Going Global: A College Student’s Road Map to Studying Abroad

Finding & Financing Study in the Top Destinations and Programs Worldwide

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, offering a rare opportunity to learn in – and about – a different culture. US students who study abroad, whether for a week, semester, full year, or more, expose themselves to new perspectives, attitudes, and general way of living that ultimately helps them become informed global citizens, a quality that many employers want. This guide helps students navigate the wide spectrum of study abroad options available, ranging from volunteer opportunities to language immersion programs to apprenticeships, and everything in-between. It also provides helpful resources for more information on academics, housing, safety, and financial aid to help interested students begin planning their future abroad.

Popular Study Abroad Destinations

Selecting a destination for a study abroad program can be a little overwhelming, particularly for those who have never been overseas. With so many different locations, US students may want to consider the most popular options among college students. According to a recent research study, five areas emerged on top due to a variety of reasons. The United Kingdom topped the list, as it offers a culture similar to America but with enough variations to be exciting and new. Some of the best universities also reside on this small island, making it attractive for thousands of US students each year. Those looking to immerse themselves in history dating back to Roman times frequently choose Italy. This location is also ideal for those interested in humanities-related topics. Spain and France tend to be popular options for students currently undertaking language courses or with existing knowledge of the native tongue; they’re also both popular locations for students studying topics such as architecture, history, art history, geography, or politics. Rounding out the top five is China, an emerging favorite both amongst students seeking a non-Western experience, as well as those studying topics related to business, economics, finance, or growing markets.

Top 5 Study Abroad Destinations Map
United Kingdom

36,210 (2012-13)

12.5% of total U.S. students studying abroad

Study Abroad UK. This independent study abroad company is based in the United Kingdom and provides numerous complimentary services such as excursions, airport transfers, a UK cell phone, support officer, and host family profile.

Studying in England. This great resource provides an overview of the UK educational system and variances between the American system. It also provides helpful details on cost of living, accommodation, medical treatment, and student life.

The Study Abroad Blog. Anyone who has done research on studying in the UK has probably come across the infamous Tier 4 Student Visa. This organization explains the visa process and provides helpful tips and timelines for applying.


29,848 (2012-2013)

10.3% of total U.S. students studying abroad

10 Things to Look Forward to When Studying in Florence. This blog post is part of a larger series of entries about a study abroad experience. A great read to learn more about Italy and the cultural draws.

Babilonia Center for Italian Studies. This Sicily based study abroad program immerses students in Italian literature, cinema, geology, history, architecture, and politics through a variety of different options for study.

CIMBA Italy. With a focus on global business education, this program based in Northern Italy caters to both undergraduate and graduate students through numerous study abroad options.


26,281 (2012-2013)

9.1% of total U.S. students studying abroad

10 Major Don’ts When Studying Abroad in Spain. Go Overseas provides a fascinating and educational look at how to many the most out of a study abroad experience in Spain.

Spanish Studies Abroad. Operating through the Center for Cross-Cultural Study, this program has been providing unique study abroad experiences in Spain, Argentina, Cuba, and Puerto Rico for nearly 50 years.

Spanish Abroad. This organization offers a variety of study abroad options throughout Latin America and Spain and range from one week to numerous months. Specialized areas include medical programs, business topics, and volunteer opportunities.


17,210 (2012-2013)

5.9% of total U.S. students studying abroad

12 Helpful Tips for Studying Abroad in Paris. This educational guide provides a number of helpful ideas for making the most of a study abroad experience in Paris.

Twenty in Paris. Andrea Bouchaud, an American who studied in France for a year and subsequently wrote a book about her experiences, writes this blog. The site is regularly updated with helpful tips and pertinent news.

Campus France. This service is provided by the French Embassy and seeks to promote study abroad opportunities in France to American students and institutions.


14,413 (2012-2013)

5% of total U.S. students studying abroad

China Survival Guide: 8 Simple Study Abroad Tips. Study Abroad Scout offers up tips about safety and cultural norms specifically relating to students looking to study abroad in China.

