Scholarships/ Scholars / Free Education

Taking your education abroad - check out these scholarships

by Evelyn Saunders

If you have always wanted to go to college in another country, study other cultures and practice a foreign langue, there are two outstanding scholarships available for just that.

The first is the David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships. The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarships is for undergraduates from the United States so that they can study abroad. The award is for the sudy of world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.

NSEP focuses on fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. It draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. International Focus

NSEP also emphasizes the importance of language study as a major component of your study abroad program. Study of a foreign language appropriate to the identified country is an integral part of each proposal. In addition, students must meet any language requirements of the study abroad experience proposed.

Since NSEP encourages students to study in countries whose languages are less commonly taught at U.S. institutions, it is anticipated that many students will not be familiar with the language of their chosen country. Prior study of another language will serve as an indication of interest and aptitude.

If you have an advanced-level proficiency in Chinese or Russian, you are eligible for support under the Boren Scholarship to participate in the Chinese or Russian Language Flagship Overseas Program.

The second scholarship opportunity is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers a competition for awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this congressionally funded program is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston, TX.

International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but it can also require a substantial financial investment. The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe and Australia. The Gilman scholarship aims to support students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad. The program seeks to assist students from a diverse range and type of public and private institutions from all 50 states.

820 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for U.S. citizen undergraduates to study abroad. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being $4,000. Undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at 2-year or 4-year colleges or universities are eligible to apply.

Students who apply for and receive the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad are now eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement from the Gilman Program for a total possible award of up to $8,000. 25 Critical Need Language Supplements will be offered to Gilman Scholarship recipients during the 2007-2008 academic year.

Critical Need Languages include:

* Arabic (all dialects)
* Chinese (all dialects)
* Turkic (Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgz, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek)
* Persian (Farsi, Dari, Kurdish, Pashto, Tajiki)
* Indic (Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, Sinhala, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sindhi)
* Korean
* Russian

About the Author

Evelyn Saunders, a retired teacher, is the editor for, a provider of private student loans and information on student loans and consolidation. For more information, please visit

Ollie Style
Puro Jobs