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How to Fund Your Program

Study Abroad

Funding Your Program

How much does the program cost? How much can I afford? Can I receive financial aid? When can I apply for funding? What scholarships and grants can I apply for? We recognize that you have questions about funding your program, and we wrote this page to help you navigate those questions. Or just click here for a list of funds for credit-bearing programs and non-credit/travel programs (note that due to the coronavirus, many of these funds may be suspended).

"How Much Does Education Abroad Cost?"

There is more than one answer to this question because there are many types of programs. As a result, we recommend that you make an advising appointment with someone on our Education Abroad team (located in Center for Global Innovation, third floor) or visit the CSUSB Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (University Hall 150) during their walk-in advising hours on Mondays through Fridays, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 to 4:00 pm.

However, we believe that in many cases studying abroad can be as affordable, if not more affordable, than studying in the U.S.

"How Much Can I Afford?"

While each person's finances vary greatly, we recommend you start by assessing your budget using free online calculators like this one by Yale University: Study Abroad Budget Calculator. Costs for your program may include tuition, fees, housing, travel expenses, passport and visa costs, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. We also recommend you visit the CSUSB Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (University Hall 150) to discuss the affordability of your program.

"Can I Receive Financial Aid?"

If you're receiving credit on your program, the short answer is: yes, you can receive financial aid! Remember that "financial aid" includes everything from your federal Pell Grant, California grants, university funds, loans, and more. Many students receive more financial aid during fall and spring terms, and less aid during summer and winter (i.e., January) terms. So we recommend you visit the CSUSB Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (University Hall 150) to confirm financial aid, review your aid package, and verify with your financial aid advisor what types of aid can be applied to your program.

"When Can I Apply for Funding?"

Typically, you should begin applying for funding between 2 to 6 months before your program departs. There are two application seasons:

  1. If you are studying abroad during the summer, fall, or academic year, you will apply between January and April of that year. For example Fund for Education Abroad, Boren Awards, Gilman Scholarship, Freeman-Asia Award, Explore the World Travel Scholarship, and more.
  2. If you are studying abroad in the spring or summer, you will apply in the preceding September through November. For example Fund for Education Abroad, Gilman Scholarship, Diversity Abroad Ambassador Scholarship, Critical Language Scholarship, and more.

Funds for Credit-Bearing Programs Abroad

In addition to your financial aid package (e.g., Federal Pell Grants, California State Grants), below is a list of CSUSB and external funds provided for students who study or intern for credit in other countries.

CSUSB Funds

CSUSB offers many on-campus funds for students in credit-bearing education abroad programs. You can also review this frequently-updated application page of CSUSB grants.
  • Presidential Study Abroad Award: CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales provides this award to eligible CSUSB students on credit-bearing education abroad programs.
    • Eligibility: 2.0 GPA minimum and current enrollment in a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate program at CSUSB. Awardees must complete a credit-bearing program abroad to receive the award.
    • Fund: $500 per student per program.
    • Application: Included in post-acceptance program application.
  • ASI Student Research and Travel Award: Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) provides this award to eligible CSUSB students conducting research or traveling. Read more about the award here.
    • Eligibility: 2.5 GPA minimum (undergraduates) or 3.0 GPA minimum (graduates) and current enrollment at CSUSB. Students "may use the funding to conduct research for an independent study, an academic course, honor’s project, or master’s thesis project, to present at a conference or attend a conference." Awardees are required to present at the annual campus symposium "Meeting of the Minds."
    • Fund: Up to $1,000 per student per academic year.
    • Application: https://csusb.infoready4.com/#homePage
    • Deadline: Monthly, between October and May, due on the 20th of each month.
  • Phi Beta Delta Scholarships: The campus chapter of Phi Beta Delta provides funds for CSUSB students who go on an education abroad program. There are a few funds, like the Dr. Fred Baker & Dr. Rosalie Giacchino-Baker Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, for students with a 3.2 GPA minimum who study on a year-long CSUIP program. Questions? Please contact a PBD faculty representative: Frank Lin (College of Business and Public Administration), Bibiana Diaz (College of Arts and Letters), Dawn Blue (College of Natural Sciences), Priyanka Yalamanchili (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences), Amy Leh (College of Education), or at the general email pbd@csusb.edu.
    • Eligibility: Phi Beta Delta membership. New members must be nominated by an existing member. Fees include:
      • National organization fee: $15
      • One-time first-year induction fee: $35
      • Local PBD chapter fee: $10
    • Fund: Varies.
    • Application: Students receiving the Baker scholarship must be nominated.
  • Summer Assistance Grant (SAG): CSUSB offers the SAG grant to assist with summer fees for students, including students admitted to CSUSB under AB540 also known as California Dream students. 
    • Eligibility: Part- or full-time enrollment in a degree-seeking program during the summer term (part-time enrollment is defined as 6 or more units for undergraduate and Classified Credential students and 4 units or more for graduate students). Early Start and Early Summer Admission students are not eligible.
    • Fund: Varies.
    • Application: Please visit the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships in University Hall 150.
  • Summer Graduate Initiative Grant (GIG): CSUSB offers the GIG grant to assist students who are completing their degree during the summer.
    • Eligibility: Full-time enrollment in the spring term, a completed Grad Check for the summer term, and a minimum 2.0 GPA overall. Students must be able to graduate by the end of the summer term (maximum 9 units).
    • Fund: 100% of tuition costs for up to 9 summer units (students pay all mandatory campus fees).
    • Application: https://csusb.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bk0fj9NQCr74aX3
  • Other funding: Additional funding may also be provided by department deans, the Philanthropic Foundation, donors, or other sources of funding. Please email goabroad@csusb.edu if you have questions about CSUSB funding for credit-bearing education abroad programs.