Study Abroad in China: A Day in the Life. This student blog gives a glimpse into the daily life of a student studying abroad in China.

China Study Abroad. No matter the type of Chinese study abroad program students are looking for, CSA probably has it. With offerings ranging from two weeks to year long adventures, this is a great place to start your search.

Studying Abroad:
Subject Areas & Program Types

Wondering how to find a study abroad program that you’ll talk about and share memories of for years to come? When choosing an overseas educational program, it’s important to have a mix of work and play. While academics is the top priority, learning about and enjoying the culture and local flare of your temporary home is also important. Some of the most important decisions you’ll need to make revolve around location, duration of stay, and area of study. If you cold weather isn’t your thing, Iceland probably isn’t for you. Similarly, if you aren’t studying a foreign language, it may be best to choose an English-speaking location. The following section is an overview of popular programs and lengths of study.

Popular Study Abroad Subject Areas

Many study abroad trips will be organized by theme or areas of study, and will allow students to concentrate their learning on topics relevant to their future aspirations. Some of the most commonly offered areas of study include:

International Relations & Business

This theme allows students to explore language, politics, sociology and business skills to prepare for careers in international organizations, non-profits, or public sector settings. Examples of classes may include international financial management, international marketing communicating across cultures, globalization, or international political economy.

Media & Communications

With a focus on the rise of social media and the surrounding culture, this theme pulls together writing, communications, journalism, ethics and politics to create a holistic academic experience. Class examples include communication across cultures, global politics and the media, global networking, and media, war and peace.

Pre-Med & Global Health

Students aspiring to work in a direct care medical setting benefit from these global experiences focused on public health, clinical study, and practicum experience. Students with an interest in indigenous diseases or global epidemics find particular value in this theme. Classes may include health and community development, global healthcare policy, international human rights, and a field placement in a local clinic.

Engineering & Information Technology

With an emphasis on the massively growing engineering and information technology global market, students are immersed in the latest coursework and research-based findings, with the goal of making students more competitive for international placements after graduation. Popular courses include computer science, global technology ethics, chemical engineering, international information technology, and biotechnology.

Digital & Creative Arts

Students with a passion for contemporary arts and how digital media plays a role in the growth of the field often choose this theme, which draws on graphic design, visual arts, photography, drama, sound, original art, and culture studies. Course options may include stagecraft, international media arts, photography, and performance skills

Environment & Sustainability

The ever-growing body of research about global environmental study draws many students to this theme, which builds on emerging technologies, environmental conservation principles, green energy research and climate change data to create an immersive and educational theme. Popular coursework may include global environmental law, landscape climatology, pollution control, and international environmental engineering design.

Program Types

Much like degree programs, study abroad programs are not one-size-fits-all. There is a wide range of options available to suit a diverse set of goals, financial backgrounds, and even comfort levels. For example, those who want to study abroad but don’t want to be away from home too long can look into summer programs, which tend to be shorter than semester-based and yearlong programs. Conversely, students studying a foreign language may elect to go for an entire academic year to truly soak up the local culture and perfect another language. Regardless of one’s goals, there’s a good chance that there’s a program that meets one’s expectations. Some of the most common include:

Academic Year or Semester Programs

These study abroad experiences are the most popular, with options available during the fall or spring, or as an entire academic year.

Summer Programs

Typically offered as either a full summer or a partial summer session, these programs are great options for students who want to have an overseas experience but don’t want to miss a semester at their home university. They can last anywhere from two weeks to three months.

Intersession Programs

Sometimes also known as Maymesters or similar, these short study abroad experiences typically take place during college breaks other than summer, such as spring or fall break. Depending on the program, students can sometimes gain up to three college credits while undertaking an intensive class.

Internship Programs

This is a great option for students who wish to gain professional experience in a foreign country, particularly if they hope to work for an international organization after graduating. Options range from a few weeks to an entire academic year.

Volunteer Programs

For students who want to serve communities or individuals while also gaining academic credit, volunteer programs can expose students to different cultures and their needs within a structured volunteer opportunity. Depending on the area of service, students have many different options available to them. An example would include working within a childcare or orphanage setting in a developing country, a popular option for students working towards a social work or public policy degree.

