Funding your program
With personal funding, your on-campus financial aid package and education abroad scholarships, studying abroad can be affordable! Begin the process by attending one of the workshops listed below to learn which education abroad scholarships you are eligible for and how to make your scholarship application competitive, as well as how your loans and grants can apply to education abroad costs. Take time to look over the full list of available scholarships and see the FAQs to find the answers to your most important questions, including this year's scholarship essay question.Click the arrow for more information
How to Apply for Education Abroad Scholarships
Scholarships are open to all full-time students on any approved education abroad program. Apply through your myGate under the "Financial Aid" tab. Click "Apply Now" in the scholarship section at the top center of the page. Detailed instructions for finding and completing the application can be found here. There are loads of scholarship funds, but all you have to do is answer a few questions in the scholarship application and the form will automatically let us know which funds you are eligible for.
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. Because scholarships will not cover your entire program fee, you should
also have a plan for how you will pay for the rest of the program fee. Education abroad
scholarships can supplement your existing strategies for funding your education abroad,
but you should not count on receiving the full cost for your program through education
Remember: You must complete a program application before you are eligible to complete a scholarship application. Your application to your program does NOT have to be approved before submitting your scholarship application. The scholarship deadline and application deadline are on the same day.
Have existing MSU Scholarships, Grants, or Loans? Contact the Scholarship Office at email@example.com for more information on using your existing aid for education abroad.
Scholarship Workshops: Find Out How to Strengthen Your Application
|Education Abroad Scholarship Workshops:
Learn about the scholarship application process, discuss the essay question, and find out how to make your application as competitive as possible.
|All workshops will take place from 4:00-4:30 pm in Blackburn 135 or click here and join via zoom!|
|September 3 & 4, 2020|
|October 14, 2020|
|November 12 & 13, 2020|
|January 21 & 22, 2021|
- Winter Programs & Spring Semesters 2021: September 20, 2020
- Spring Break 2021: November 1, 2020
- Summer 2021 & Fall 2021 priority application deadline: December 1, 2020
- Scholarship applications are due February 1, 2021
- Summer, fall semester, full year final deadline: March 1, 2021
Remember that the final program application and scholarship deadline are on the same day. Be sure to complete your program application and leave yourself time to complete a quality scholarship application.
Using your Existing MSU Scholarships, Grants, or Loans
Federal financial aid can apply to the cost of education abroad programs. Grants and loans that you currently receive may be used for some programs abroad. Contact the Murray State Financial Aid Office to determine eligibility or to complete your FAFSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current scholarship awards such as the Presidential, Regents, KEES money, and many other sources may be used for education abroad, depending on the program you choose. Meet with our friends in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Offices for all the details on how your aid can apply.
As part of the application, every student has the option to complete a budget sheet that helps you understand the costs associated with your program and helps you start to plan for how you will pay for it. The Financial Aid Office and Scholarship Office complete a section of your budget sheet to let you know if you have existing Murray State aid that you can use. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with them in person to discuss your options.
Other ways to fund your experience
- Yourself! Every term students are able fund some or all of their experience through hard work and dedication to the idea of studying abroad. Part time jobs, yard sales, bake sales, babysitting, cutting down on unnecessary spending, and asking for the financial support of family, friends, religious and civic organizations can help answer the question “how can I afford this?”
- Crowdsourcing. Sites like FundMyTravel help you reach a wider audience through social media and accept donations online from friends and family.
- Tuition waivers and other benefits. If you receive KEES money, veteran’s benefits, university tuition waivers or other sources of funding to pay for your Murray State education, you may be able to apply those benefits to studying abroad. See the Scholarship Office or Veteran's Affairs for help.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for education abroad scholarships?
All degree-seeking students who have completed a study abroad application and will be receiving academic credit on their programs are 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. You don't have to know which ones you qualify for. The scholarship system will automatically send your application to the appropriate committees for review.
I do not qualify for Murray State scholarships. Should I even bother applying for education abroad scholarships?
I do not qualify for Federal Financial Aid. Can I still receive education abroad scholarships?
Financial need is a major requirement for most education 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 of a parent or multiple siblings in college. 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.
Do I need to talk to the Financial Aid or Scholarship Offices?
If you are planning to utilize any existing Murray State scholarships or financial aid to cover some or all of your program fees, contact those offices for more information. As part of the regular application to study abroad, students can review a cost breakdown (we call it a budget sheet) for their program. If requested, a representative from the Financial Aid Office and Scholarships Office can help you go over which funds from your existing aid package you might be able to use to help afford the study abroad expenses.
If you do hope to use your existing aid package to help pay for study abroad, 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 Murray State scholarships can I use to study abroad?
Your Murray State merit scholarships could apply toward the cost of a semester exchange education abroad program. You should inquire with the University Scholarship Office for details. Your Murray State merit scholarships do not cover summer expenses. Here is a list of semester programs on which Murray State merit scholarships can most often be applied.
- Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
- Qingdao Agricultural University, China
- Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
- Tampere University of Technology, Finland
- Saint-Étienne EMLYON School of Management, France
- Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, Germany
- University of Regensburg, Germany
- Szent István University, Hungary
- Doshisha University, Japan
- Reitaku University, Japan
- Tenri University, Japan
- Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan
- University of Toyama, Japan
- Chonnam National University, South Korea
- Daegu University, South Korea
- Korea University, South Korea
- Universidad de Alicante, Spain
- Universitat Jaume I, Spain
If you are receiving funding through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, you can use those funds toward a semester or year-long education abroad program.
Private Scholarships or Grants
If you receive scholarships from a non-Murray State source, such as a private company scholarship, the applicability of those funds to your education 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 education abroad.
Contact the Scholarship Office if you receive academic-based Murray State scholarships to figure out how they can be used to study abroad.
What kinds of Financial Aid can be used to help fund education abroad?
How much aid can I expect to receive from education abroad scholarships?
Scholarships are typically awarded in amounts ranging from $150 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, and your financial need. 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. The average award in 2018-2019 was $940 and 98% of students who applied were awarded at least one scholarship.
Please remember that while there are many education abroad scholarships available, they are very competitive and no one is guaranteed a scholarship. Scholarships should be considered a supplement to a pre-existing strategy for financing your education abroad since you will not be awarded enough money to cover your full program fee. Start planning early for additional ways to fund your education 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 Murray State scholarships you are already receiving;
- taking out additional student loans or private loans;
What is the scholarship essay question?
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.
Scholarship Essay: What political, historical, or current events do you find interesting
in the country/countries you're planning to study? How are they similar or different
to what you have experienced?
Essays should be well written and well organized without errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Please do not bullet point. We are looking for a coherent essay (in paragraphs). 500 words or less.
Applicants are also encouraged to seek advice and editing assistance from the Racer Writing Center located in Waterfield Library.
When will I know how much I have received in scholarships?
What scholarships are there and how do I know which ones I qualify for?
General Education Abroad ScholarshipsClick the name of the scholarship below to see eligibility requirements.
Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
Benson D. & Novalee Roberts Blackie Study Abroad Scholarship
Bonnie & Cliff Higginson Study Abroad Scholarship
Coffelt Study Abroad Scholarship
College of Education and Human Services
College of Humanities & Fine Arts
D. Scott & Kelli Burkeen Parsons Scholarship for International Study
Dr. Hal & Jane Seaton Fund for Excellence in International Education
Drs. Laurie & Tomas Hult Study Abroad Scholarship
Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology
LGBTQ Study Abroad Scholarship
Moore Menendez Scholarship
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
School of Nursing and Health Professions
Student International Professional Development Award (SIPD)
Education Abroad Office Scholarship
Students studying abroad on a Murray State-run or exchange study abroad program for any length of time are eligible for the Education Abroad Office Scholarship.
Education Abroad Office Scholarship requirements:
- Applicants must be full-time, degree-seeking, Murray State 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.
- Students must be participating on a program for which the program fee is billed at Murray State.
Education Abroad Office Scholarship award criteria:
Scholarship applications will be evaluated by a committee of Murray State 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
- Preference for students who have not studied abroad before
- Students from one of the surrounding 18 counties in Western Kentucky
- Under-represented students in study abroad, which currently includes the following: 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.
CEA Global Education
International Teaching Experience Study Abroad Scholarships
Murray State offers an International Teaching Experience program for student teachers in Belize. Students who are accepted to this program are automatically considered for the following scholarships depending on their major:
- 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
Meg and Barry Brown Scholarship
The Meg and Barry Brown Scholarship will be awarded to one student on a KIIS summer program in the amount of $4,000. Eligible students must be Pell Grant eligible, be taking 6 credit hours on a summer KIIS program and apply for the scholarship and the program by the early application deadline of December 1. Applications can be found on the KIIS website.
Milton and Inger Grimes Endowment for Excellence
Students studying on any KIIS program are eligible to apply for this fund. Award amounts vary.
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 Murray State 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 Murray State 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.
Graduate Student and Research Awards
American- Scandinavian Foundation
Benjamin A Gilman International
DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service
NSEP: David L. Boren Scholarships & Fellowships
Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Study Abroad Scholarship
Spain Cultural Ambassadors Program
Turkish Coalition of America
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 Murray State 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
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. Fund for Education Abroad awards are intended to support students planning to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs. 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.
Look for Additional Scholarship Opportunities
Don't give up on study abroad due to the lack of funds. Check out these search engines to see what else is waiting for you:
- Study Abroad Funding
- IEFA: International Education Financial Aid
- British Council– for scholarships in England, Scotland and Wales
- Diversity Abroad has a database of scholarships available for minority students, but also several listings of scholarships they offer themselves, including a Blog Abroad scholarship.