External Funds

In addition to CSUSB funding, there are many external, off-campus scholarships and grants for students in education abroad programs. Here is a list of the most common funds, listed in chronological order (i.e., which applications are due first).
  • Fund for Education Abroad: The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) provides multiple awards to U.S. citizen or permanent resident undergraduate students who can demonstrate financial need and are participating in an education abroad program for a minimum of 4 weeks (28 days). Over 20 FEA awards are also offered, such as the Rainbow Scholarship.
    • Fund: Up to $5,000 (summer) or $10,000 (academic year).
    • Application: https://fundforeducationabroad.org/apply/
    • Recommendation: One recommendation required.
    • Deadlines (2): January (summer, fall, and academic year) and September (spring).
  • Boren Awards: The Boren Awards provide full funding through two distinct awards; the Boren Scholarship for U.S. citizen undergraduate students and the Boren Fellowship for U.S. citizen graduate students. Both awards are provided to students who study preferred languages and/or research in preferred countries critical to U.S. national security interests. For more information, view these slides, "How to Get Government Jobs by Studying Abroad with a Boren Award" (Cal State LA).
  • Boren Flagship Language Initiative Awards: The Boren Awards also provide full funding to study one of 10 critical languages, including French or Wolof (Senegal), Portuguese (Mozambique), Swahili (Tanzania), Akan/Twi (Ghana), Zulu (South Africa), Hindi or Urdu (India), Indonesian, or Turkish. The program runs for six or more months, beginning with a summer language-intensive program in Florida or Wisconsin followed by a fall semester studying that language abroad and an optional spring internship extension.
    • Funds: Full funding; up to $10,000 (undergraduates) or up to $12,000 (graduates).
    • Application: www.borenawards.org/apply-now
    • Deadlines (2): January (graduate) and February (undergraduate).
  • Gilman Scholarship: The U.S. Department of State offers the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in education and internship programs abroad for a minimum of 3 weeks in a Level 1 or 2 travel advisory country. See the scholarship's YouTube channel for more.
    • Fund: Varies between $2,500 and $5,000 (up to $8,000 if you study a “critical need” language like Korean, Chinese, or Japanese).
    • Application: https://gilmanapplication.iie.org/Applicant/
    • Recommendation: No recommendation required, but both the education abroad and financial aid office must certify your application.
    • Deadlines (2): March (summer, fall, January term, and academic year) and October (spring and summer). Summer applicants can apply first in October then again in March if they do not receive funding after their first application.
  • Gilman-Education New Zealand Scholarship: The Gilman-Education New Zealand Scholarship is a prestigious program for high-achieving U.S. citizen students receiving a Pell Grant and studying in New Zealand for a minimum of 3 weeks starting between May 1 and April 30. See the scholarship's promotional YouTube video.
    • Fund: Varies.
    • Application: https://gilmanapplication.iie.org/Applicant/
    • Recommendation: No recommendation required, but both the education abroad and financial aid office must certify your application.
    • Deadline (1): March (summer, fall, January term, and academic year).
  • Gilman-McCain Scholarship: The Gilman-McCain Scholarship provides awards of $5,000 for child dependents of active duty service members to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs.
    • Eligibility: Undergraduate U.S. citizen Title IV funding recipients who are dependent children of an active duty military member(s) during the time of application and are planning to study or intern for a minimum of 3 weeks in a Level 1 or 2 travel advisory country.
    • Fund: $5,000.
    • Application: https://gilmanapplication.iie.org/Applicant/
    • Recommendation: No recommendation required, but both the education abroad and financial aid office must certify your application.
    • Deadlines (2): March (for summer, fall, January term, and academic year) and October (for spring and summer).