E-Learning Programs

Harnessing the power of online education, students at some colleges can elect to take distance learning classes either from their own university while living abroad, or from a foreign university while still in America.

Intensive Language Programs

Especially popular for students majoring in a foreign language, these immersive programs allow students to further develop and raise their levels of fluency while speaking the language in a native setting. Options range from a few weeks to an academic year.

High School Programs

High school exchange programs cater to students in grades 9-12 who want to take advantage of a foreign learning experience before college. In addition to being a great way to expand a student’s worldview, it will look great on a college application.

Undergraduate Programs

Students looking for a truly unique college experience or those who aspire to naturalize in a foreign country may consider completing their entire undergraduate degree overseas.

Graduate Programs

Overseas graduate degrees are a great option for students who have already completed their undergraduate program and wish to undertake post-baccalaureate studies abroad. Depending on the specific course, students will need to research how well the courses transfer to American workplaces; this is especially true for subjects requiring examinations, such as law or medicine.

Teaching Programs

Usually undertaken after completing an undergraduate degree, teaching abroad programs allow students to gain experience as an educator in a foreign country. This option is a perfect opportunity for students considering a career in teaching, those who wish to hone their language skills, or those who seek an exciting experience before undertaking postgraduate study or starting in a career.

Semester at Sea Programs

Offering a truly unique educational experience, Semester at Sea provides a multi-country study abroad program focused on academics, hands-on field experiences, and unique opportunities to engage with the global community. More than 25 disciplines are available and credits are transferable to home universities.

Online Study Abroad Programs

Students are increasingly electing to complete their degrees online are also able to undertake study abroad programs. While they may be juggling school, work and personal commitments, they are eligible for the same funding as their brick-and-mortar attending counterparts. Exchange programs often take place in the summer and allow students to pay the same tuition rates as an online class, leaving only travel and living expenses to be covered. These programs are an excellent option for students who wish to gain a global perspective but may have never considered study abroad as a viable option previously.

Interview With Steve Fox Chief Executive Officer at ThinkImpact

About ThinkImpact

More than a study abroad program, ThinkImpact combines overseas adventure with a powerful innovation curriculum that empowers students to be catalysts of sustainable change in developing countries.

At ThinkImpact, you’ll experience culture, uncover resources, build local teams and test ideas. Take your creativity and entrepreneurial skills to a new level through our innovation process in rural Rwanda, Panama, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. ThinkImpact’s programs are about equipping participants and local community partners with the tools they need to create life-changing enterprises and initiatives. Working in tandem with local partners, you’ll have the chance to innovate a new enterprise, or improve on an existing one sustained by ThinkImpact. Learn more about our Institutes at ThinkImpact.com.

People are people everywhere. At ThinkImpact, we embrace that and use it as fuel for innovation in deeply rural, developing communities. It’s a level of immersion and pure innovation I’d never seen before.

What got you interested in Global Entrepreneurship?

I got into global entrepreneurship while studying abroad in college. I had a rather unorthodox study abroad: I spent most of it examining emerging diamond mines on the Cameroon/Central African Republic border. It’s a really quiet, old part of the world, where disruptive technologies and innovations hadn’t penetrated. While I was there, I began to really see the ingenious of local entrepreneurs, who happened to grow up sequestered away from markets that would illuminate their brilliance. This seemed like a fixable problem, and so I got into the financing side of things to try and create tools to get people the money they needed to help their awesome companies reach the folks that would be interested. I joined ThinkImpact to connect those local entrepreneurs with the truly awesome creativity of students. 

What would your advice be to someone that wants an alternative to traditional study abroad options?

There are alternative programs out there! I like to think of going abroad options on a spectrum of Learning to Practice. Study abroad, as it’s name indicates, is heavy on the Learning side, while Service Learning, funny enough, is on the far end of the spectrum in Practice. The center of the spectrum is becoming populated with more and more programs that bridge the two. There are sector-specific study abroad alternatives if you know what you like, and there are more general for those looking for holistic experiences. Consider what the value-add is to you! What experience will round you out as a scholar or do-er, and what can you point to as skills, stories or impacts gained as a result of your alternative study abroad.

