Studying abroad is a decision in your college career that requires numerous layers of considerations and lots of planning ahead. From where to go to how to tackle major requirements, the entire process is often a balancing act of possibilities. One thing that often emerges as a crucial point of consideration is how to afford to go; study abroad programs, both through the UC Education Abroad Program, or UCEAP, and other programs, are often expensive, and financial burdens can weigh down on students’ minds as they prepare for a program away from their home campus. In order to help with that process, we have broken down a number of resources for students thinking about going abroad, as well as for students who have already made that commitment.
Berkeley Study Abroad office
This one might be the most obvious, but it is still a great first step in determining your personal finances and studying abroad. The campus Study Abroad office offers semi-regular workshops to go over budgeting and scholarship options to navigate funding when going abroad. This could be a great time to talk one-on-one with an adviser to go over your specific financial situation, and to get a broad view of which scholarship options might work for you. The office’s next workshop will take place Oct. 10. UCEAP itself also offers numerous scholarships with varying criteria, such as the Harry W. Lucheta scholarship, which is geared toward students studying in Italy. Other scholarships are program- or language-specific.
Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship
UC Berkeley is also one of the top universities in sending Gilman Scholarship recipients abroad. This program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State, offers about 3,000 scholarships of $5,000 each to students who are attending academic programs or internships abroad and who qualify for Pell Grants. Applicants can also receive an additional $3,000 if they’re studying a critical language, as designated by the program. The study abroad office also offers various workshops to prepare for the scholarship application, which is typically due in March.
Independent programs can be tricky, because in most cases financial aid does not transfer over for these programs. Many independent study abroad programs provide scholarships for both specific travel sites and other factors, such as language. The Berkeley Study Abroad office also provides a list of scholarships offered through independent programs, some of which are specific to Berkeley. One of these scholarships is the Thomas Tusher Scholarship, which is available to Haas School of Business students and provides $10,500 for a program abroad through the Institute for the International Education of Students Abroad provider.
Institute of International Studies scholarship
The campus’s Institute of International Studies offers an annual Undergraduate Merit Scholarship of $2,500 to students doing research into a topic related to international issues. This scholarship can then be used in conjunction with a study abroad program that is related to the student’s research project. If you have a topic in mind that might fit into your study abroad plans, this could be an opportunity for you.
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship
This program, administered through the U.S. Department of Education, offers up to $10,000 to cover registration fees and a $5,000 stipend to study abroad. The application includes a robust essay in which applicants should outline how language acquisition will help them in their future academic and professional pursuits. In order to receive the scholarship, students must be enrolled in full-time study during their time abroad and be taking language and area studies or international studies courses. Additionally, the language of study should be one considered critical or less commonly taught, and students should be at an intermediate or advanced level of proficiency in their language of choice.
Camryn Bell is the special issues editor. Contact her at