200 Volunteer Abroad & Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants
(Updated for 2017)
We probably don’t have to tell you the costs of volunteering and studying abroad add up quickly. Between plane tickets, travel insurance, and program fees, the financial costs of traveling abroad make planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip less fun and quite overwhelming.
That's why we've put together the most comprehensive resource for volunteer abroad and study abroad scholarships and grants, including our very own Volunteer Forever Travel Scholarship! Read below for 200 great scholarship and grant opportunities to make your dream of volunteering or studying abroad come true.
200 Travel Scholarships and Grants to Volunteer and Study Abroad
As you know by now, volunteering and studying abroad can be expensive. Volunteering with the award-winning program, Global Vision International, which is one of the largest and most established volunteer organizations in the world (along with being one of the most highly rated on our site) with 2,000 volunteers per year, may cost $2,000 or more for the program fee.
Even volunteering with International Volunteer HQ, which is one of the most affordable volunteer programs in the world, costs $180 in addition to airfare, travel insurance, and other travel-related expenses.
That’s where Volunteer Forever comes in. As you plan your travels, try to combine crowdfuding through Volunteer Forever with one of the many scholarships and grants outlined below. Each one of these opportunities is open to travelers wanting to better themselves and help the communities that host them. Not only can you greatly offset your trip costs by combining these two options, but by highlighting your crowdfunding efforts in your scholarship application you’ll demonstrate to the scholarship committee that you’re committed to the cause—whether it’s to volunteer in an underserved community, or to further your studies in another country.
For example, one way you can demonstrate the impact and importance of your volunteer or study abroad placement is to travel with an organization that’s dedicated to helping you achieve your academic or career goals, such as Maximo Nivel. Right now, Maximo Nivel offers a wide variety of impactful and educational placements for students and travelers from all backgrounds - you can earn university credit through Maximo Nivel’s study abroad programs, gain insight into your future career through an impactful internship abroad, and even earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award by volunteering on one of Maximo Nivel’s many programs in Latin America.
Furthermore, keep in mind that many of scholarships we have listed below only have one or two winners per year. You'll definitely want to make sure you have back-up funding in case you're not one of the chosen few who receive an award. Fortunately, there are amazing, affordable organizations like Love Volunteers with service opportunities all over the world that won’t break the bank.
Here are more than 200 scholarships (including the Volunteer Forever Travel Schlolarship) for mission trips and grants to help you volunteer or study abroad—read on to find the best option for your travel goals.
If you're looking for tips for getting free airfare or finding no-cost volunteer projects, learn how you can volunteer abroad for free.
We've also identified several volunteer organizations that offer cheap volunteer projects such as International Volunteer HQ (which we previously mentioned) and Agape Volunteers, which offers volunteer abroad experiences in Africa starting at $510 for two weeks and Volunteering Solutions, which offers volunteer and intern abroad experiences in 20+ countries starting at $200 for one week.
Lastly, consider a paid teaching opportunity, such as the i-to-i Paid Teaching placement, in which participants are provided a monthly stipend and accomodations to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in Thailand, China, and Vietnam. If you don’t have your TEFL certificate yet, then check out ITTT’s in-class TEFL certification courses. With more than 25 different locations across 15 countries worldwide - such as Thailand, Costa Rica, Spain, Australia, and beyond - you can take accredited courses that will help you prepare for a career in teaching English abroad.
GENERAL VOLUNTEER ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
VOLUNTEER FOREVER TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP
Volunteer Forever has awarded travel scholarships since 2014 and will award its next scholarship in March - click here to apply now. Participants in volunteer abroad, study abroad, intern abroad, teach abroad, and work abroad programs are invited to apply. For our past scholarships, we had hundreds of applicants from great volunteer programs such as International Volunteer HQ, Global Vision International, and many others.
Scholarship winners directly receive the proceeds and may use their scholarship for their program fee, airfare, travel insurance, or other trip expenses. The scholarship is open to residents of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the European Union.