What’s your perspective on the future of global entrepreneurship?

Global entrepreneurship is evolving. Today that old part of the world in Cameroon that I worked in is accessible by mobile phone and internet. In some ways this empowers entrepreneurs with more information and input for their products, services or companies. But there are side-effects of widespread global communication that also create roadblocks for young entrepreneurs: folks tend to think in terms of what is already out there, instead of what assets are available to them. Working in venture capital in Sub-Saharan Africa, the most common phrase I heard was “if we had this.” Entrepreneurship doesn’t need to be, and has traditionally not been, predicated on far-away inputs that entrepreneurs “need” to succeed. I’d like to see more folks trying to catalyze with what they have in their home, community or country.

Any tips on picking the right working location for each individual?

I always encourage students to push the boundaries of what they are comfortable with. This is an incredible opportunity to see the world with full-on enthusiasm, nerves and inquisitiveness at your back. In short, every location can be right for you. A wonderful homestay, or supportive, fun group can make any nagging uneasiness non-existent. But to protect yourself, a straightforward solution is to be cognizant of what’s important to you on a daily basis and be honest with yourself. Do you get really grumpy when you can’t find the food you like? It might behoove you to avoid working in disadvantaged communities where you can’t be certain of what you’ll eat. Or if the hustle and bustle of city life is something you’ve already seen, seek out the wild and adventurous places. Go somewhere new, that’s how we really learn. 

Choosing a Program and Location

Studying abroad can be an exciting and exhilarating part of any college student’s experience, but there are a number of questions to consider before putting down a deposit and diving in. The list below helps students and their families think through the logistics of an overseas learning experience and ensure they make an educated decision.

Decide if study abroad is right for you.

Before deciding where and when to study abroad, students should first make sure is right for them. Living abroad can be a great experience, but it can also be stressful and require a lot of patience and planning. In other words, it isn’t for everyone. Additionally, it is also more expensive than normal college costs. International Studies Abroad provides a list of costs for programs of varied length and location to give students a general idea.

Make sure study abroad credits will transfer.

In some cases, hours gained abroad may not translate to credits at a student’s home university. Students should be in touch with both the sponsoring organization and their institution if they are using an outside agency to ensure their experience will count academically.

Pick the right location for you and your interests.

The destination country is key and can depend on a student’s major, goals, and personal preferences. For instance, a student studying Spanish would probably be better served in a place like Barcelona rather than Jerusalem. Similarly, a non-language major who only speaks English may feel more comfortable in an English-speaking destination. Other important factors to consider include culture, urban vs. rural, and time of year.

Decide when is the best time.

Most students choose to study abroad after one or two years of education at their home university. However, this is also the time when major-specific coursework begins. Students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss the best time of year to go abroad and how long their trip can be without compromising required coursework for graduation.

Figure out how long to go abroad.

Study abroad trips can span from two weeks to an entire degree program. Depending on their academic and personal goals, students should decide where they want to be on this spectrum and seek out programs designed to meet those needs.

Think about currency conversion.

While most study abroad program tuition costs will be in American dollars, students with money on the mind should also consider currency rates when factoring in travel and living expenses. While the USD is stronger than some currencies, in places like Europe the dollar will be weaker.

Factor in extra costs.

Aside from tuition, overseas airfare and housing, students should also think about other costs, such as food and entertainment. Those who wish to travel around the region while abroad should also research local travel expenses.

Top 10 Search Tools
for Finding the Right Program

For students just starting to research potential study abroad trips, a number of organizations provide search tools that allow users to sift through programs by country, length, area of study, or cost. Take a look at some of the best online tools:

American Institute for Foreign Service

Interested students can search AIFS more than 50 programs spread out across the globe.

CEA Global Education

With programs available in more than a dozen countries, prospective students can search through various subject areas and trip lengths to find an opportunity matched to their aspirations. The organization also provides information on financing, health and safety.

