Upcoming Events

Study Abroad Financial Aid & Scholarship Workshops: If you are planning to apply for scholarships for a study abroad program next year, plan to attend one of our Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshops to learn more about the application process, what scholarships you'll be eligible for, how much you can expect to be awarded, and how to make your application as competitive as possible. This year's workshops will be held:

  • August 27 & 28, 2014, 3:00-4:30 pm, Curris Center Ohio Room
  • September 23 & 24, 2014, 3:00-4:30 pm, Curris Center Stables
  • January 20 & 21, 2015, 3:00-4:30 pm, Curris Ohio Room

Study Abroad Scholarship Deadline: Remember that the program application and scholarship deadline are on the same day. See below in the FAQs for the scholarship question, but be sure to complete your program application plenty in advance to save time to complete a quality scholarship application. This year's deadlines are:

  • Winter Programs: September 12
  • Spring & Spring Break Programs: October 17
  • Summer & Fall Programs: January 30

Scholarships: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for study abroad scholarships?;

The application for MSU study abroad scholarships is available on your Horizons account once you have completed the application for your program.  You cannot apply for scholarships until you have completed an application for a program.  Click on the "Search Scholarships" tab on Horizons and choose the scholarship application "*Study Abroad Scholarships." 

You only have one application to complete.  On the application, you will be asked to identify which scholarships you qualify for and to complete a series of questions regarding your academics, the costs associated with your program and your personal finances.  You will also upload a copy of your unofficial transcript and write an essay.  No additional recommendations are required.

Remember that these scholarships are not the only source of funding available.  There are also national scholarships you can apply for that we have listed at the bottom of this page.  In addition to scholarships, you should also be saving money of your own.

Who is eligible for study abroad scholarships?

Everyone who has completed a program application and will be receiving academic credit on their program is eligible to apply for scholarships.  Some of the scholarships have specific GPA or financial need requirements, but not all.  See the list below for specific eligibility requirements.  Students should only check "yes" to apply for the scholarships they know they are qualified for.

I do not qualify for MSU scholarships. Should I even bother applying for study abroad scholarships?

Yes! The application process and requirements are completely separate from the general University Scholarship process. Many of our scholarships have no GPA requirements and take other factors, particularly financial need, into consideration as much as your academic performance.

I do not qualify for Federal Financial Aid. Can I still receive study abroad scholarships?

Financial need is a major requirement for most study abroad scholarships, but not all. 

The scholarship application contains a question where you can explain financial matters that may not be reflected in your FAFSA, such as loss of employment, multiple siblings in college, etc.  Please use this question to appeal to the committee and give them additional information that might help their decision-making.

Students who are not eligible for Financial Aid or who are eligible for loans but have not accepted them are less likely to receive financial need-based scholarships than students who are already using Financial Aid for their normal school expenses. 

As part of the regular application to study abroad, every student completes a study abroad budget.  Sections of this budget must be completed by the Financial Aid Office and Scholarships Office on campus.  The scholarship review committee reviews this budget to determine financial need.

Do I need to talk to the Financial Aid or Scholarship Offices?

If you are planning to utilize any existing MSU scholarships or financial aid to cover some or all of your program fees, you must contact the respective offices on campus.  As part of the regular application to study abroad, every student completes a study abroad budget.  Sections of this budget must be completed by the Financial Aid Office and Scholarships Office on campus.  The scholarship review committee reviews this budget to determine financial need.

We recommend speaking with representatives from these offices as early as possible, and an in-person meeting is preferable to email communication.

Which of my MSU scholarships can I use to study abroad?

Your MSU merit scholarships could apply toward the cost of your semester study abroad program. You should inquire with the University Scholarship Office for details. Your MSU merit scholarships will not cover the cost of a summer study abroad program. Here is a list of semester programs on which MSU merit scholarships can most often be applied.

  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile
  • Qingdao Agricultural University, China
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Tampere University of Technology, Finland
  • Saint-Etienne School of Management, France
  • Universitat Regensburg, Germany
  • Szent Istvan Egyetem, Hungary
  • Kansai Gaidai University, Japan
  • Tenri University, Japan
  • Daegu University, South Korea
  • Korea University, South Korea
  • Universitat Jaume I, Spain

 KEES Money
If you are receiving funding through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, you can use those funds toward a semester or year study abroad program.

