Funding Study Abroad

Financial Aid

Understand the real cost of study abroad.  Students often perceive study abroad to be more expensive than it is.  In fact, in many cases, the total cost of a semester abroad can actually be less than the cost of a semester on campus.  The Office of International Programs can provide you with a detailed budget for Mount Mercy programs and help you compare that to the cost of on-campus study.

Check with the Financial Aid office on how your financial aid can apply to study abroad programs. In general, federal financial aid can be applied to any approved, credit-bearing study abroad program.  State and institutional aid can normally be applied to any of the Mount Mercy programs (but not to outside programs).

Look into scholarships.  In addition to financial aid, there are many government- and privately-funded scholarships and grants for study abroad. Below are several sites for additional information on funding sources. As you look at scholarships, compare your qualifications and situation to the specific requirements of the scholarship. Do not waste time and effort applying for a scholarship if it is clearly a poor match for you and your program. Be extremely wary of any scholarship fund which requires an application fee.

Potential Funding Sources:

Search Engine for Study Abroad Scholarships: These sites enable you to search for specific scholarships to meet your needs, but review all information carefully. The Office of International Programs also has a CD-Rom with a searchable database of scholarships, which can be checked out for short-term use. 

Fulbright Scholarships for Graduating Seniors and Recent Graduates: Sponsored by the U.S. government, these prestigious scholarships provide funding for study and research in over 140 countries. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program provides funding to teach English in a number of countries overseas. In addition to the traditional Fulbright scholarships, special programs are available in business, journalism, critical language enhancement, and contemporary musical expression. Deadlines are normally in early fall, but applicants will want to begin working on their proposal several months in advance.

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships: These U.S. government-sponsored scholarships provide partial funding for study abroad programs. Applicants must be eligible for Pell Grants. Preference is given to students studying outside of Western Europe and Australia and to students traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, including, but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.  Special scholarships are offered in the summer for students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and medicine, including nursing and medical technology). 

Critical Language Scholarships: The U.S. government sponsors full scholarships for studying critical languages (Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu) overseas. Opportunities are available for beginning students in some languages.

Foundation for Asia Pacific EducationFreeman-ASIA (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia) offers awards ranging from $3,000-5,000 designed to support American undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia.   

Fund for Education Abroad: The Fund offers scholarships of up to $5000 for study abroad programs lasting more than 28 days. 

The John T. Petters Foundation: Provides scholarships of up to $5000 to support international business study abroad and social entrepreneurship service programs.

National Security Education Program (Boren Scholarships and Fellowships): The U.S. government sponsors scholarships of up to $20,000 for study abroad in areas that are important to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Sara's Wish Foundation:  Scholarships are awarded to extraordinary young women committed to making the world a better place by fully participating in it.  Applicants should exhibit qualities of leadership, service, and adventure. 

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: Rotary International sponsors the largest privately-funded international scholarship program. You must apply through your local Rotary club.

Global Studies Foundation: GSF offers a $1000 grant to support foreign language study and other academic studies abroad. Students must develop a plan for sharing their experience when they return home.

Guide to Online Schools:  The guide offers study abroad scholarships of up to $2,000 based on students' answers to four essay questions: 

Country-Specific Scholarship Information

Funding Study in Australia: Australian Education Office-The Australian Education Office has a searchable database of scholarships for most universities in Australia.

Funding Study in Germany: The German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) has information on a number of scholarships available to U.S. undergraduates and graduating seniors. There are several opportunities for science and business majors, as well as for liberal arts majors.  Many programs do not require prior study of German.

Study in Multiple Countries in Europe: HIA Fellowship Programs bring together university students from the United States and Europe for a rigorous, interdisciplinary inquiry into human rights, diversity, and minority issues. Students participate in the five-week fellowship in one of six different countries: Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, or the United States. Upon completing the fellowship, Fellows join an active international network of young professionals and are eligible for internship opportunities at the United States Congress, the European Parliament, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and other civic and political institutions.

Bridge Scholarships for Study in Japan: The Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in semester or academic year study-abroad programs in Japan.

Funding Study in South Korea: CIEE offers a fully-funded non-credit spring break program in South Korea.  Students take classes in Korean language and culture.  In addition, the program offers scheduled excursions including a day visit to the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea, visits to ancient palaces, and a trip to the National Museum of Korea. 

Funding Study in Turkey: The Institute of Turkish Studies offers funding for study at a Turkish university. 

Funding Study in the United Kingdom: The British Council provides information on financing study in the United Kingdom, including information on work opportunities.  Additional opportunities are listed below.

Davies-Jackson ScholarshipStudents with exceptional academic records, who are among the first in their families to graduate college, can receive funding for a course of study at St. John's College at the University of Cambridge.      

Fulbright Special ProgramsFulbright Commission Newcastle University Summer Institute is a five-week cultural and academic programme for US students held at Newcastle University in the UK. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation provides scholarships to study or conduct research at Cambridge University with the long-term goal of producing future leaders to address global problems related to health, equality, technology, and learning. In selecting Gates Cambridge Scholars, the Trust looks for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple.

Marshall Scholarship: Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at a UK institution in any field of study.     

Rhodes Scholarship: Thirty-two scholars with "excellence in quality of mind and quality of person" are selected each year for these prestigious national scholarships to study at Oxford University, normally for two to three years.