Go Abroad

GA both provides a powerful search engine and regular articles about innovative and popular study abroad options throughout the world.

Go Overseas

Similar to SA101, this organization allows students to post reviews of different programs, including opportunities to study, teach, volunteer, or intern abroad. It also provides reviews of TEFL courses, GAP year programs, high school trips, and language schools.

Institute for the International Education of Students

IIES offers a search tool for their programs offered throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America.

Institute of International Education

IIE’s Passport allows students to search through a variety of options and specialize their results to region, term length, format, subject, and more.

Study Abroad 101

Fashioned after popular user-review sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor, SA101 allows students to post searchable reviews of different programs and countries.

Study Abroad Links

This organization provides links to information about every country with study abroad programs and lists available options.

Study Abroad

In addition to a search function, students can use this website to learn about various programs and countries, read student blog accounts of their trips, search scholarships, and find a number of helpful resources.

Wandering Educators

For students seeking a library of information about travel experiences, WE provides a wealth of resources and guides to help make the decision process easier.


Finding Student Housing While Abroad

Being surrounded by the right atmosphere can be almost as important as the overall study abroad experience. We’ve all heard horror stories about bad roommates or less than ideal housing, and these issues can be even more exasperating when living in a foreign country. Students who enjoy being constantly surrounded by their peers will likely do well in dormitory-style housing offered by host universities, while those who enjoy their quiet time may want to seek private accommodation. The most common types of housing are discussed below for an idea of what’s available. Students should check with their study abroad organization or institution to ensure all of these options are offered in their chosen location.

Student Housing/Dormitory
Student Housing/Dormitory

Often similar to student housing in the United States, overseas dormitories provide students the opportunity to mingle and live among other learners, both American and international. This option is great for those who wish to have a traditional experience with communal bathrooms, cafeteria meals, and group laundry sessions. Undergraduates are particularly drawn to this option, while students who have already had this experience may seek out more independent accommodations. Additionally, university-owned housing may have specific rules concerning curfews, visitors, alcohol, or members of the opposite sex.


Students looking for a truly immersive experience will be drawn to the home-stay option, where host-families take in a student and allow them to live in their home during their overseas education. This option is mostly made available to students undertaking short-term programs, while those in more long-term programs may live with numerous host families throughout their time abroad. Host families can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a single-parent household to a retired couple. Students electing to live in a home-stay should be comfortable spending time with their families and willing to abide by the rules of the house. Those who truly wish to experience local culture often gravitate to this option, as many host families will provide meals and allow students to take part in family activities. For students studying a foreign language, this can be a wonderful option for increasing levels of fluency.


Apartments are frequently a popular choice for non-traditional or graduate students seeking a level of independence. Within this setting, students are free to come and go as they please, have guests, cook their own meals, and not worry about rules. Conversely, it also comes with the most responsibility, as students will need to sort out their own bills, make their own meals, and potentially find a roommate to share costs. Students undertaking a more long-term program are often drawn to this option.

Housing Resources

Cheap Housing Tips for Students Studying Abroad. For students on a budget, Cheap Scholar provides helpful ideas for stretching your dollar while finding safe student accommodation.

Five Tips for Finding Study Abroad Housing. Verge Magazine provides a great list of tips and tricks for making the most of your study abroad experience, such as finding housing that will complement your area of study and researching prospective neighborhoods.

Housing Arrangements Handbook. Students Abroad offers a handy guide for common encounters in student housing, including helpful conflict resolution tips and relevant questions to ask.

Q&A on Study Abroad Housing. All Abroad provides answers to common student housing questions, including queries about host families and accommodation when traveling.

Study Abroad Apartments. This website provides a powerful search engine for students seeking apartment-style accommodation overseas.

The Costs of Studying Abroad

When it comes to calculating cost, study abroad programs are somewhat similar to college at home – in addition to tuition and fees, students will also have to think about living expenses such as housing, transportation, food, and social activities. Below is a break down of some of the most common goods and services in the top five locations. Students should note that expenses in cities versus rural areas will vary, as will those with lower or higher dollar to local currency exchange rates.

