Studying abroad

Removal of multiple barriers that limit/hinder studying in abroad colleges 

When students think about studying abroad some college students choose to do it for the purpose of exposing themselves to varying cultures and languages while others study abroad with the aim to build workforce skills or prepare for a potential international career after graduation.

However, most students are unable to do so due to barriers that hinder them. these barriers can include cost, family concerns, limited course flexibility, and lack of knowledge about available experiences which can all prevent many students from studying abroad at college.

Due to the current state of the education system, many talented individuals are deprived of the opportunity to reach their full potential, letting their talent go to waste. For this reason, many US colleges and nonprofit organizations are aiming to make study abroad programs more accessible through means such as scholarship options, differing curricula, and passport assistance.

Efforts to Increase Access to Global Education

The associate provost and dean of international programs at the University of Iowa, Russ Ganim, has stated that colleges must make it a fundraising priority if they wish to make studying abroad more affordable

So far merit- and need-based scholarships along with a diversity ambassador scholarship have been offered by UI to help fund the global education of students. During the fall and spring semesters, there were 10 diversity ambassador scholarships of $1,000 awarded to groups such as students of color, students with disabilities, first-generation students, and LGBTQ+ students. The winter and summer sessions also received the same amount of a number of scholarships for studying abroad. Furthermore, a historically Black college named Morehouse also provides scholarships to students along with lowering the cost of studying abroad by working with corporate and foundation partners.

Moving on, although most studies abroad scholarships cover program-related costs, there are certain schools that also deal with barriers to obtaining a passport. One example of such an institute is Virginia Commonwealth University. It is one out of the 40 colleges that received the 2022 Institute of International Education’s American Passport Project grant. These funds are used to provide 25 Pell-eligible students with their first U.S. passport free of cost but later with the VCU matching the grant, it increased the number of recipients up to 50.

Aside from that, there are also options that allow for outside financial assistance.

The (CIEE) Council on International Educational Exchange, which is a nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, offers a minority-serving institution grant, among other scholarships. Attending an MSI can make one eligible for getting a $2,000 fund for a semester abroad.

Additionally, students of color, first-generation students, community college students, and those with high financial needs receive more attention from the Fund for Education Abroad which is offering more than 30 scholarships. The scholarships range from $5,000 for a semester to $10,000 for a full academic year and applicants just need to fill out one form to have a chance of getting one of the available scholarships.

Numerous students have received much-needed support from organizations during their time studying abroad in fact it is also mentioned on the website of “nonprofit” that the organization has given scholarships to over 850 undergraduate students since 2010, and the total amount of the scholarship can be added up to $2.5 million.

US colleges making efforts to make abroad studies more accessible.

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