 Private Scholarships or Grants
If you receive scholarships from a non-MSU source, such as a private company scholarship, the applicability of those funds to your study abroad is based on the regulations of the provider. Please inquire with the scholarship provider to determine how your funds may be used in relation to study abroad.

 Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program may use 1/2 of one semester's scholarships on any semester-long program.

What are MSU Scholarship Service Hours?

Students are no longer required to complete Scholarship Services Hours as repayment for any scholarships.  We would still love for you to volunteer to help us spread the word about study abroad when you return from your program, but there is no longer a requirement to do so.

What kinds of Financial Aid can be used to help fund study abroad?

Are you eligible for Federal Financial Aid? If you don't know the answer to this question, you should check with the Office of Financial Aid at Murray State to find out. If you are eligible, you can apply those funds to the cost of your study abroad program. The Office of Financial Aid is located on the 5th floor of Sparks Hall or call (270) 809.2546 or email to make an appointment.

When are the study abroad scholarship deadlines?

Study Abroad Scholarship Deadlines 2014-2015

  • Winter 2014-15: September 12, 2014
  • Spring 2015, Spring Break 2015: October 17, 2014
  • Summer 2015, Fall 2015, Full Year 2015-2016: January 30, 2015

This is also the deadline to apply to the program itself, and the last day to withdraw from the program without facing financial penalty.

How much aid can I expect to receive from study abroad scholarships?

Scholarships are awarded in amounts ranging from $250 to $1000.  You can be awarded more than one scholarship.  The award amount will vary depending on your qualifications for specific scholarships, the length and expense of your program, your financial need, etc.  Make your application as competitive as possible by writing a clear, well thought-out essay that has been edited by you and at least one other person before submitting.  Students with demonstrated financial need tend to receive more money from scholarships. 

Please remember that while there are many study abroad scholarships available, they are very competitive and no one is guaranteed a scholarship. Scholarships should be considered a supplement to a preexisting strategy for financing your study abroad since you will not be awarded enough money to cover your full program fee. Start planning early for additional ways to fund your study abroad such as:

  • working a summer job;
  • asking local clubs, churches, businesses or charities to support you;
  • cutting back expenditures in your daily life in order to save money;
  • choosing a program that will accept the MSU scholarships you are already receiving;
  • taking out additional student loans or private loans;
  • fundraising.

What are the scholarship essay questions?

The essay is one of the most important parts of your scholarship application, so make sure to put time and thought into your essay before the deadline.

2014-2015 Scholarship Essay:

Choose only one of the questions below and write an essay no longer than 750 words.  Essays should be well written and well organized without errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation.  If your study abroad program is to more than one country, choose one location to focus on for your essay.

  1. Discuss a book, movie, TV show, song, or work of art about your study abroad location or by someone from your study abroad location that has influenced your program choice. How has the work encouraged further study in academic or personal interest areas? What views do you share/not share with the work? What questions would you like to ask the author/director/actors/musician/artist? As a result of the work, what will you explore while abroad that you might not have attempted before? Why would you recommend the work to future travelers to your country of study?
  2. If you could go back in time and live for one year in the country you'll be studying abroad in, what year would choose and why?  Explore what you would do, see, who you would like to meet, historical events you might like to experience or change, etc.
  3. What do you consider to be the most important societal problem that the country you'll be studying in is currently facing? Why? How would you change it, and how would it affect the world we know today?

Study Abroad Scholarships Essay Help: This presentation is designed to help you write the best possible scholarship essay for your Study Abroad scholarship application. Applicants are also encouraged to seek advice and editing assistance from the Racer Writing Center located in Waterfield Library.

Where can I get more information about scholarships?

Come to one of our Financial Aid and Scholarships Workshops.  We do at least two per semester.  Representatives from the Study Abroad Office give presentations about everything you need to know about the scholarship process, including inside information on what the committees are looking for in your application and essays - specific committee structure, direction on what committees will weigh, and guidance from the financial aid and scholarship office will be offered.  

All students applying for study abroad scholarships should plan to attend one of the financial aid and scholarship workshop.

Workshop dates, times and locations are at the top of this page.

Representatives from the Financial Aid and Scholarship Offices will be present at the workshops to discuss your finances and complete your study abroad budget with you.  You can meet with them at this time without an appointment.

