In an increasingly inter-connected world, the ability to work successfully in a diverse workplace is more crucial than ever before. And the need for cross-cultural skills to negotiate an evolving, global economy has never been greater. To that end, study abroad can contribute vitally by furthering students’ foreign language abilities, enhancing cross-cultural communication skills and also providing a potentially life-changing international experience. Here at the Institute of International Education, we have encouraged students and educators to make study abroad an integral part of higher education. To help students get the information they need, IIE recently published “A Student Guide to Study Abroad,” a comprehensive resource on study abroad that is packed with essential tips and information for students looking to study abroad, which I co-authored with Stacie Berdan, an international careers expert.
One of the topics that we addressed was the perception that study abroad is too expensive for many students. We believe it is very important for students and parents to know that there are affordable options, and there are scholarships and financial aid opportunities that can help.
- College-based study abroad scholarships, including merit-based, student-specific, destination-specific, program-specific and subject-specific.
- U.S. Government-sponsored scholarships and fellowships, including Benjamin A. Gilman, numerous Fulbright awards, Critical Language Scholarship and Boren Awards.
- Private organizations, such as AIFS Foundation and Rotary Foundation.
- Foreign governments or organization, such as the German Academic Exchange Service and the Chinese Government Scholarship Program.
You can find a comprehensive listing of scholarships and funding, on IIE's Passport’s Study Abroad Funding site.
Stacie has written a very informative piece on her blog, and I encourage all students, parents and educators to read this: 7 Tips to Make Study Abroad More Affordable .
Study abroad doesn’t have to break the bank. There is a lot of information out there online, on campus, and in the form of firsthand experience from friends and other students who’ve recently returned from studying abroad. Before you decide NOT to go due to cost, do your research.