  New York London Paris Rome Barcelona Beijing
12 eggs $4.30 $4.93 $5.17 $4.13 $2.72 $2.63
1 liter of gas $.77 $1.94 $1.56 $1.74 $1.44 $1.15
5mi taxi $22 $24 $20 $20 $18 $6
4 rolls toilet paper $4.74 $2.82 $2.76 $2.24 $1.13 $3.05
2 movie tickets $29 $36 $23 $18 $19 $20
Cappuccino $4.61 $4.32 $5.19 $1.50 $2.42 $4.67
Pint of beer in bar $7 $7 $8 $5.83 $4.88 $2.37

When creating a budget for a study abroad experience, it’s best to check with the organizing body to learn more about set fees such as tuition, airfare, meals and excursions. If the trip is through the student’s university, it is likely tuition rates will be similar to current costs. If going through an independent organization, these costs could vary. Additionally, some study abroad trips are offered as packages, while others will charge for each component individually. It’s best to begin assessing these costs a year before when planning to depart. A number of resources are available to help students financially plan for their study abroad.

Financial Planning Resources

Creating a Budget for Study Abroad. Go Overseas provides six helpful tips for thinking through the financial implications of an overseas academic experience.

Study Abroad Budget Calculator. The Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University provides students with a helpful tool for considering all the costs associated with a study abroad experience.

Study Abroad: Budget for London. This example provided by Investopedia allows students to see how costs in another city may compare to what they are used to spending, while also providing helpful details on student jobs and other ways to offset costs.

Top Ways to Reduce Costs

Studying abroad doesn’t have to break the bank. With thoughtful planning and research, students can reduce the associated costs to make it more affordable. Some of our top tips include:

Find funding

In addition to hundreds of independent or institution-based scholarships or grants, the U.S. Government also offers a variety of funding options, including the Fulbright Scholarship, Gilman Scholarship, or Boren Awards for International Study. Students qualifying for Federal financial aid may also be eligible for further funding.

Follow the unbeaten path

While study abroad programs in Western Europe may be the most popular, they are also the most expensive. Students seeking an international experience without breaking the bank may want to consider Asian or South American countries, which tend to be cheaper.

Go during low season

Summer study abroad trips are a favorite, but they are also the most expensive as flights tend to skyrocket during this time. Selecting a fall or winter study abroad experience will likely cut airfare and accommodation costs dramatically. As an added perk, it also means you won’t have to deal with thousands of tourists.

Steer clear of unnecessary souvenirs

Gift shops are often one of the highest grossing components of any attraction, with marked up prices on must-have items to take back to visitor’s home countries. Instead of shelling out for that one-of-a-kind Vatican shot glass, try to find other meaningful things to bring home, such as maps, postcards, museum stubs, or tour brochures.

Take the time to research low-cost options

In addition to the actual study abroad experience, many students travel around surrounding cities or countries during their stay. To save money on these excursions, get to know local, low-cost airlines that offer cheaper flights in exchange for not reserving a seat or packing lightly. Hostels are also a great option for cheaper accommodation; just be sure to check reviews before booking a room.

Financial Aid and Scholarships
for Studying Abroad

Many students make the mistake of assuming they won’t be able to cover the cost of studying abroad. While travelling and living overseas may not be cheap, there are a number of ways to help make it affordable, including scholarships and grants. The funding options listed below help make studying overseas a possibility for almost any student.

Amount: $200 to $1,000

Application due date: varies

AIFS has a number of scholarship opportunities for students and institutions. All awards include housing and a meal plan and AIFS provides a number of sponsored social/cultural activities and field trips so students can learn more about the region they travel to.

Amount: Up to $5,000

Application due date: Three times throughout year

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants to undergraduate U.S. citizens to pursue an education abroad. More than 2,700 scholarships are awarded each year.

Amount: $45,000 to $50,000

Application due date: November 10

Sir Winston Churchill began this scholarship in 1963 to fulfill his vision of US-UK exchange in the fields of science and technology. It has grown from three awards to 14 and provides funding for students seeking master’s study.

