
- The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC)
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
- CET Academic Programs
- Duke Kunshan University
- The Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) - (graduate program)
- Institute for the International Education of Students (IES)
- Inter-University Program: Beijing - Chinese Language Studies (IUP)
- National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) - (high school program)
- NYU Shanghai
- Philanthropy in Motion (PIM) - (social innovation program)
- Princeton in Asia
- SAGE Corps - (internship program)
- School Year Abroad - (high school program)
- Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University - (graduate program)
- UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)
- Yenching Academy at Peking University - (graduate program)
*There are many other great programs out there--this list is by no means exhaustive! Didn’t see your program on this list? Send a message to email@example.com with a brief description and let us know why we should include it!
There are thousands of scholarships available for students looking to study abroad, and it can be difficult to find the right one(s) for you. Firstly, you should focus your search by type of scholarship. Here’s a breakdown of the three basic eligibility requirements:
- Need-based scholarships provide funds to those who typically qualify for federal student aid. If you would like to apply to a scholarship based on need, you will likely be required to have submitted your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the previous year in addition to other relevant financial information.
- Diversity-based scholarships give special consideration to under-represented groups in study abroad programs. There are also scholarship programs like Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) and the Thurgood Marshall Fund that focus on providing opportunities to under-represented communities.
- Merit is a part of every scholarship application, but there are many scholarships where merit is the only consideration. Merit-based scholarships like the Luce Scholars Program usually consider many different qualities, including GPA, essays, research experience and letters of recommendation.
You should also consider that different categories of scholarships might best fit your program type. Here’s a breakdown of the most basic types of funding sources with a brief description of each:
- Chinese Government Scholarships
Ideal for those who are looking to enroll directly into a Chinese University for an authentic experience. These funds generally provide opportunities for students to pursue an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or general language acquisition. They tend to be merit-based and (except for airfare) all-inclusive, including tuition, housing and even a monthly living stipend. Programs usually last two or more years, although you do not always need to participate in a degree-granting program. The Chinese Scholarship Council and the Confucius Institutes of the Hanban oversee many Chinese government scholarships.
- U.S. Government Scholarships
Many U.S. government scholarships provide tuition and travel funding for American students and scholars. Most of these scholarships include a language component and tend to be directed towards students who want to work in government. These scholarships, like the Fulbright Scholarship Program , are very competitive and carry significant prestige. The Critical Language Scholarship Program by the U.S. Department of State funds students to learn any dialect of Chinese, which is classified as a critical need language.
- U.S. University Scholarships
Many universities have relationships with study abroad programs or are developing partnerships with Chinese universities. If your university has a relationship with a study abroad program or Chinese university, you might be able to transfer existing financial aid to your study abroad, including work-study. Check with your school’s study abroad office to learn about existing scholarships and financial aid. For example, the University of Pennsylvania offers a scholarship through its Chinese language program.
- Study Abroad Program Scholarships
Study abroad programs also offer scholarships of their own. Programs such as IES or CEA Global Education offer a variety of different merit, need- and diversity-based scholarships. These scholarships are only available for students enrolled in the program and are usually between $1000 and $2000. Students are typically only eligible for one scholarship per semester. CIEE offers many scholarships to its students, including its Global Access Initiative Scholarship.
- Privately Funded Scholarships
Scholastic fraternities, corporations, private donors and other organizations also offer a wide array of scholarships. The awarding institutions usually have a clear mission in mind for their scholarship money. These scholarships are typically diversity- or merit-based and are generally very competitive. For example Pacific Prime, an insurance company, holds an essay contest to award scholarships for international study.
To save you the trouble of hours and hours of research, here are 20 excellent scholarship opportunities to get you started.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
Award Amount: Up to $5000; an additional $8000 for critical need language
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State support students who enroll in a study or credit-bearing internship abroad. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and the recipient of a Federal Pell Grant.
Blakemore Freeman Fellowship Language Grants
Award Amount: Full program tuition plus a stipend for travel/living expenses
The Blakemore Freeman Fellowships cover full tuition PLUS a generous stipend for travel/living study expenses. The academic year stipend for our 2016 grants for Chinese will be a minimum of $25,000, on top of full tuition.
Boren Scholarship for International Study
Award Amount: $8000/summer; $10,000/semester; $20,000/academic year
The National Security Education Program funds students to acquire language skills and academic credit in programs and areas that are of critical importance to national security and sustainable development. All applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in an undergraduate degree-granting program at a U.S. university and be able and willing to fulfill the NSEP service requirement. A separate competition is available for graduate students.
Chinese Government Scholarships
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room and board, medical expenses, monthly living stipend
Chinese government scholarships provide an opportunity for students to pursue an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or language acquisition at a Chinese university. These scholarships are merit-based and include tuition, housing and even a monthly living stipend. Programs usually last two or more years, although you do not need to participate in a degree-granting program. The Chinese Scholarship Council oversees many Chinese government scholarships.
Confucius Institute (Hanban) Scholarships
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room and board, basic health insurance, monthly living stipend
The “Confucius Institute Scholarship” program seeks to promote Chinese language and culture and cultivate qualified Chinese language teachers. This program provides financial aid for students, scholars and Chinese language teachers worldwide to get a master’s degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages in Chinese universities. This program is also geared toward students interested in majors like Chinese Language and Literature, Chinese History and Chinese Philosophy.
