Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here.
Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here.
Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security, broadly defined. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
To view the Program Basics for the Boren Scholarship, click here.
In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.
Length of Study
Boren Scholarships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion, and therefore study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to undergraduate applicants proposing a full-year academic study. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1.Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. To learn more about this special STEM initiative, click here.
The program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. It draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. All applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to this broad understanding of national security.
Boren Scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government.
As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications that fall outside the preferences, if the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.
For more information about what makes a competitive application, click here.
- Boren Scholarship Application (Complete with Study Abroad Program Section, budget, and two statements of purpose)
- Letters of Reference
- Official Transcripts
- Language Self-Assessment Form
Maximum scholarship awards are:
- $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; 8 weeks minimum)
- $10,000 for a semester
- $20,000 for a full academic year
Fellowship Contact Information
Institute of International Education
1400 K Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005