Amount: $1,500 to $2,000 per student

Application due date: varies

These scholarships go to students who demonstrate academic excellence and can show financial need. They help students get ahead in the workforce upon graduation by providing a glimpse at other cultures.

Amount: $1,000

Application due date: varies

This scholarship offers several options, including semester, summer or full-year study. It is available to Silver or Gold Award Girl Scouts who want to study abroad.

Amount: varies

Application due date: varies

The goal of this program is to help build relationships between U.S. citizens and those from other countries. While studying abroad, students learn both the culture and language of their host country.

Amount: $2,000

Application due date: March 31

Students who are residents of Texas can earn one of three scholarships to travel abroad and continue their studies: Mary Kolb Berglund Traveling Fellowship, McDermott Traveling Fellowship or Swank Traveling Fellowship. An essay is required with the application.

Amount: up to $7,000

Application due date: March 1, October 15 and April 1, depending on the semester of enrollment

Both merit- and need-based scholarships are available for students who are currently enrolled in a college or university. Students must submit the answer to a specific scholarship question with their application.

Amount: varies

Application due date: October 13

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant places awardees into overseas schools to help with local English instruction. Grants are available in a number of countries in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and more.

German Academic Exchange Service (all levels; also listed below)

Amount: varies

Application due date: varies

Designed to support international students who study in the U.S. and Canada. Opportunities are also available to students in the U.S. who wish to study abroad.

Amount: varies

Application due date: July 1

The aim of this award is to support foreign language training and other academic studies. It supplies supplemental funds to students who are already enrolled in a study abroad program.

Amount: varies

Application due date: ongoing

This two-month fellowship at the Newberry in Wolfenbüttel, Germany is designed to assist researchers as they examine items in the collections. Special requirements may be required.

Amount: HK$240,000 (US$30,000)

Application due date: December 1

Established by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, this fellowship provides students of exceptional academic stature to study at one of eight universities. Students should be studying in the fields of science (medicine, engineering or technology) or humanities (social sciences or business).

Amount: varies

Application due date: varies

This is a series of scholarships available at Juanita College for students looking to study abroad. Most scholarships are available thanks to endowment funds from former professors at the college.

Amount: $2,500 to $20,000

Application due date: February 9

This unique award allows U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions that are critical to U.S. interests. Award recipients travel to regions in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East and more.

Amount: $13.500EURO per year; renewable

Application due date: August 31

Doctoral candidates are in economic sociology and labor studies, political studies and sociology and methodology of social research are qualified to apply for this renewable scholarship that involves eight universities in northern Italy.

Amount: $1,000

Application due date: February 15 for Session A; September 15 for Session B

Students who attend an institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi chapter and hold a grade point average of 3.75 are eligible to apply for this award. The grant is designed to help support undergraduates who want to gain additional experience in their academic field.

Amount: $13,000 to $25,000

Application due date:

These scholarships and grants allow recipients to participate in humanitarian projects in an area of Rotary’s focus. Applicants should be actively involved in Rotary.

Amount: $500 to $5,000

Application due date: April 1, May 15 or November 1 – depending on program start

SIT allows students to study abroad while furthering their knowledge in their selected field of study. These scholarships are distributed to students who demonstrate financial need.

World Affairs Forum(undergrad)

Amount: up to $5,000

Application due date: March 31

Students studying in Fairfield County, NJ or Westchester County, NY are eligible for this scholarship that provides funds to study abroad. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be in the top 25 percent of their class.

International Students

Amount: Varies

Application due date: December 1

International fellowships are awarded to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must be full-time students and recipients are selected for academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to women and girls.

Amount: $100 to $1,000

Application due date: April 15, May 15 and October 15, depending on the program term

Students enrolled in CC-CS’s programs in Spain, Argentina and Cuba are eligible for this award. There are several awards available, including merit-based scholarships and a diversity scholarship.

Amount: varies

Application due date: early April

International students may apply for this scholarship, established by MOE for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to help students in developing countries further their studies and conduct research in China.