  • Scott's Cheap Flight Study Abroad Scholarship: This scholarship is open to U.S. citizen or permanent resident currently-enrolled undergraduate or graduate students. Applicants will submit a 500-1,000 word essay about why travel is important to them; first-time international travelers are prioritized.
    • Fund: $1,000.
    • Application: https://scottscheapflights.com/scholarshiphttps://scottscheapflights.com/scholarship
    • Recommendation: No recommendation required.
    • Deadlines (2): March (summer and fall) and October (spring).
  • Freeman-Asia Award: The Freeman-Asia Award provides funding to U.S. citizen or permanent resident undergraduate students who receive or demonstrate a need for financial aid. Students must study language in one of 15 East or Southeast Asian locations for a minimum of 8 weeks (summer) or 12 weeks (semester or year). Students must have a minimum 2.8 GPA.
    • Fund: Up to $7,000.
    • Application: www.iie.org/Programs/Freeman-ASIA/Apply
    • Recommendation: No recommendation required, but the education abroad office must certify your application.
    • Deadline (1): April.
  • Tortuga Backpack Scholarships: This scholarship is open to U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or international students in the U.S. that are currently-enrolled undergraduate students.
  • Diversity Abroad Ambassador Scholarship: The Diversity Abroad organization provides funding for U.S. citizen or permanent resident undergraduate students with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Economically disadvantaged students, ethnically or racially diverse students, first-generation students, and those with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must share experiences via blogs, pictures, and videos, and will submit a video essay with their application.
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program: The competitive Fulbright program provides full funding to U.S. citizens who wish to study or conduct research (Master's or doctorate), create music or art, or teach English abroad in more than 160 countries. Applicants must have strong academic achievement and write a project proposal or statement of purpose. The application and placement process takes approximately one year and includes a campus application, national application, and interview. For more information, contact these faculty at CSUSB and visit this website for details.
  • Critical Language Scholarship: The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) provides full funding to U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students to study one of 15 critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and others in an 8-week summer language program. For more information, view these slides, "The Secret to Studying Unique Languages Abroad for Free" (Cal State LA).
  • Other funding: Additional external funding is also available. Please email goabroad@csusb.edu if you have questions about off-campus funding for credit-bearing education abroad programs.

Funds for Non-Credit Programs Abroad and in the U.S.

Sometimes you just want to travel! Below is a list of external funds provided for students who travel to other countries or within the U.S. If you are studying abroad, you can also apply for these funds. Please email us if you know of any other funds to post here.
  • Explore the World Travel Scholarship: This scholarship, offered by Hostelling International (HI USA) is provided to U.S. citizens or permanent residents between 18 and 30 years old who can demonstrate financial need and are planning to study or volunteer abroad between May and August.
  • Explore America Travel Scholarship: This scholarship, also offered by HI USA, is provided to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients between 18 and 30 years old who can demonstrate financial need and are planning to travel within the 50 U.S. states in the next year.
  • Other funding: Additional external funding is also available for non-credit travel. Please email goabroad@csusb.edu if you have questions or would like to inform us about additional funds.

Further Reading

Contact Us

For any questions about these funds or if you know of any additional funds to add to this page, please email the Education Abroad office at goabroad@csusb.edu. You can also make an advising appointment here.