It is recommended that scholarship applicants start a Volunteer Forever fundraising campaign, though a Volunteer Forever account is not required to apply. We also recommend that applicants already be accepted to a volunteer, intern, or teach abroad program when they apply. If you're still looking for a program, we recommend checking out Global Vision International (our top recommended program for first-time volunteers) and our best rated program, Maximo Nivel, which offers affordable volunteer programs in Latin America starting at just $595:
APPLY NOW: Best the first to apply for our next scholarship award in Spring 2017 (deadline March 31st, 2017)
IVHQ Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship
IVHQ offers a Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship including a sponsored IVHQ volunteer program, online TEFL course and TEFL certification, a $1,500 travel voucher from STA Travel, and a World Nomads travel insurance package. Winners volunteer and teach English in a destination of their choice, and can blog about their experiences through IVHQ along the way.
Learn more and stay in the loop about future scholarship opportunities through IVHQ at: https://www.volunteerhq.org/count-me-in
TRAVEL FOR GOOD VOLUNTOURISM GRANT
Since 2007, Travelocity has offered volunteer travelers $5,000 grants through their Travel for Good program. This voluntourism grant allows travelers to serve abroad with one of Travelocity’s trusted partners—currently the American Hiking Society, Cross-Cultural Solutions, the Earthwatch Institute, and GlobeAware—for a few days to a few months. The funds cover project and transportation costs, with grants offered to four winners each year.
AMERICA’S UNOFFICIAL AMBASSADORS (AUA) MOSAIC GRANT
The AUA Mosaic Grant ranges from $500 to $1,000 for placement in Indonesia, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Zanzibar. Through this program, travelers may volunteer for six weeks during the summer with a school or NGO in Muslim-majority country. Projects focus on education, health, community building, and people-to-people partnerships, with a long-term goal of bringing service experience back home to impact travelers’ own communities as well.
GO OVERSEAS VOLUNTEER ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
Go Overseas offers two $500 scholarships for volunteers to travel abroad in the spring and fall each year—travelers are invited to volunteer with any organization of their choosing, or even craft a custom trip with a local NGO that inspires them. The award is (most often) distributed directly to the volunteer organization itself, which ensures that the funds are used entirely for the project.
THE SAMUEL HUNTINGTON PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a stipend of $10,000—$15,000 for a graduating college senior to volunteer for one year, either alone or with an established organization (charitable, religious, education, governmental, or other public service), anywhere in the world. The group guarantees one award each year but often have two or three winners. Applicants must submit a proposal by January 18, 2014 that encompasses any activity that furthers the public good.
For more information, visit: http://goo.gl/7hqHRG
YOUTH CHALLENGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS
Youth Challenge International (YCI) is offering a one-time offer of twelve flights for volunteers participating in our youth development projects in Ghana and Tanzania this Winter (January 1 to March 31, 2014 departure dates). Projects focus on livelihoods, health, leadership and the environment with the vision of youth innovation driving positive change (i.e. youth volunteering abroad projects).
Eligible volunteer projects for the flight scholarships are 8-weeks in Tanzania or 4-weeks in Ghana.
SARAH’S WISH SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Sara’s Wish Foundation scholarships are awarded to young American women who exhibit qualities of leadership, service, and adventure. Formed to honor the memory of college student Sara Christie Schewe, who was killed in a bus crash in India during a semester abroad, the scholarship defrays the costs associated with traveling to all areas of the globe. Recipients perform public services, contributing to the welfare of the world. Applications are available online October 1 though March 1, and typical awards are $1,500—$2,000.
Read more: http://goo.gl/m0EsEQ
SKILLS- AND DEGREE-BASED VOLUNTEER ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
BUILD ABROAD TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP
Founded in 2010, Build Abroad has a mission of building and repairing communities worldwide through socially responsible construction volunteering, with projects focusing on homes, schools, and disaster relief. This organization offers one travel scholarship each year to a student or recent graduate in architecture, civil engineering, interior design, or a related field. This award covers a one-week stay at any of Build Abroad’s five locations in Latin America or Asia, and includes airport pickup, pre-departure support, housing, two meals per day, in-country support, an organized construction volunteering project, and access to a volunteer center with free wifi.
