How To Secure The Funds You Need To Study Abroad

There are many ways that students can secure funds to study abroad. Students use their financial aid resources and student loans to pay for their abroad program.  Many also compete for various scholarships, grants, and fellowships to finance the experience. Most often students work hard and save for the experience of a lifetime! Typically, the average student combines all three and pulls their resources together to make it happen.

This page will highlight the different types of funding students use to pay for study abroad, such as:

  • Financial Aid
  • Student Loans
  • Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships (click here for study abroad options) 
  • Education Abroad offers a study abroad scholarship. Click here  for application.
  • General Directories

Financial Aid

Many students do not realize that they can take most, if not all of their financial aid and use it towards study abroad opportunities.  It is important to understand and realize that financial aid is an individual entity – what is available to one person may not be available to another. In addition, some financial aid may not be able to be used outside of FAU. As such, it is important that students make contact with the financial aid study abroad advisor early and remain in contact throughout the process.

The Offices of Financial Aid and Education Abroad have an online brochure to help you understand how the financial aid process works for study abroad students.

Please take a moment to review the guide.

Most important: You must have a current FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file in order to be considered for any financial aid through FAU. In addition to the FAFSA, students applying for summer financial aid need to complete the summer Financial Aid Application that becomes available online beginning February 1 each year. Summer financial aid is first come first serve, so complete the online application early.

Transcripts and Financial Aid

Overseas transcripts may take up to several months to arrive at FAU and be posted to a student’s academic record. The temporary absence of grades may affect the awarding and release of further financial aid, including Bright Futures, Pell grants, scholarships, grants and student loans. OIP processes transcripts for students going on FAU exchange programs as soon as they arrive and notifies both the student and financial aid once grades have posted to the students account. Students going on affiliated programs or to a direct enroll location are responsible for obtaining their overseas transcript and sending it to the Registrar for recording. When notified, Education Abroad will assist a student having difficulty getting a transcript in a reasonable timeframe. All students are responsible for any follow-up with financial aid after a time abroad, to ensure the timely release of any pending or future financial aid.  

Student Loans

A loan is a type of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. The federal student loan programs (Federal Family Education Loan Program and Federal Direct Student Loan Program) are a good method of financing the costs of your study abroad program. These loans are better than most consumer loans because they have lower interest rates and do not require a credit check or collateral. The Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans also provide a variety of deferment options and extended repayment terms. For these types of loans, please visit the Financial Aid Office and speak with the Study Abroad Financial Aid Advisor. 

For those students looking for alternative loans not secured through your home institution, please visit the following website: Under "Other Loans Available" there is information regarding private loans.

General Directories

A General Directory acts as a one-stop shop to search for funding opportunities such as scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Education Abroad and FAU do not manage or monitor the contents provided on these individual sites.  This information is made available solely as a possible resource. is a comprehensive directory of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, and grants to find funding for study outside the US at an undergraduate, graduate, or professional level of study.

Fastweb ( a popular, no-fee American college scholarship database. Registration required.

International Education Financial Aid ( IEFA is an Internet resource for financial aid information for students wishing to study in a foreign country. At this site, you will find a comprehensive listing of grants, scholarships, loan programs, and other information to assist students in their pursuit to study abroad.

GrantNet ( Funding Opportunities for Training in the Biological and Medical Sciences.

U.S. Department of Education:   A comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of student financial aid available through the Department's Student Financial Assistance office.

Scholarships, Grants, & Fellowships

There are numerous funding opportunities available to students, provided they are willing to take the initiative and research those opportunities, and then follow through with the requirements and deadlines for those opportunities. Note that some funding opportunities will require a current FAFSA on file with the Financial Aid Office.

Education Abroad has compiled a list of Scholarships, Grants, and Fellowships that are applicable to study abroad and /or pursuing overseas research. The list contains opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students and in some cases, options for post graduate study. The list is updated periodically as new opportunities become available. Please check back often. To access the list please click here .

FAU Study Abroad Scholarships are offered by Education Abroad towards study abroad programs. For more information and to apply, click here .

