Are you interested in learning more about languages and cultures but are hesitant about the expense? There’s actually a program that specializes in helping build a larger pool of Americans with international skills and are adept in foreign languages: the Boren Awards for International Study.
There are two Boren Awards programs. The first is the Boren Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to American undergraduates who are seeking to study a foreign country’s culture and language, the country being integral to the future security of America. The Boren Scholarships seek to aid these students by providing resources necessary for the acquisition of skills and experience in the said country. In exchange, the students promise to work in the federal government afterwards.
All applicants wishing to apply for the scholarship should be:
- A U.S. citizen during the time of application
- A high school graduate or at least have a GED
- Enrolled in an undergraduate degree program within the U.S. The said program should be accredited by an accrediting body acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education. Undergraduates who are awarded the scholarships should remain enrolled in their undergraduate degree programs while the scholarship is ongoing and are not allowed to graduate until the completion of the scholarship.
- Applying for a study abroad program that satisfies home institution standards and is located in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
In addition to these requirements, Boren Scholarships believe in long term cultural and linguistic immersion thus applicants who are proposing to study abroad for 2 or more semesters are highly encouraged. Applicants who are proposing to study for a full year will be given preference. The Boren Scholarships program also prefers to award students who are vying for study abroad programs that focus on languages, countries, and fields of study critical to the national security of the U.S. Also, programs that are funded by Boren Awards should start no earlier than June 1st.
For applicants who are wishing to study in programs only offered in the summer, Boren Scholarships program requires these programs to be no shorter than 8 weeks and are only offered to students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM students).
If you’re interested in applying, the application period for 2012 has already ended. But the 2013-14 application period will be beginning shortly, sometime in late August 2012. The deadline of applications for the school year 2013-14 is February 13, 2013.
In order apply for a Boren Scholarship, you will first need to contact the Boren representative in your campus. He or she will inform you of the on-campus deadline as well as work with you throughout the application process. You will also need to complete the application form and submit it along with several supplementary documents to your Boren on-campus representative on or before your on-campus deadline. Those who do not have a Boren on-campus representative can submit their application as well as all the supplementary materials to the Institute of International Education on or before the application deadline.