Study abroad can be a defining moment in any student’s educational journey, one filled with opportunities for growth, numerous realizations, and many more meaningful experiences. For LGBT students, studying abroad can be not only an incredible powerful educational experience, it can also be an opportunity to expand understanding, awareness, and acceptance of the LGBT community globally.
To support LGBT students who are ready to take on the challenge of studying abroad, many organizations, institutions, and associations have established study abroad scholarships to specifically provide financial assistance to LGBT students.
Every student deserves the chance to study abroad alongside their peers and experience all the world has to offer, and these scholarships are just some of the opportunities that have been put in place to inspire LGBT students to take the leap and study abroad.
Point Foundation is a national, publicly-supported, scholarship-granting organization focused on helping LGBTQ students. It seeks to empower promising LGBTQs to achieve their academic and leadership potential. Aside from financial support, the Point Foundation also provides mentorship, leadership development, and community service to LGBTQ students in high school and university. Each year the scholarship ranges from $5,000 to $28,000.
The Gamma Mu Foundation seeks to award individual scholarships to gay men who are interested on attending a postsecondary institution or a vocational school. The foundation supports a wide array of educational options, so that every gay student can pursue their specific educational aspirations, including associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, graduate programs, and vocational and technical training. The foundation gives a $19,000 award each year.
Established in 1985, the Pride Foundation is a regional community organization that is dedicated to giving opportunity and equality to LGBTQs across the Northwestern region of the United States. The Pride Foundation has over 50 scholarships available for LGBTQ students. These scholarships are categorized by academic pursuits, community leadership, cultural identities, and geography, but are available to students at every degree level. The Pride Foundation’s scholarship awards range from $5,000 to $10,000.
LGBTQ youth who are pursuing a degree at a college or university can apply for a scholarship with Live Out Loud, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring LGBT youth and the larger LGBT community to live proud, live out, and live free. The scholarship is open to LGBT high school seniors in the tri-state area. Five students are awarded a $5,000 educational scholarship every year.
Since 1996, the LEAGUE Foundation has been providing financial resources to American LGBT high school seniors who want to pursue higher education. The foundation has three separate scholarship awards: the Laurel Hester Memorial Scholarship, the Matthew Shepard Memorial Scholarship, and the LEAGUE Foundation Scholarship. Applications are accepted from January through April annually, and awardees are announced in July.
Asia Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community (APIQWTC), pronounced as “Api-cutesy”, is a volunteer-based organization founded in 1987. The APIQWTC scholarship is awarded to two Asian Pacific Islander, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender students pursuing technical or professional training or full degree programs at higher education institutions each year. The selected scholars receive a $1000 scholarship to go toward their educational endeavors.
Founded in 1972, PFLAG is the largest grassroots-based organization in the U.S. The organization is committed to advocating for equality and societal affirmation of LGBTQs. The PFLAG National scholarship is open to LGBT and allied students worldwide, who plan to pursue a higher education and demonstrate an interest in participating in the LGBT community. Awardees receive $1,000 to $5,000.
Since 1990, the Stonewall Foundation has been focusing on the needs of the LGBTQ community specifically in the state of New York. The foundation inspires meaningful change by creating scholarship opportunities for LGBTQ students. In 2015, the Stonewall Foundation offered four separate scholarships opportunities for LGBTQ students, each one reflecting the unique values of its donors.
Established in 2000, the Colin Higgins Foundation gives away the Youth Courage Award annually to recognize exceptional students who demonstrate courage in the face of adversity and discrimination. LGBTQ youth activists who apply will have the chance to win a grant of $10,000, an opportunity to attend the National Conference on LGBT Equality, and be honored during Pride Week on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles or New York.
Gay, lesbians, and their straight allies who are interested in pursuing an aviation career can apply for a scholarship provided by the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA). This international organization promotes equality as well as aviation safety. The NGPA Aviation Scholarship is awarded to exceptional candidates who have demonstrated involvement and support of the LGBT community.
Made possible by the generous donations and support of numerous international education professionals that are dedicated to helping LGBT students participate in international programs, the Rainbow Scholarship is awarded to LGBT students who want to pursue meaningful, intensive education programs abroad. Awarded by the Fund for Education Abroad annually, this scholarship is part of the NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group, which is made up of professionals that are devoted to supporting and counseling LGBT students as well as combating discrimination against LGBT students.
The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Foundation offers Annual Global Convention Scholarships in order to support future LGBT leaders in the fields of tourism and hospitality. The IGLTA Foundation also focuses on supporting students interested in establishing businesses in destinations that lack LGBT acceptance, in order to help promote awareness and global acceptance of the LGBT community.
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For more information on LGBT Study Abroad, download GoAbroad’s LGBT Student Guide to Study Abroad.