German Academic Exchange Service (all levels; also listed above)

Amount: varies

Application due date: varies

Designed to support international students who study in the U.S. and Canada. Opportunities are also available to students in the U.S. who wish to study abroad.

Amount: varies; all expenses paid

Application due date: Late October, but depends on country of origin

This program provides African students an opportunity to study abroad in Japan, in an effort to support exceptional students who have the potential to contribute to developing industries and the economy in Africa.

Travel & Safety Tips for the Student Abroad

While travelling and studying abroad, in general, are safe, it’s always a good idea to be fully aware and know what you’re getting into before you go. Keep in mind the following top 10 tips when living and studying overseas.

STEP smartly

Before leaving for a study abroad trip, students should sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a service of the Bureau of Consulate Affairs via the U.S. Department of State. This is a free service that send your travel information to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. While everything will likely go well, it’s always best to be prepared. Enrolling in STEP gives travelling students access to the latest travel information and also provides assistance in the case of an emergency abroad. The program will also ensure that your loved ones back home are contacted if you encounter any major problems (such as a natural disaster) while travelling.

Make copies of important documents

In addition to making sure all important travel documents such as a passport, airline tickets, health insurance, student ID, and other information are all stored in a safe place during travel and after arrival, make copies of these documents just incase they are lost.

Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions

Especially for students traveling to non-Western locations, research the area’s customs and traditions. This will help ensure you don’t do anything offensive, illegal or questionable and draw unnecessary attention to yourself.

Keep a group mentality

Especially when first arriving and getting to know surrounding areas, don’t go out alone. Chances are there will be lots of students from various universities arriving for the same reason, so make friends and spend at least your first week getting to know the city as a team.

Keep in touch

Upon arrival, let friends and family know your address and contact details in your new accommodation. Also, a cheap local phone with a data plan is well worth the cost. In addition to keeping up with others in your group during your trip, you can easily call for help if need be.

Blend in

This not only makes you less of a target for pickpockets and scammers, but you’ll also learn more about the culture of your temporary home by emulating local dress and customs and becoming immersed in the crowd.

Get around… safely

The vast majority of those who study abroad won’t have access to private transportation, leading them to rely on publish trains, trams and buses. While these are a great option for getting around, students should be very aware of their surroundings. Additionally, many unlicensed cabs exist, so make sure you choose one through a company you’ve researched.

Identify the good and bad parts of the city

While most university campuses will be in a safe part of town, nights out and adventures can quickly lead students to a less favorable part of town. It’s best to learn the different neighborhoods and try to read the local news to learn about unsafe areas to avoid.

Carry defense

Whether mace, pepper spray or a whistle, it never hurts to have these items within easy reach should the worst happen. Many students keep these items on their key chains so they can be quickly used if needed.

Don’t be flashy

Everyone wants to have high-quality photographs to remember their trip, and this often means having a nice camera in tow. Just remember to keep it – and other expensive valuables – out of sight as much as you can. If you’re going to have it out, invest in a strap (without snaps or easily disconnected parts) and wear it around your neck so it can’t be easily lifted off of you.

No matter where a student chooses to study abroad, being familiar with the local area and customs can go a long way in staying safe. The best-prepared students will do research on these topics before their trip to ensure they blend in and don’t bring attention to themselves. Some top resources about overseas study safety are provided below.

Safety Resources

5 Ways to Stay Safe While Studying Abroad. USA Today shares the best advice for students looking to undertake coursework abroad.

Safe & Healthy Travel for Students. In this helpful guide, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention cover some of the logistical things to think about when traveling to a foreign country, such as immunizations and sanitization.

Safety & Security: A Parent’s Guide. Purdue University provides this helpful information for parents concerned about the safety of their students while away from home.

Study Abroad Parent Guide – Safety Tips. Study Abroad provides a long list of helpful tips parents can share with their university-aged children as they prepare to travel overseas.

Study Abroad Safety Tips for Female Students. This resource illuminates safety tips and concerns specific to female students undertaking study overseas.