Study Abroad Opportunities

Brittany Pomierski ‘25 (Biomedical Sciences) in hanbok.

Brittany Pomierski ‘25 (Biomedical Sciences). Brittany received the Freeman-Asia Scholarship to study in Seoul, Korea, for the Fall 2023 semester. As a Biomedical Sciences student, Brittany is studying Korean in order to use it in her future career as a Physician Assistant. Her experience abroad advanced her understanding of Korean language and culture (including allowing her to try her new favorite dishes of kimchi jjigae and dakgangjeong Chicken).

The Freeman-ASIA program is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

One of the categories of ‘fellowship’ is actually ‘competitive national scholarships supporting GVSU-administered undergraduate study abroad’! Of course, your very first step toward nationally-competitive applications is to work closely with PIC to receive approval for study abroad on the program of your choice (you’ll need to have identified the program and the semester in which you plan to participate before starting the application for external funding). Don't forget that GVSU also has great *internal* scholarships for study abroad for which you apply through the Padnos International Center website - this is the first thing you should do as you develop your budget for study abroad.

You will see the nationally competitive fellowship opportunities listed below, with links to the actual funding organization.

  • IIE Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship  for undergraduate PELL recipients, with a STEM supplement for students with STEM majors (For students participating in a program administered by CIEE: ALL Gilman Applicants are Guaranteed a CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant of up to $2,500)
  • Bridging Scholarship for Study Abroad in Japan
  • IIE Freeman-Asia
  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program for U.S. Citizens | Embassy of Japan in the United States of America ( (including opportunities for undergraduates majoring in Japanese language and/or culture to study abroad in Japan)
  • Fund for Education Abroad (for students underrepresented in study abroad - community college transfer, minoritized identities, LGBTQIA, STEM majors, students in high financial need, students who have never been abroad)
  • Boren Scholarship (language immersion in a critical-need language) (for a provider or faculty-led study-abroad program administered by GVSU) and also...
  • Boren Scholarships -- Regional Flagship Language Program (for undergraduates:  intensive summer language study in the U.S. plus associated immersive language study in the fall semester at a specific Boren location for students committed to careers in the intelligence and security sectors of federal service; you'll also want to work with PIC to receive approval for study abroad, but these particular Flagship language programs are not administered by GVSU)
  • Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Award (minimum GPA - 3.75)
  • U.S.-Japan Council Toshizo Watanabe Endowed Scholarship
  • DIWC Fund - Diverse International Women of Color Fellowships for study abroad
  • First Trip Scholarship | First Trip (an organization dedicated to increasing diversity in study abroad by providing funding for underrepresented students to travel abroad for the first time to non-traditional study-abroad destinations and to pursue global careers)
  • Several nationally competitive fellowships are available for American Councils study-abroad programs: See

    • American Councils Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship: The American Councils Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship is available to students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad and educational exchange programs. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who identify with certain racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, gender, disability, age, origin, ancestry or veteran statuses. The scholarship is also available to first generation college students, students from low-income families, and students with a history of overcoming adversity. Awards typically range from $250 to $2,500. Learn More.
    • Dan E. Davidson Fellowship: Established in honor of American Councils’ founder and President Emeritus and his four decades of leadership in the field of international education, the Dan E. Davidson Fellowship supports highly qualified and deserving individuals who would otherwise not have the opportunity to build the skills that allow them to operate, negotiate, and establish ties in countries critical to U.S. economic, political, and social interests through language study and area studies coursework. Carrying on Dr. Davidson’s legacy, fellowship recipients demonstrate a dedication to successful international collaboration and the development of greater mutual understanding between the U.S. and countries around the world. Fellowships of up to $2,000 will be awarded for summer study, up to $6,000 for semester study and up to $12,000 for American Councils academic-year programs. Learn More.

As you consider study abroad options, note that a number of study-abroad organizations focus on substantive, hands-on research opportunities (in STEM and more); most offer financial assistance to students admitted into their programs:

These and other fine study-abroad opportunities offer excellent, well-designed, academically rigorous programs - they are also pipelines to the Fulbright US Student program, to Peace Corps, to graduate study and to engagement in foreign service and international careers. You might explore, for example, the IES-Oxford, IES-University College London, and other IES programs, DIS - Study in ScandinaviaCIEE, CET and the London School of Economics' General Course, a year-long non-degree program, and ISDSI-Sustainable Development in Thailand. You will want to work closely with your advisors in Padnos International Center to complete the application process for GVSU students to engage in study abroad. Don't forget that your financial aid award will travel in some percentage with you! And also, again - all of these study-abroad organizations offer additional financial assistance to students admitted into their programs.

As you explore GVSU-administered study abroad opportunities, you might also explore these Fellowship opportunities (nationally competitive opportunities, at undergraduate and graduate levels, not administered by GVSU):  

Page last modified March 29, 2024