Best Public Universities for Study-Abroad Scholarships

No matter what your major is, you may be eligible for one of the almost 3,000 study-abroad scholarships for undergraduates awarded each year.  The generous Boren scholarships along with the far more numerous Gilman scholarships provide between $2,500 and $20,000 for studying abroad.

The keys: at least a 3.5 gpa for Boren awards and around a 3.4 gpa for Gilman awards AND excellent skills in the foreign languages emphasized by the Boren program (see below).  Gilman awards are for students receiving Pell grants, and chances are about 1 in 3 for long term awards and 1 in 5 for summer awards.  Gilman study must be for at least four weeks, and Boren study is generally a full semester or entire year.

We are completing our national database of prestigious undergraduate and graduate awards granted to students from 80 leading public universities.  The database now includes the full history of winners of the following awards: Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Churchill, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall scholarships, by university.

The database also includes the full history for Gilman study-abroad scholarships, and for Boren scholars awarded since 2003.

Following the program descriptions for Boren and Gilman scholarships, please see a list of the public universities whose students have earned the highest number of these study-abroad scholarships.

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

“The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here. Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili.”

“The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

“The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support students who have been traditionally under-represented in education abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.”

Gilman awards range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the duration of studying abroad.

Public University Leaders in Boren Scholarships (about 167 a year):

Arizona State (by a large margin), Maryland, Illinois, UT Austin, Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, Oregon, Pitt, Georgia, Ohio State, South Carolina, Michigan, Washington, Ohio University, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Public University Leaders in Gilman Scholarships (about 2,500 a year):

UC Berkeley (by a large margin), Arizona, UC Santa Barbara, UT Austin, UCLA, UMass Amherst, Oregon, Texas A&M, Illinois, Maryland, Illlinois Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, and Temple.