When will I know how much I have received in scholarships?

You will be notified about your award within three weeks after the application deadline.  You will receive one email from the Study Abroad Office with your total award amount.  Please do not call to check about the status of your application before three weeks have passed.

What scholarships are there and how do I know which ones I qualify for?

Expand the items in the lists below to see eligibility requirements for each of the scholarships to determine which ones you qualify for.  Be sure to make a list of these so you know which ones to check "yes" on your scholarship application.  These are divided into General Study Abroad Scholarships, Program-Specific Scholarships, Graduate and Research Scholarships, and National Scholarships.  We also provide scholarship search engines for even more ways to find funding for your study abroad program.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business

Scholarships provided for students studying in the academic fields of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Benson D. & Novalee Roberts Blackie Study Abroad Scholarship

Scholarships will be awarded in $1,000 increments for students on any study abroad program, preference given to students who are not receiving full scholarship awards from other funds (including university scholarships) and whose financial need is not fully met by state or federal aid. Applicants must be full-time, degree-seeking, MSU students participating in an approved program. Non-degree or visiting students are not eligible. Open to all students, freshman through graduate. Previous recipients of the scholarship may reapply. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Bonnie & Cliff Higginson Study Abroad Scholarship

Education majors pursuing a teaching career at the elementary, middle or secondary level are eligible.  Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA. A complete application will include the online application, financial statement, essays, and an unofficial transcript. Please discuss in your essay how the study abroad program will impact your future as an educator. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Coffelt Study Abroad Scholarship

This award of $500 is presented to students in the Organizational Communication department (majors, minors, or graduate students) who will participate in a university approved study abroad program. Recipients may be full-time or part-time students, must be United States citizens, and must maintain an minimum GPA of 3.00. Recipients may not reapply. Financial need may be considered. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

College of Education and Human Services

Scholarships provided for students studying in the academic fields of the College of Education and Human Services. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

College of Humanities & Fine Arts

Scholarships are provided for students majoring in the academic fields of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Apply at the Dean's Office, 100 Faculty Hall. Awards are presented once annually for all programs: fall, winter, spring, spring break and summer. Annual deadline is in November.

D. Scott & Kelli Burkeen Parsons Scholarship for International Study

Receipients must be Kentucky residents. Preference will be given to residents of Calloway and Woodford counties. Applicants must be studying in an academic field in one of the following areas: Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, Hutson School of Agriculture, or the School of Nursing. Applicants must be full-time MSU students participating in anapproved  program. Visiting students are not eligible. Financial need may be considered. Preference given to applicants on summer and winter programs. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Dr. Hal & Jane Seaton Fund for Excellence in International Education

Recipients must be full-time students from Western Kentucky studying abroad in the coming year. Awards are competitive and amounts vary. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Drs. Laurie & Tomas Hult Study Abroad Scholarship

Awards are $500 each. Students will be selected on the basis of academic achievement and financial need. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA. Preference given to students not likely to receive full scholarship awards from other funds or through the university scholarship process and whose financial need is not met through state or federal aid. Must be participating in an approved program. Non-degree or visiting students are not eligible. Open to all students, freshman through graduate. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Hutson School of Agriculture

Scholarships provided by the Hutson School of Agriculture Student Development Fund for students studying in the academic fields of the Hutson School of Agriculture. Apply at the Dean's Office, 103 South Applied Science Building.

Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

The Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology supports students in study abroad experiences with travel scholarships of $150. Students must be majoring in a program of study within the college, and must be recommended by their department chairs. It is desirable that the student participate in an international academic experience that relates to degree completion. Interested students should contact their department chair or program faculty member, who will make recommendations to the Jones College of SET Office of the Dean.

LGBTQ Study Abroad Scholarship

Scholarships for students studying abroad who identify as LGBTQ. Number of awards vary per year and are awarded in minimum increments of $500. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Moore Menendez Scholarship

This scholarship is available to study abroad students who are juniors, seniors or graduate students with a major or minor in education, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, mathematics, English, Spanish, French, political science, government, agriculture, journalism, instrumental music, or art. Applicants must have a minimum gpa of 2.75, be a Kentucky or Illinois resident, and demonstrate financial need. Students whose first language is Spanish will also be considered. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

The Moore Menendez scholarship does not require an essay.  If you plan to apply for only this scholarship, you can write "not applicable" in the essay portion of the application.

