Boren Awards

Boren Awards fund intensive, immersive language study in critical-need languages during study or research experiences abroad.

Are you interested in learning one of the less commonly taught languages? Are you committed to study-abroad in an intensive, immersive language program for a semester or a year? Curious about fellowship opportunities leading to a career focused on using your language skills in the intelligence and security fields within the US government (across many different agencies and departments, at home and abroad)? Consider the Boren Awards.

Language, Culture, and Service are the foundation of the Boren Awards.

  • Languages that are supported by Boren include Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Portuguese, Swahili, and Turkish.
  • Boren supports immersive study of cultures in world regions underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.  
  • Boren Award recipients work in positions critical to U.S. national security throughout the Federal Government, including the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and USAID.

Boren Scholarships

Fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

  • Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:
  • Up to $25,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
  • Up to $12,500 for 12-24 weeks
  • Up to $8,000 for 8-11 weeks (STEM majors only)

Boren Fellowships

Fund research and language study proposals by U.S. graduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Key Details

  •  The Boren Awards do not require students to have already acquired proficiency in the critical need language (with a few exceptions):  they understand that most critical-need languages are not taught in U.S. universities - this is WHY the Boren Awards program exists! 
  • Interested students should work closely with Padnos Internation Center to identify a study-abroad program that meets Boren requirements for intensive language study that is a semester or full academic year in length
  • Boren is intended for students who are committed to a career in service within the U.S. government, in any number of organizations, from the Department of Defense to Naval Intelligence to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to Office of International Intellectual Property Enforcement to the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, and Commerce and more.
  • The Boren Awards have a clear mission: to prepare students who seek to combine advanced language ability in critical need languages with careers in federal service.

Boren Information Video


For More Information

  • Explore the Boren Awards website
    • Search our Eligible Countries page to see where the Boren may take you
    • Search our Eligible Languages page to see the many languages available for study with Boren funding (and note that the Boren Awards program *does not* require prior knowledge of most of these languages – IIE understands that these languages are seldom offered at universities! That’s why Boren funding is available!
    • Search our Eligible Fields of Study to see the many disciplines Boren funding supports (and note that only STEM majors are eligible for summer awards in addition to the longer study-abroad awards)
      Explore the Selecting an Eligible Study Program to learn more about which study-abroad programs are eligible for support
    • Visit the Webinars and Resources page to learn more about next steps
    • Keep in mind the internal GVSU deadline for completed drafts of your Boren essays - December 1 (so that you receive feedback and can work on revisions over winter break)


Fellowship Interest Form

Unsure of what opportunity is right for you? We're here to help! 

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Page last modified March 13, 2024