High School Study Abroad Scholarships
Did you know that there are scholarships that exist specifically for high school students? That means that you can get financial aid for studying abroad and not even break your piggy bank of college funds. Pretty cool, right?
To help explain this phenomenon, consult these five W’s of high school study abroad scholarships:
Who Can Apply for High School Scholarships?
Even though the trend is rising, high school students looking to study abroad do not form a large portion of the academic demographic. This is great news; less competition for you! Take advantage of this smaller niche to extend your network and gather all resources available.
What Kind of High School Scholarships are there?
There are more scholarship types out there than there are electives to pick for senior year. Get familiar with the different types of financial aid options, and see which one is more relevant to you (and don’t forget that you can fit into more than one category!)
- Athletics: If you’re the future Cristiano Ronaldo or Aaron Rodgers, use your ball game to get some extra moolah.
- Artistic. Record a violin concerto, choreograph a dance routine, and paint a masterpiece. Then, use it to snag an arts-based scholarship.
- Demographic: Minorities, take advantage of these! Whether it’s ethnicity, gender, or religion, there’s probably a demographic feature you can take advantage of.
- School Sponsored: The first place to check for high school scholarships should be your high school financial aid office. Ask your counselor if they have any resources available.
- Location: Did you already check if your desired host country offers scholarships to students coming there? If not, you should.
- Need-Based: If your parents’ bank statements aren’t overflowing with money, you might quality for financial aid. This one usually requires parental involvement, so give them a heads up before the due date.
- Program. The biggest chance for scoring a scholarship will probably be through your high school program provider. Ask what your options are.
- Scholastic: These scholarships focus on grades, class ranking, and GPA’s. Now is the time to put all of those late night study sessions to good use! Some of these are subject-specific, so even if you’re not an Einstein throughout the board, that talent for biology might get you some brownie points somewhere.
When Should You Apply for High School Scholarships?
Save the procrastination for math homework, and get a head start on applications for your high school scholarships. The research, paperwork, revision, and selection process takes some time, so give yourself plenty of wiggle room.
- Be Proactive. Start looking for scholarships at least a semester before your intended study abroad term.
- Stay Organized.Put all deadlines on a calendar; don’t be afraid to color code in terms of importance. This helps figure out what to focus on with a mere glance.
- Finish Ahead of Time.It’s good practice to aim to finish all paperwork a week before the deadline. You never know what will pop up: pesky illnesses, impossible science projects, surprise essays. And if the scholarship calls for something you missed at first glance (recommendation letter?!), you have a safe amount of time to gather all additional materials.
Why Apply for a High School Scholarship?
We are pretty sure you can figure this one out on your own, but we had to mention it; who doesn’t want extra money? There are many different expenses involved in going abroad, so consider each component as its own expenditure.
- Program Fees. Most scholarships are applicable toward the program fees, which usually include the application process, scholastic support, classes, and supplies abroad.
- Accommodation Fees. Some accommodation fees might be included in the program cost, especially if you signed up for a homestay. However, this is not always the case.
- Transportation Fees. There’s not a lot of scholarships that cover transportation costs, so if you need help covering that plane ticket, consider starting a FundMyTravel fundraiser.
- Spending Money. You probably won’t be getting a weekend job while studying abroad, and Mom and Dad won’t be there to give you a weekly allowance. So, it’s necessary to save up some money beforehand.
Additional Tips for High School Students Looking for Scholarships
Here are some great points of advice for your scholarship applications. Most of these are good skills to use further down the line, and practice makes perfect. Once college applications roll around, you can sell counseling sessions to clueless classmates.
- Apply to as many scholarships as possible. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t win the first scholarship you apply for. Sometimes, competition is tough and chances of winning are slim. But if you don’t try at all, chances are zero.
- Don't shy away from essays. No one likes them, but they are vital parts of legitimate scholarships. With practice, you’ll get the hang of them and they’ll lose their dreaded quality. Also, you can usually use a general template for multiple essay topics; just be sure to make each essay personal and relevant.
- Check options daily. Scholarship directories are updates on a daily basis, so check often. Apply to a wide net of financial aid options, answer all optional questions on search engines, and make sure to complete your profile for greatest results.
Top High School Study Abroad Scholarships
International Students Scholarship Award
The American International College offers an International Students Scholarship Award in support of the institution’s mission, vision, and goals each year. Ten gifted international students are awarded with a scholarship valued at 1,000,000 RMB. This academic scholarship is open to exceptional high school seniors interested in building their future at AIC in China.
International Awareness Scholarship
Two World Youth Travel Programs offer partial scholarships to students who meet specific criteria put in place by each organization, including academic grade point average, class rank, and financial need. The scholarships range from $250 to $1,800. The International Awareness Scholarship is open to full time students enrolled in high school, college, or university.
Gulen Institute Youth Platform
The Gulen Institute Youth Platform is an annual signature event that aims to involve youth in proposing solutions to global problems. This international essay contest is open to high school students in the 9th through 12th grade worldwide. One (1) winner will receive a scholarship amounting to $4,000.
Have the opportunity to experience life in Germany through a Youth Exchange Program. Since 1983, the Congress-Bundestag scholarship program has allowed high schoolers to live with German host families, study at a German school, and learn the native language and culture for a year. This funded youth exchange program is open to high school students with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
Helen Tronvold Norwegian Folk High School Scholarship
The Sons of Norway are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic goals by offering grants and scholarship. Established in 2004, the Helen Tronvold Norwegian Folk High School Scholarship provides cross-cultural experience to youth. High school students attending any of Norway’s folk high schools are eligible to apply. Three scholars will receive $2,000 each, annually.
Young Scholars Program
Designed to nurture students and help them realize their full academic potential, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program offers financial help to exceptional students. Applicants should meet all necessary qualifications in order to be eligible for the program. This scholarship is open to students from 8th grade through senior high nationwide.
American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange
This program gives high school students from Serbia or Montenegro the opportunity to participate in an exchange program in the United States. The American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange (A-SMYLE) allows youth to spend an academic year living in an American household and attending a local high school. International students have the chance to learn about leadership, civic responsibility, democracy, and American society and culture.
Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad Scholarship
Become a “youth ambassador” of the United States by applying for a scholarship with The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this scholarship offers American high schoolers an opportunity to study abroad in unique countries for an entire year. Potential locations include Morocco, Thailand, India, and the Philippines. The YES Abroad scholarship covers costs related to airfare, accommodation, and school tuition.
Dell Scholars Program
An initiative of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, the Dell Scholars Program offers support to students who want to pursue higher education, providing scholars with resources and mentoring that goes beyond financial assistance. This program aims to provide students with everything they need to begin and successfully complete college. A total of 300 scholarships are awarded annually.
Travel Access Project Gap Year Grants
Do you know a young person planning a Gap Year? The Travel Access Project is giving away 10 grants valued at $3000 each. Applications are open now.