Sam & Bonnie McNeely Study Abroad Scholarship

Preference will be given to majors in the fields of management, marketing, international business, and business administration participating in the IBS program. A minimum gpa of 2.75 is required. See the Department of Management, Marketing, and Business Administration or download the application here. Deadlines can be found on the scholarship application.

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Scholarships for students studying in the academic fields of the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Awards are given in $500 allotments. Preference to students with a minimum 3.0 gpa. Financial Statement of the application MUST be completed for eligibility. Recipients will be required to share their experience upon return in a suitable forum.  Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Student International Professional Development Award (SIPD)

This award is presented on a rolling basis for students who are invited to present a paper, perform, display artwork, or attend a conference in a foreign country. This award is NOT intended for traditional study abroad programs and those attending a study abroad program or internship for course credit are not eligible for the SIPD Award. Awards are generally provided in $500 increments and are supplied via a travel request or as a scholarship to the student account. This scholarship has a separate application on the Horizons system.  Apply online through Horizons

Education Abroad Office Scholarship

New scholarship procedure as of 2014-2015!

Students studying abroad on any study abroad program for any length of time are eligible for the Education Abroad Office Scholarship. 
No student is guaranteed a scholarship and the scholarships awarded will not be enough to cover the full cost of the program.

Education Abroad Office Scholarship requirements:

  • Applicants must be full-time, degree-seeking, MSU students participating in an approved program. Non-degree or visiting students are not eligible.
  • Students must complete an application to the program before applying for study abroad scholarships.
  • Students must submit a complete scholarship application in order to be considered for the scholarship.

Education Abroad Office Scholarship award criteria:

Scholarship applications will be evaluated by a committee of MSU faculty, staff and students.  The strongest applications will be awarded the largest amount of scholarship funding.  In order of importance, the committee will rank your application on:

  • Financial Need
  • Merit - this includes: study abroad scholarship essay, overall GPA, leadership and involvement on campus, scholarly activity
  • Other factors which include
  1. Preference for students who have not studied abroad before
  2. Students from one of the surrounding 18 counties in Western Kentucky
  3. Under-represented students in study abroad such as graduate students; non-traditional students; first general college students; students majoring in the sciences, technology, engineering and math; African-American and Hispanic students; students with disabilities; LGBT students

Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Study Abroad Scholarships: Program Scholarships

CEA Global Education

CEA Global Education program applicants only. Apply through CEA.

ISA (formerly GlobaLinks)

ISA program applicants only. Apply after acceptance to program. 

International Teaching Experience Study Abroad Scholarships

MSU offers two International Teaching Experience programs: one three-week program in Belize, one seven-week program in Brazil. Students who are accepted to one of these programs are automatically considered for the following scholarships: 

  • Adolescent, Career and Special Education Study Abroad Scholarship
    Applicants majoring in this department
  • Early Childhood and Elementary Education Study Abroad Scholarship
    Applicants majoring in this department

KIIS: Kentucky Institute for International Studies Study Abroad Scholarships

Milton and Inger Grimes Endowment for Excellence
Students studying on any KIIS program are eligible to apply for this fund. Award amounts vary. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

KIIS Scholarships

This scholarship is awarded to participants on KIIS programs only. One scholarship is available for each study abroad program offered by KIIS. Find the scholarship details, including application materials & deadlines, online at the KIIS Scholarships page.

Hunt & Jennye Sue Smock Scholarship Endowment for Spanish Language Immersion

Eligible students will be a currently-enrolled MSU student with sophomore or junior status at the time of study abroad in any academic major. Must have completed 12 hours of college-level Spanish language study, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Must be returning to MSU during the academic year following the study abroad program. Only KIIS program participants in Spanish language programs and taking at least one Spanish language course while abroad will be considered. Financial need will be a consideration (the Financial Statement of the scholarship application MUST be completed) and recipients of the scholarship may reapply in the future. Scholarships are awarded in minimum amounts of $1,000. Apply online through your Horizons study abroad application.

Sekisui Scholarship
Students on the 2014 KIIS Japan summer program will automatically receive a scholarship from Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd.  The company has donated $5000 in scholarship funding to be divided evenly between all MSU students on the KIIS Japan program.

