Traveling and volunteering abroad can be costly. However, there are many scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities available that you can apply for to help alleviate some, if not all, of the costs. Check out the opportunities listed below and click on the yellow text to be directed to the scholarship’s specific website.
General Volunteer Abroad Scholarships and Grants
IVHQ VOLUNTEER ABROAD SCHOLARSHIPS
IVHQ offers four Volunteer Abroad Scholarships every year that includes a sponsored two-week IVHQ volunteer program, a $1,000 travel voucher from STA Travel, and a World Nomads travel insurance package. These scholarships include IVHQ’s Teach and Volunteer Abroad Scholarship, Medical Volunteer Abroad Scholarship, Travel Blogger Scholarship, and Volunteer of the Year Scholarship.
To Apply: volunteerhq.org/ivhq-scholarships
TRAVEL FOR GOOD VOLUNTOURISM GRANT
Since 2007, Travelocity has offered volunteer travelers $5,000 grants through their Travel for Good program. This voluntourism grant allows travelers to serve abroad with one of Travelocity’s trusted partners—currently the American Hiking Society, Cross-Cultural Solutions, the Earthwatch Institute, and GlobeAware—for a few days to a few months. The funds cover project and transportation costs, with grants offered to four winners each year.
To Apply: travelocity.com/travelforgood
GO OVERSEAS VOLUNTEER ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP
Go Overseas offers two $500 scholarships for volunteers to travel abroad in the spring and fall each year—travelers are invited to volunteer with any organization of their choosing, or even craft a custom trip with a local NGO that inspires them. The award is (most often) distributed directly to the volunteer organization itself, which ensures that the funds are used entirely for the project. Deadlines are fall and spring each year.
To Apply: gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad-scholarship-application
THE SAMUEL HUNTINGTON PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a stipend of $15,000 for a graduating college senior to volunteer for one year, either alone or with an established organization (charitable, religious, education, governmental, or other public service), anywhere in the world. The group guarantees one award each year but often have two or three winners. Applicants must submit a proposal by mid January that encompasses any activity that furthers the public good.
To Apply: nationalgridus.com/Our-Company/Community-Presence/The-Samuel-Huntington-Public-Service-Award
SARAH’S WISH SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Sara’s Wish Foundation scholarships are awarded to young American women who exhibit qualities of leadership, service, and adventure. Formed to honor the memory of college student Sara Christie Schewe, who was killed in a bus crash in India during a semester abroad, the scholarship defrays the costs associated with traveling to all areas of the globe. Recipients perform public services, contributing to the welfare of the world. Applications are available online October 1 through March 1, and typical awards are $1,500—$2,000.
To Apply: saraswish.org/scholarships
The Rotary Foundation offers multiple grants and fundraising support for a variety of projects, scholarships, and training for Rotarians around the world. Rotary clubs and districts offer their own scholarships as well, funded with district grants. Applicants may request assistance for any form of global study. Packaged grant scholarships also are available from Rotary and its partners for scholars in the fields of nursing and water and sanitation.
To Apply: rotary.org/en/our-programs/scholarships
RUSTIC PATHWAYS SCHOLARSHIPS
Rustic Pathways offers more than 100 scholarships for student travelers and educators each year. Their Service Scholarship is a competitive scholarship available to first-time Rustic travelers in need of financial aid to cover all or part of their program fee. If you’re traveling on a gap year, check out Rustic Pathways’ Gap Year Scholarship, which is open to students who are at least 17 years old and have either fulfilled all graduation requirements, or have graduated by the time their gap year begins. This scholarship is applicable to one semester of travel.If you’re the parent of a student traveler, and you’re a full-time employee (teacher, administrator, coach, or other staff) of an educational institution, check out Rustic Pathways’ Teacher Appreciation Program, which offers discounts of up to 30% on almost all of this organization’s student summer programs.
To Apply: https://rusticpathways.com/how-it-works/financial-aid/
SCHOLARTRIPS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS
ScholarTrips awards scholarships to put towards students’ study abroad or volunteer programs. Amounts typically range from $500-$2,000 and those 14 years old or older are eligible as long as you are currently enrolled at an accredited high school, trade school, university or college and are a U.S. resident.
To Apply: http://www.scholartrips.org/
HI USA EXPLORE THE WORLD SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Recipients receive funds to help finance their international trip that includes an educational or service component. The amount is typically $2,000. To be eligible you must be between 18 – 30 years of age at the time of application, a US citizen or permanent resident, demonstrate financial need, and reside or attend school in one of the select metropolitan areas where HI USA has a community presence – which include NY, Texas, Louisiana, Washington DC, & more. You also must have a strong desire and motivation to experience other people and cultures through international travel and plan to take a trip to a destination outside of the 50 United States that incorporates education, volunteerism or service learning.
To Apply: www.hiusa.org/programs/travel-scholarships/explore-the-world-program
THE GVI TRUST INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The International Scholarship Program helps young people access international education experiences with the aim of creating more aware, informed and empowered global citizens. The program identifies motivated, deserving and committed students and offers them assistance to access an international education opportunity. Scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate their passion and commitment to sustainable development, both in their studies and career plans. Students who are excluded from accessing international education opportunities due to financial hardships are given priority. The aim is to equip young people with field based, international education experiences. Applicants are free to choose any project, from any organization. The scholarship amount is typically up to $2,000. Students must be between 15-24 years of age and work with local partners on sustainable projects. Partners must then be able to provide certification to attest to skills gained, provide pre and post program support, and have a track record of working in global development.
To Apply: gvi.org/get-involved/become-a-scholar
The Christianson Grant is awarded to motivated young Americans who arrange their own meaningful service projects abroad. The amount can range from $2,500 to $10,000. In order to be eligible you must be a U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident, between the ages of 18 and 28, participating in a work, internship, or volunteer abroad program, committed to a program duration abroad of at least six months and willing to submit blog posts during your project and a written report upon completion. The deadlines are typically in mid March, July and October each year.
To Apply: interexchange.org/foundation/christianson-grant