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Five Scholarships for Studying Abroad

This is the final post for the Study Aboard Series. This series will answer all questions related to the study aboard program that UNLV has to offer and will showcase the Office of International Programs. Travel aboard and see the world!


Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Ever since I was a small child, I knew that I wanted to visit as many foreign countries as possible. Even as an adult, my bucket list is filled with different locations that are scattered across the globe. Before I even began college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. In high school, I constantly talked to my friends about the different study abroad opportunities for me once I got to UNLV. In spring 2018, my dream became a reality when I studied abroad in Nagasaki, Japan!

My experience lead me to the conclusion that everyone should study abroad. But let’s be honest here, studying abroad is so expensive! Before I went to Japan, I had to find over $17,000 for one semester! Yikes! I understand that the cost is one of the biggest deterrent for potential study abroad students. I don’t come from a wealthy family, and I certainly didn’t win the lottery, so how did I do it?

It is important to note that most UNLV-based scholarships will count towards study abroad expenses. This means that you will be able to use financial aid like Pell Grants, UNLV Grants, and Valedictorian Scholarships to study abroad. You can also take out student loans to help cover the cost.

But what if you don’t receive much in financial aid? What if you don’t feel comfortable taking out student loans? What if your family is not able to help with the study abroad expenses? What if you do receive enough financial for UNLV, but not enough to study abroad? Luckily, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities for study abroad students! With some research, hard work, and some trips to the writing center, the dream of studying abroad can be reality for anyone. I have listed five study abroad scholarship opportunities that prospective study abroad students should consider.

1. International Programs and CSUN Scholarships

Technically speaking, these are two separate scholarships. However, the application for both these scholarships are the same, so when you turn in the one application you are considered for both scholarships. Undergraduate students must have a GPA of at least a 2.75 in order to apply, and the reward amount is a thousand dollars both scholarships. The only thing that you have to do is fill out a one-page application and submit a one-page typed essay.

Additional information on these scholarships can be found here.

2. Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants

If you are a high achieving student with over a 3.75 cumulative GPA, this could be the scholarship for you! Every year, Phi Kappa Phi gives seventy-five study abroad students a thousand dollar scholarship. To be considered, your home institution must have a Phi Kappa Phi chapter (don’t worry, UNLV has one)! Two letters of recommendation, a copy of your transcripts, and an acceptance letter from your study abroad program are all needed with the scholarship’s application.

Here is the link to further information on this scholarship:

3. Japan Bridging Scholarship

I am not going to lie, I am partial to programs that help students who are interested in studying abroad in Japan. The Japan Bridging scholarship is brought to you by the American Association of Teachers of Japan. The reward amount is $2,500, and UNLV students can use this scholarship to go to Osaka/Kobe, Nagasaki or Hiroshima. All majors are welcome to apply for this scholarship, and prior experience with the Japanese language not needed to apply. In order to qualify, applicants need to be United States citizens and the study abroad program needs to be at least three months long. Applicants need to submit a short essay explaining why they are interested in Japan, provide a copy of their transcript and a letter of recommendation.

A link to the award’s website is provided here:

4. Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA)

This is a scholarship that I have personal experience with, and I believe that it is a fantastic program! This a nationally competitive scholarship for those who are interested studying abroad in Southeast Asia, and to help those in financial need. You can apply for the Freeman-ASIA scholarship if they are studying abroad in Japan, China, Korea or Thailand, and if you are receiving a Pell Grant. The award amount varies depending on how long you are staying, up to $3000 for a summer term, up to $5000 for one semester and up to $7000 for a full year. Upon returning to the United States, recipients must complete a service project to promote studying abroad in Southeast Asia and the Freeman-ASIA scholarship program.

For more information regarding eligibly and the application process can be found here:

5. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

This is another scholarship that I have personal experience with. In fall 2017, I was awarded this scholarship to study abroad the following spring in Japan. This scholarship is named after Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, and is brought to you by the U.S. State Department. This award is up to $5000 for a semester abroad. However, if you are studying a critically needed language, you are eligible for an additional $3000! This means that the maximum Gilman Scholarship is actually $8000! The scholarship is not the only benefit for this program: upon completion of your study abroad term, Gilman Scholars receive noncompetitive eligibility for Federal Government jobs under Executive Order 13750. This means that Gilman Scholars can get a job in the United States Federal Government with the chance to bypass the oftentimes lengthy application process!

Just like Freeman-ASIA, Gilman also requires students to complete a service project when they return from their host countries.

Information service projects, eligibility, critically needed languages and noncompetitive eligibility can be found on the Gilman Scholarship’s website:

There you have it! Those are five study abroad scholarships to consider! I hope now the cost to study abroad seems less daunting, and I hope now you are excited to see the world to further your education!


Brittany Booth, Senior

Orientation Leader

High School: Explore Knowledge Academy

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Major: Psychology

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