More information about the scholarship and how to apply is available at: https://www.buildabroad.org/travel-scholarship
KATIE EVANS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP (NEW!)
Since 1995, the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) has trained and supported students to collaborate on significant health projects with our community partners around the world. To support advancement of our partners’ community health programs and to honor the legacy of Katie Evans, we are pleased to offer the Katie Evans Memorial Scholarship for Winter and Spring programs for graduate public health students. In 2014, FSD will award Katie Evans Memorial Scholarships of $3000 to public health graduate students pursuing FSD international internships and public health volunteer abroad placements. Alumni of FSD internships have won Rhodes, Fulbright, and other merit-based scholarships; gained employment with international development organizations; and started their own development organizations.
More information for participants seeking public health volunteer abroad projects is available at: http://www.fsdinternational.org/apply/scholarship
ACDI/VOCA VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA) seeks expert volunteers to support its international development activities in business, agriculture, banking and financial services, marketing, cooperative and association development, food processing, and community development. Current or recent graduate students in the areas of business, agriculture, and international studies are eligible to participate throughout Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Assignments usually last from two to four weeks, and volunteers contribute their time and expertise while ACDI/VOCA pays for all assignment-related expenses. These include round-trip coach airfare, passport, visas, lodging, meals and incidentals, immunizations, supplemental health insurance, and even emergency medical evacuation if required.
More information is available at: http://goo.gl/d8XLPo
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GLIMPSE CORRESPONDENTS PROGRAM
Emerging, talented writers, photographers, and filmmakers may apply to the Glimpse Graduate Program, a one-year intensive program at MatadorU. The Correspondents Program, funded in in part by National Geographic Society, requires students to agree to a long-term investigative journalism focus area or project whether at home or while living abroad. This program provides a $600 stipend, as well as a professional editor, career training in writing and photography, and guaranteed publication on glimpse.org. In addition, correspondents may be published on National Geographic platforms. The 10-week program is open to anyone ages 18 to 34.
Visit the Correspondents Page to find out more: http://goo.gl/SJsfY5
OMPRAKASH AMBASSADOR TRAVEL GRANT
The Omprakash Ambassador Travel Grant pays for travel and living expenses for entrepreneurial individuals who want to volunteer abroad within its international network of grassroots health, education, and environmental partner organizations. Omprakash Ambassadors also are enrolled in Omprakash EdGE (Education through Global Engagement), the group’s online curriculum that explores ethics, economics and power dynamics that underlie cross-cultural volunteering and international aid. Travel Grant applications are open to all, regardless of age or nationality, and reviewed seasonally.
Learn more: http://goo.gl/dQ5hZU
VOLUNTEERS FOR PROSPERITY (VFPServ)
Skilled Americans wishing to volunteer abroad may seek grants from Volunteers for Prosperity, which offers a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,000, to offset travel, insurance, and local living costs of short-term international assignments. A public-private partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), VFPServ accepts applications from working professionals in a project within their field.
If you’re a professional and want to use your skills to help people in developing countries, contact VFPServ: http://goo.gl/y9wDN6
WorldTeach offers a variety of scholarships—read on to learn more:
$100 to $600 scholarships are available for current year-long volunteers who want to extend their service for a second year. Most often, these scholarships can cover health insurance costs. Current WorldTeach volunteers should email their program managers to apply.
The Kristin Linnea Skvarla Foundation offers $1,000 scholarships to WorldTeach volunteers accepted to the Namibia Year Program. Once accepted into the program, travelers may email their program managers with information about why they need additional funding; smaller scholarships also are available for the Namibia Semester and Namibia Summer programs.
Volunteers interested in the China Summer program are encouraged to submit an essay with their application explaining why they would like funding to complete the program—this scholarship starts at $500.
Certified teachers may apply for $3,000 scholarships for the Namibia Year and Tanzania Year projects, through the WorldTeach Teacher Fellowship program. One grant is awarded per year for each program.