Critical Language Scholarship Program
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room and board, overseas health benefits, travel expenses, visa fee, cultural activities
The U.S. Department of State sponsors summer institutes all over the world to provide intensive language training. Chinese programs in Chengdu, Qingdao, Suzhou, and Xiamen offer full-time intensive language instruction and cultural activities. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree granting program at an American university.
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Program (FLAS)
Award Amount: $7500/summer; $15,000/academic year
The International Education Program Service of the U.S. Department of Education provides grants to universities to support students for either domestic or international language acquisition. Applicants must explain how a FLAS will help them in their future studies or career. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and apply through a university that has received an allocation of grant money. A separate competition is available for graduate students.
Freeman Awards for Study in Asia
Award Amount: $3000/summer; $5000/semester; $7000/academic year
The Institute of International Education of the U.S. Department of State oversees students to participate in a credit-awarding study abroad program in Asia. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in an undergraduate degree-granting program with demonstrated financial need and have little or no experience in the target Asian region. Participants must complete a service project sharing their experiences upon their return.
Luce Scholars Program
Award Amount: Full program tuition
The Henry Luce Foundation provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia to 15-18 Luce Scholars each year. College seniors, graduate students and young professionals who have had limited exposure to Asia are welcome to apply.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program
Award Amount: Varies
The U.S. Department of State funds candidates who design projects lasting for 10 months beginning in early September 2014 or early March 2015. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and possess a bachelor’s degree before the beginning of the grant. Candidates should not have spent considerable time in their project region. Applicants can add three to six months of intensive language study to their grant by applying for the Critical Language Enhancement Award.
Americans Promoting Study Abroad
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room and board, travel expenses, visa fee, cultural activities
High school students with prior Chinese language learning experience are encouraged to apply to this four to six week summer program in Beijing. This trip will include intensive Chinese language study, as well as exposure to Chinese culture and society. The program will also include field trips to cultural sites, participation in a community service project, and exposure to a range of international careers in business, government and other areas.
Foundation for Global Scholars General Scholarships
Award Amount: $1000 – $2500
The Foundation for Global Scholars supports the development of future global leaders with over 200 scholarships. Dedicated funding is available for students underrepresented in overseas programs, including students with ethnically diverse backgrounds and disabilities, science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) majors and students from the Rocky Mountain region in the U.S. Applicants must be able to transfer credit from the study abroad program toward their degree.
2013 James Bradley Peace Foundation to China
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room and board, travel expenses, visa fee, cultural activities
The James Bradley Peace Foundation Scholarship, provides academic year scholarships to China and Vietnam. Open to all U.S. high school students, but students attending specific high schools will have selection priority. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Only U.S. citizens may apply.
National Security Language Initiative For Youth (NSLI-Y)
Award Amount: Full program tuition, room/board, insurance, travel expenses, cultural activities
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State provides summer and yearlong language learning programs in critical-need regions. Participants will engage in rigorous language training and have the opportunity to participate in cultural immersion activities. Applicants must be U.S. high school students in good academic standing and may not be a dependent of an employee of the U.S. Department of State.
New England—China Scholarship Program
Award Amount: Full program tuition
The New England—China Scholarship Program provides the opportunity for New England public and private university students and graduates to attend a Chinese institution of higher education. The scholarship covers tuition and fees and is available to undergraduate- and graduate-level students. Individual scholarships will have a duration of up to one year and are renewable upon review. Students must first register on the program website, apply to an eligible university and then apply for the scholarship.
The Academy Scholars Program
Award Amount: Varies significantly
Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs provides stipends to pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows to conduct research in non-Western areas of the world. This program is very competitive, accepting only 1-2% of applicants. Anyone may apply as long as they are within three years of completing a Ph.D. program or have already received their Ph.D.
The Fund for Education Abroad General Scholarships
Award Amount: Up to $10,000/academic year
The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is committed to increasing the opportunities for students to participate in rigorous study abroad programs. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled at undergraduate programs in the U.S. and be committed to supporting education abroad through work with FEA after completion of the program. Special consideration will be given to students who are pursuing a foreign language, studying in a non-traditional study abroad location or are from an underrepresented group.
The Soros Fellowship for New Americans
Award Amount: Up to $45,000/academic year for up to two years
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or be a college senior in good standing. Applicants must be naturalized citizens, permanent residents or children of naturalized U.S. citizens and accepted to a graduate institution in the United States. This fellowship is to be used for graduate studies in the U.S. but international study is encouraged.
Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship
Award Amount: Up to $40,000/academic year
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, this fellowship award supports students who have an interest in joining the Foreign Service. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens in their junior year of undergraduate study or seeking admission to a two-year master’s degree program. Participants must attend a U.S. university degree-granting program but international study is encouraged.
Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program
Award Amount: Up to $35,000
The Whitaker International Program sends emerging leaders in U.S. biomedical engineering overseas to undertake a self-designed project that will enhance their careers within the field. The goal of the program is to assist the development of professional leaders who are not only superb scientists, but who also will advance the profession through an international outlook. Special consideration is given to applicants with language capabilities to carry out projects in non-English speaking countries.
*We’d like to thank former Project Pengyou interns Francis and Austin for all of their research putting together the initial lists and guides that make up this page!