Study Abroad Scholarships: Graduate and Research

American- Scandinavian Foundation

Fellowships up to $23,000 and grants up to $5,000 for research or study projects in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden for up to one year. Applicants must have completed undergraduate studies by the start of their project. Application materials can be found online at

Application Deadline for 2013-2014:  November 1, 2012

Decisions announced:  March 15, 2013


140 countries to choose from for various research or study projects up to one year. Full stipend and/or travel grants available. Must apply one year in advance. Application materials can be found online at (see the Associate Director for Education Abroad for application verification prior to applying).

Marshall Scholarship

A two year fully funded scholarship for students seeking a graduate degree at any institution in the United Kingdom. Forty scholarships awarded annually.

Rotary International

Undergraduate or graduates may be eligible to receive funding for study or research in any country with Rotary affiliation for up to one full academic year. Contact your hometown Rotary Club or to determine eligibility with your Rotary.  Starting in 2013, Rotary will be offering the Global Grant. Check it out here.

Study Abroad Scholarships: National Scholarships

Benjamin A Gilman International

Recipients may be awarded up to $5,000 for a semester or full year study abroad program. Applicants must be undergraduate students receiving a Pell grant. Application materials are available online at All applicants must see the Education Abroad Advisor for application verification prior to applying for the Gilman.

Bridging Scholarships

$2,500 for semester or $4,000 for academic year undergraduate study in Japan. Application materials can be found online at

DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service

Up to $5,000 for sophomores and upper classmen studying in Germany. Application materials available online at

NSEP: David L. Boren Scholarships & Fellowships

Scholarships up to $8,000 for summer, $10,000 for semester or $20,000 for academic year programs for undergraduates pursuing study in geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security and underrepresented in study abroad. Fellowships up to $30,000 to graduate students for a two-year project abroad that combines language and culture study with professional practice. Application materials available online at the National Security Education Program

Sara's Wish Foundation

Sara's Wish Foundation scholarships are awarded to extraordinary young women committed to making the world a better place by fully participating in it. Financial assistance is awarded annually to women who exhibit qualities of leadership, service, and adventure. See the website for more details and application procedures.

Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Study Abroad Scholarship

Students who participate in TRIO programs (McNair, Student Support Services) are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Deadline is in December for the following calendar year. Please see the SAEOPP website for details and an application.

Spain Cultural Ambassadors Program

This program begins in mid-September and ends in mid-June. Applicants must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, a native English speaker, and have an intermediate or advanced level of Spanish language. Juniors, seniors, or students who have completed a Bachelor or Masters degree are eligible. Please see the website or email for more details. Grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis at a minimum of 700Euros per month. The online application is open November through March annually.

Turkish Coalition of America

The TCA has available several scholarships for summer and semester study in the amounts of $1,000 and $2,000 for African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American undergraduate students to participate in study abroad programs in Turkey. Application materials can be found online.

Grand Trunk Study Abroad Scholarship Contest

Grand Trunk provides over $7500 in cash and products to students who have a unique and inspired passion for travel, who have the desire to experience new places with an open mind, who see the delicate interconnections between humankind and nature, and have a deep understanding of intercultural relations. The chosen students will be awarded the Grand Trunk Ambassador position and will be tasked with charting their study abroad experience through blog postings, videos, and photographs. Application and more details online.
  • Grand Prize: $2000 Scholarship and $1000 prize pack
  • Runner-Up: $1500 Scholarship and $1000 prize pack
  • Honorable Mention: $1000 Scholarship and $1000 prize pack

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Fifty $1,000 grants are awarded each year.  Murray State students are eligible since MSU has a Phi Kappa Phi chapter.  You do not have to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi to apply.  Deadline is April 1.

Fund for Education Abroad

FEA is committed to increasing the opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. 

FEA General Scholarship:

Funding Amount:
up to $10,000

Number of Scholarships Awarded: up to 15

Eligibility Requirements:
Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as undergraduates in US universities/colleges who plan to study abroad for at least four weeks between May 2013 and May 2014. Fund for Education Abroad awards are intended to support students planning to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs in the 2013-2014 academic year or summer 2013. The financial support for these scholarships is provided by generous donors, who are committed to increasing study abroad opportunities for dedicated American students.

Click here for more information.

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