Learn more: http://www.worldteach.org
STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
CRITICAL LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIPS
The U.S. Department of State offers intensive summer language institutes in 13 foreign languages in order to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. The CLS Program supports beginning, intermediate, and advanced level study in Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. Advanced beginning and intermediate level study is available in Arabic and Persian, while intermediate to advanced level programs are available in Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Awards cover round-trip travel between the student's home city and program location, a mandatory Washington, D.C. pre-departure orientation, applicable visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program-sponsored travel within country, and all entrance fees for CLS Program cultural enhancement activities. Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
More information is available at: http://goo.gl/qsLnrd
THE TORTUGA BACKPACKS STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
The founders of Tortuga Backpacks, Fred and Jeremy, experienced the transformative power of travel on a backpacking trip to Eastern Europe. Frustrated by their luggage options, they started their own backpack company. Now they want to give college students the same opportunity they had.
The Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded biannually to students interested in exploring the world. The scholarship is for $1,000 towards any study abroad program. Interested students can apply here: http://www.tortugabackpacks.com/pages/study-abroad-scholarship
DAVID L. BOREN SCHOLARSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP
The Boren scholarship, a National Security Education Program award, is for students interested in learning a foreign language, studying abroad, and adding an international element to their education. This scholarship provides undergraduates with up to $20,000 for an academic year's study abroad, while the Boren Fellowship provides graduates up to $30,000 for language study and international research in the study of world regions critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
For more information: http://goo.gl/pw4zBZ
FREEMAN AWARDS FOR STUDY IN ASIA
Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) scholarships benefit U.S. undergraduates with financial aid providing them with funds to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. Need-based funding assists recipients with study-abroad program costs and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation and books. Awards range from $3,000 for a summer program, $5,000 for a semester or quarter program, to $7,000 for an academic year program.
For more information on the Freeman Award: http://goo.gl/9nbhL4
GILMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Gilman International Scholarship Program aims to diversify U.S. undergraduate students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go by providing awards of up to $5,000 for one academic year. The program serves under-represented students with high financial need, and all applicants must be recipients of a Federal Pell Grant
Learn more: http://goo.gl/vU2ljR
NATIONAL SECURITY EDUCATION PROGRAM
The National Security Education Program encourages students to internationalize their educational resumes by offering U.S. undergraduates scholarship opportunities to study abroad. Its goal is to help equip students with language skills and cultural understanding resulting in successful careers—the application deadline is January 2014.
More information: http://goo.gl/XDm3gz
The Rotary Foundation offers multiple grants and fundraising support for a variety of projects, scholarships, and training for Rotarians around the world. Rotary clubs and districts offer their own scholarships as well, funded with district grants. Applicants may request assistance for any form of global study. Packaged grant scholarships also are available from Rotary and its partners for scholars in the fields of nursing and water and sanitation.
For general information on the Rotary Foundation’s programs: http://goo.gl/VK7S7c
SCHOOL FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAINING (SIT) SCHOLARSHIPS
SIT Study Abroad supports international opportunities for students through its scholarship and grant programs. Many SIT scholarships and grants are available for both terms of study: semester and summer. Individual awards generally range from $500 to $5,000. Below is a list of various SIT Scholarships—learn more at: http://goo.gl/7DdrCS
The Compton Fund: For students enrolled in SIT programs with environmental, post-conflict transformation, or sustainable development themes.
SIT Engineering Scholarship: For students enrolled in undergraduate engineering programs who have demonstrated financial need.
The Experiment in International Living (EIL) Alumni Study Abroad Scholarship: To recognize and support alumni of EIL summer high school programs.
The Houston International Scholarship: For undergraduate students in any field or major from Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas.
HBCU Scholarships: For students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
IHP Grant: Need-based grant assistance for students participating on an IHP /Comparative program.
The Middle East and Islamic Studies Scholarship: For students participating in programs with significant Middle Eastern and/or Islamic studies content.
The Richard & Dale Levy India Scholarship: For a student participating on a semester program in India.
Sally Bragg Baker Scholarship: For a female participant in any semester program who demonstrates international awareness and a desire to create a more peaceful world through international exchange.
SIT Bonner Scholar Award: For students participating in this community service program.
SIT Fund: For students with demonstrated financial need who enroll in any SIT Study Abroad program, to help promote study abroad opportunities worldwide.
The Workum Fund: For SIT Study Abroad students studying on programs in the Indian subcontinent (India and Nepal), including the Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples program.
YOUTH FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP
The Youth Foundation provides funding to students to bolster self-reliance, confidence, self-discipline, responsibility, volunteerism, and exemplary character. Scholarships range from $2,500 to $4,000 per year and can be used for an undergraduate's junior year abroad. Selection is based on character, need, scholastic achievement, objective, motivation, potential for leadership, and good citizenship.
More information is available at: http://goo.gl/Qu2alp
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION FINANCIAL AID CENTER
International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) is a clearinghouse for information on college scholarship, financial aid, and grants for all students wishing to study abroad. IEFA’s mission is to promote international education through the development and publication of a comprehensive database.
For more information on IEFA center: http://goo.gl/qOMNRV
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS FELLOWSHIP
The International Affairs program offered by the Council on Foreign Relations offers fellowships for students intending to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. It is intended for mid-career scholars to broaden their foreign policy experience. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of 27 and 35 who are eligible to work in the United States. The program awards a stipend of $85,000.
For more information: http://www.cfr.org/thinktank/fellowships/iaf.html
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE LEARNING (ISL)
International Service Learning (ISL) offers $300 grants to graduate students and professionals who’d like to join the organization on global health teams. Team trips last from eight days to two weeks, with this year’s destinations being Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Peru.
Learn more: http://www.islonline.org/grad-grants/
ROTARY FOUNDATION AMBASSADORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships and Grants aim to improve international understanding and positive relations. Recipients make appearances before Rotary clubs, schools, civic organizations, and other forums in the host country, and share their international experiences. Scholarships vary from one year to multi-year, providing $11,000—$23,000 for round-trip transportation, tuition, fees, room and board expenses, and some educational supplies. Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarships provide $10,000—$17,000 for three or six months of intensive language study and cultural immersion. These funds cover round-trip transportation, language training expenses, and homestay living arrangements.
More information: http://goo.gl/8MJ50j
THOMAS J. WATSON FELLOWSHIP
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship offers graduating college seniors a year of independent, purposeful international exploration to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, and leadership and to foster humane, effective participation in the world community. Applicants are eligible if their college or university is a participating institution. The stipend for the fellowship year is $28,000.
More information is available at: http://goo.gl/V2NeF0
TOURISM CARES SCHOLARSHIPS
Tourism Cares offers 22 Professional Development Scholarships ranging from $350 to $3,000 to benefit students working in or looking to enter careers in the travel or tourism industries. Its goal is to strengthen the travel and tourism workforce through continued education. Eligible applicants will be registering for a travel or tourism related professional development certificate program.
For more information on Toursim Cares scholarships: http://goo.gl/ChLFUt
U.S. STUDENT FULBRIGHT GRANT
Graduate students may apply for a Fulbright grant for research projects that can be completed in one academic year and that relate to the resources of the host country. The Fulbright international educational exchange program is sponsored by the U.S. government, and designed to increase multicultural understanding. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have earned a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Applicants also must have proficiency in the written and spoken language of the country.
For more information on Fulbright Grants: http://goo.gl/Sw14nY
OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES, SCHOLARSHIPS, AND GRANTS
STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
P.S. If you're still looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out our list of best volunteer abroad programs and recommended volunteer projects in Africa, Central America, and Thailand. You can also read about 7 Great Medical and Veterinary Volunteer Abroad Projects, 10 Dental Volunteer Abroad Program and Medical Mission Tips for Pre Dental Students, and nursing volunteer abroad projects for students and nurse professionals. Or, if medical volunteer projects aren't for you, be sure to read about our sports and coaching volunteer abroad, wildlife conservation and veterinary abroad, teach abroad, and intern abroad programs. Lastly, if you're under 18, you may be interested in a teen volunteer abroad program from one of our many great partners.
Ready to fundraise while applying for scholarships? Click the button below to launch your fundraising campaign or sign into your Volunteer Forever account!
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