What is the difference between a scholarship, grant or fellowship?

Scholarship - A scholarship is an award given to an individual for the purposes of furthering their education. Scholarships are generally awarded based on any number of arbitrary criteria, including: financial need, academic achievement, athletic achievement, public service, nationality or ethnicity. Scholarships are award that do not need to be repaid as long as the student has met all the award recipient requirements such as, maintaining a certain GPA, etc.

Grant - Operate in similar fashion to a scholarship. Grants are given to assist students in funding an educational experience. Grants dos not have to be repaid and are usually based on need.

Fellowship - An award made directly to an individual in support of specific educational pursuits; recipients may be subject to service and/or payback requirements after the fellowship terminates, although often they are not required to be paid back as long as the student completes the project/research in a manner favorable to the Fellowship.

Affiliate Scholarships

Affiliate scholarships are offered by FAU's affiliate study abroad partners. FAU students accepted into an affiliate program are eligible for these opportunities.

American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
Each year, more than $600,000 in scholarships, grants and financial support is awarded to deserving students & institutions.  Funds are available for both summer and semester programs. Students from affiliate institutions may automatically receive $400 grants for semester programs and $200 grants for summer programs

Academic Programs International (API)
API awards approximately $400,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 to $1,000 per student. Students may apply for multiple API scholarships.

Athena Study Abroad
Athena provides students with many different opportunities to help reduce the cost of study abroad program fees,  Athena's individual scholarships range anywhere between $250 and $8,000, so make sure to apply for these awards.  Athena will also waive the semester application fee for any FAU applicant.  

CAPA International Education (CAPA)
Since FAU is an affiliate of CAPA, students from affiliate institutions automatically receive $600 grants for semester programs and $300 grants for summer programs. In addition to the affiliate discount, students will be eligible to apply for need, merit-based, and access scholarships. 

Central College Abroad (CCA)
There are two scholarships available for non-Central College students. They are the Vance Scholarship for students who have achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher from cooperating institutions who have been accepted to one of Central Colleges study abroad programs, and the Merit Scholarship for students who have achieved a 3.6 GPA or above, have excellent recommendations, and have a high motivation to study abroad.


CEA offers two categories of scholarships. Students may only apply to one merit-based and one need-based scholarship . CEA also offers students up to $500 in travel grants, depending on program duration, and scholarships specially designed for our U.S. Academic Affiliates

CISabroad offers different types of scholarships and grants ranging from $100 to $1,000 per student.  Since FAU is an affiliate of CISabroad, students may automatically receive a $250 grant for a semester program, or a $100 grant for a summer or short-term program. 

International Studies Abroad (ISA)
ISA awards over $600,000 in grants and scholarships that range from $200 to $2,500 to participating students each year. In addition to those offered by ISA, scholarship o
opportunities are available through several host universities and outside organizations. Every student from FAU receives a $200 discount on all ISA programs.

Study Abroad Italy (SAI)
SAI offers a variety of different scholarship opportunities for students, with awards ranging from
$500 to $5500 per student. 

Scholarships and Fellowships for Students with Disabilities
Mobility International USA maintains listings of many scholarships, fellowships and grants for students with disabilities interested in studying abroad. For more information and current offerings, please visit and

Books on Financial Aid

  • Free Money for Foreign Study: A Guide to More Than 1,000 Grants and Scholarships for Study Abroad by Laurie Blum
  • Financial Resources for International Study: A Guide for US Students and Professions by Marie O’Sullivan and Sara J. Steen (Editors)
  • Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes 2007 by Linda Seghers (Book intended for minority students or students with financial need)

Financial Aid Study Abroad Workshops

Study Abroad Financial Aid Workshops will be held each year according to the following schedule:

January – Targeting summer students

April – Targeting fall students

October – Targeting spring students

The specific dates and times of these workshops can be found on the Education Abroad website ( and via flyers both in the Financial Aid Office and Education Abroad.

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 Last Modified 3/21/17