Travel! A bother for some, an elixir for others. We’re with the latter folks viewing travel as adventure, a way to learn new things, to broaden our understanding of other people, and a chance to deepen our appreciation for our world.
Of course travel is not without its hassles. They seem to increase with every threat to our security in different places. And then there’s the expenses involved. Those, along with time to spend away from everyday obligations are probably the biggest barriers to fulfilling our travel dreams. How to overcome them?
Fortunately there are government agencies, private companies, nonprofits and others who encourage and facilitate travel among a broad range of people. They are typically not looking to simply help bring pleasure to the traveler, but also hope to achieve some higher goal — for the person doing the traveling and the places that are visited.
Students are among the most frequently offered travel grants — but they are not the only ones. Teachers are grantees as well, as are certain professionals such as journalists and others in the media. These may include photographers, those who make films, producers of radio shows and more, especially if their main focus is on a current event with global importance. Read on, there are lots of opportunities out there:
Discover your program today!
Prepare for a Travel Career: Is your dream of studying abroad part of your current school focus on a career in the travel industry? Are you studying things like tourism or hospitality - or maybe thinking about it? If so you should definitely pursue a scholarship from Tourism Cares. They are a nonprofit specific to travel and tourism. As part of their mission they award undergraduate and graduate scholarships to students in this field of study. So you can study abroad as you prepare for a career in travel-related activities! You can apply for these scholarships online between February and April — so check it out and start looking ahead to the next application period. You can apply as a high school senior in this field of study in the Miami-Dade, Florida region or you can be a freshman studying at a U.S. or Canada two or four year college. (See more information about scholarships for high school students.) Graduate student scholarships are awarded to full or part time students in tourism programs, with at least a 3.0 GPA. They make total annual awards of as much a $62,000.
U.S. Department of State Critical Language Program: The U.S. Department of State has a vested interest in helping to develop undergrad and graduate students’ foreign language capabilities and the strengthening of relationships between our country and others. As part of this effort they manage the Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS). This program provides full funding for American students to participate in a cultural immersion program abroad. Applications are available in mid-September of each year. You don’t need to be majoring in a foreign language to apply — in fact, they encourage a diverse population of disciplines and languages. You can choose from a long list of languages to study. See the Department of State website for more information.
Rotary Scholarships The Rotary Foundation provides a lot of scholarships nationwide, and some of them are for study abroad. Their awards are varied and they differ from district to district. Their programs do support scholarships around the world. And student applicants may apply for assistance in any area of international study. Check with your local Rotary district and also find out more in Where to Find Scholarships.
Fund Your Junior Year Abroad Want to spend your junior year abroad but don’t have the funding you need? Take a look at the Youth Foundation Scholarship. This private, non-profit foundation offers financial scholarships to high school seniors to support their college studies. They provide awards to those with financial need who have outstanding academic records and participation in extra-curricular activities as well as community service. The award can be used to pay for a junior year abroad.
The Partners of the Americas program is funded by the U.S. Department of State.Its goal is to promote and develop various types of partnerships among various people and groups in the Americas, particularly Latin America and the Caribbean. As an individual you can join the program now and get connected with contacts in your area and others to work on a particular project or area of interest. Membership can help provide networking and training opportunities as well as opportunities for travel and work in the Americas.You can learn more, including how to find a chapter near you, by going to partners.net.
There are lots of opportunities and programs designed to help Americans travel abroad in order to volunteer in a many different kinds of projects. They are designed both to help others and to foster relations with other countries and deepen appreciation of other cultures. Following are some examples:
Travel For Good : Did you know that Travelocity offers awards for volunteer travel? They will finance your trip and donate $5,000 to your favorite charity. The contest is open to U.S. residents aged 18 or older. It’s an amazing opportunity that was inspired by a query Travelocity put out several years ago, asking how people would “travel for good”. They were so inspired they decided to start this annual contest — pretty cool! You also have to have a Twitter account and follow contest rules to enter the contest on Tumblr or Twitter using the required hashtags.
GoOverseas: This organization offers a $500 scholarship award for people wanting to volunteer abroad. You simply fill out an application and write a brief essay and provide a photo telling why you want to volunteer abroad. The $500 award can be used in the program of your choice. They also provide a comprehensive list of volunteer abroad opportunities on their website.
ScholarTrips This program is sponsored by a travel insurance company to support students who want to travel and grow through their experiences. You can enter a contest to win a $2500 scholarship toward your volunteer or study program abroad. Download a brochure and get more info on their website scholartrips.org.
The Institute of International Education offers Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants to students who attend a college or university that is one of their Partner institutions. Grants are for $2000 and can be used for travel to and from the destination country as well as for travel incurred while studying there. They have a particular focus on awarding the grants to high achieving, low income students with financial need. Also included are those who are first generation college students, those from underrepresented races, ethnicities and genders as well as those with disabilities and those who have had little or no travel abroad. After their travel participants are expected to be “ambassadors” for the program, sharing their experience with others in a variety of ways. More information such as guidelines and timing of applications is available on IIE’s website iie.org.
A Backpack Scholarship? : This one has a fun history. In 2009 a couple of friends on a backpacking trip in Europe got frustrated by the limitations of most luggage. So they decided to create their own with focus on helping people travel, work and live. And now they also offer a scholarship to support your study trip abroad. To be eligible you should be passionate about travel. The $1000 scholarship is offered twice each year. Winners also receive an Outbreaker Backpack. The money is sent directly to your study abroad school or program (different arrangements can be made if that’s not possible). The current contest is open for applications, which must be received by December 20, 2017. Winners are announced byJanuary 5, 2018. See their website for more details about applying at tortugabackpacks.com.
Fulbright Grant Program: This well known program aims to improve mutual understanding and positive relationships between countries. It is open to graduating college seniors and graduate students as well as well as some young professionals who wish to do research or teach or study abroad. You must be a U.S. citizen, an exceptional student and speak the language of the country you want to study in. There are about 8000 different student programs so research them carefully and be prepared to spend a lot of time on your application!
National Geographic Glimpse Program If you’re a good writer and/or photographer with a great talent at storytelling and finding intriguing topics for stories, this could be for you. You must be between the ages of 18 nd 34 and be able to spend at least 10 weeks studying, volunteering or working abroad. You get a financial stipend, support from National Geographic editors and the possibility of getting featured on NG’s website.
Electromechanical Society The Electrochemical Society offers a number of grants to assist students (undergraduate and graduate) to attend and present papers at the twice yearly meting of the ECS. There are two divisions, the StudentPostdoc division and the Young Professional/Early Career division. Students may only apply to one of the divisions for a travel grant. There are important deadlines for applying for a grant so if you’re interested, pay attention! For the ECS Meeting in Seattle the deadline for applying is February 2 of this year (2018) so get on that right away. And for the AiMES meeting in Cancun, Mexico, the deadline is June 18, 2018. See the Electrochemical Society website for more information.