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 abroad scholarships.
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 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

Scholarship Deadlines

  • 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

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?

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 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

KEES Money
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.

Honors College

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?

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 education 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.

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;
  • fundraising.

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?

We aim to send scholarship award notifications within three weeks after the application deadline. You will receive one email from the scholarship system with instructions for what to do next, then you login to the scholarship application  to view your awards and amounts and accept the scholarships. 

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. Make sure that your demographic and academic information is updated and correct in MyGate before starting your scholarship application. 

General Education Abroad Scholarships

Click the name of the scholarship below to see eligibility requirements.

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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.

Benson D. & Novalee Roberts Blackie Study Abroad Scholarship

Scholarships will be awarded in $1,000 increments for students on any education 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, Murray State 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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. Apply online with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.

Coffelt Study Abroad Scholarship

This award of $500 is presented to students in the Organizational Communication and Leadership department (majors, minors, or graduate students) who will participate in a university approved education 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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 online with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.

D. Scott & Kelli Burkeen Parsons Scholarship for International Study

Recipients 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 Murray State students participating in an approved program. Visiting students are not eligible. Financial need may be considered. Preference given to applicants on summer and winter programs. Apply online with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship Application.

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. It is desirable that the student participate in an international academic experience that relates to degree completion. Interested students must complete the Study Abroad Scholarship application within the university scholarship system through MyGate.

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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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.

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 who have demonstrated financial need. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required. Apply online with the Education Abroad 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 with the Education Abroad Scholarship 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

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
  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, 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.

Program-Specific Scholarships

CEA Global Education

CEA Global Education program applicants only. Apply through CEA.


ISA program applicants only. Apply through ISA after acceptance to program.

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.

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 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

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


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 Carole Inman in the Honors College for application help and verification.

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.

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 upperclassmen 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.

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 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 for more details. Grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis at a minimum of 700 Euros 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.

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

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. 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: