These are websites and scholarships that I have grown to appreciate during my experiences with the international education field. I wish I had known about many of the opportunities after graduation (as well as those summer language programs!), but am excited to share them with you!
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
The STEP Program with the U.S. Department of State is a free and easy way for travelers to stay up-to-date with events in their destinations. I register every trip I take outside the U.S.A. with STEP – and have since 2009! If you want to know why I love it so much, read my post here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This website is full of great resources including vaccination information, destination facts, and current events that might affect travelers’ health. Visit the CDC website before any of your travels to prepare for your destination.
U.S. Passports and International Travel
If you need to apply for a passport or renew yours, the U.S. government keeps a pretty tight leash on the process. This website gives a rundown of the current requirements, processing times, recent news stories, and applications. Check your passport for validity prior to departure!
This website, managed by the Department of State, provides students with detailed information about living abroad as students, such as safety while traveling, emergencies, embassies, and voting information. This website also has resources for travelers in the LGBT community, travelers with disabilities, and more.
SCHOLARSHIPS, FELLOWSHIPS, FUNDING
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
If you a Pell-eligible student, you can apply for the Gilman Scholarship! This competitive scholarship provides up to $5,000 to a student who is pursuing an accredited study abroad program that is at least four weeks long.
The Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship
Depending on your destination, financial need, and program type, you can apply for one of the scholarships sponsored by the Fund for Education Abroad. This organization has a general fund, as well as dedicated scholarships for specific groups of candidates. Something to note: there is one application cycle per year.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program
Unlike the other scholarships on this list, The Critical Language Scholarship Program is a fully-funded intensive summer language and culture immersion program. Candidates must demonstrate how the program will enhance and relate to their future academic and professional pursuits.
National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship
Calling all high schoolers! The NSLI-Y Scholarship is your opportunity to participate in an immersive summer or academic year program to gain language skills. Similar to the Critical Language Scholarship, this scholarship offers full support for students to study a critical language abroad.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
If you are in high school and are interested in spending an academic year in Germany, this is the program for you. This Youth Exchange program assists students with a host family, admission to a German high school, and other support.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals
The older sister to the high school program, this scholarship program for young professionals provides students with an intensive language phase, a semester at a German university, and an internship program for an academic year.
German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship
If you are an undergraduate pursuing an academic program at a German university that is between four and 10 months in duration, you are eligible to apply for the DAAD Scholarship! Scholarships are also available to support internships, graduate and post-graduate study and research as well; award funds include a living and travel stipend.
The Boren Scholarship
Do you envision yourself working for the U.S. Government in the future? If so, the Boren Scholarship is for you. Designed to aid students in language learning, this scholarship is for semester programs, and requires the selected candidates to work at least one year in the Federal Government as part of the scholarship.
Rotary International Scholarships
If you are in high school and interested in participating in a youth exchange for anywhere between a few weeks and a year, or a graduate looking for funding for a peace studies program, check out Rotary International Scholarships. Each Rotary International club has different requirements, so check your local club for application requirements.
Freeman-ASIA supports students with demonstrated financial need to study in East or Southeast Asia. Awards are up to $3,000 for a summer program, $5,000 for a semester-long program, and $7,000 for an academic year.
… AND BEYOND
English Program in Korea (EPIK)
I admit, I am biased – one of my long-term international experiences was in Korea (not through EPIK, though). Korea is truly a wonderful country, and I would move back in a second. EPIK provides its teachers with housing, round-trip transportation to Korea, and an EPIK teaching placement for one year.
The Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is federally-sponsored program that has different grants available to new graduates. Funding for recipients can be used for conducting research, practical training, working as an English Teaching Assistant, and more. Applicants need to work with their home university’s Fulbright Program Adviser for the application.
The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET)
If you are looking for a professional job teaching in Japan for one year after graduation, the JET Program is worth considering. All of the JET teachers I know loved their experiences, and many ended up applying to extend their contracts. It is important to note that there is one date for arrival each year for English teachers.
Created in honor of the Marshall Plan, each year, 40 U.S. citizens are selected to pursue graduate level study in the U.K. This competitive scholarship does not place any limits on field of study; however, eligibility is limited to students who have already earned an undergraduate degree with an overall GPA above a 3.7.
The George J. Mitchell Scholarship
This scholarship selects up to 12 U.S. citizens annually to pursue one year of graduate study in Ireland or Northern Ireland. Created in honor of George J. Mitchell, this competitive scholarship includes study at an institution, a travel and monthly living stipend, and housing.
No list about international opportunities after college would be complete without a link to the Peace Corps. I know many RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers), and each described drastically different experiences with one thing in common – the biggest impact of the Peace Corps was on themselves. If you have two years to dedicate, why wait?
The Rhodes Scholarship
Each year, 32 U.S. applicants are selected as Rhodes Scholars to complete post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford in the U.K. This competitive scholarship fully supports students during their studies. There are no restrictions on field of study, but applicants must demonstrate a dedication to improving the lives of others.
Teaching Assistant: France
The Teaching Assistant Program in France (better known as TAPIF) hires college graduates to work for approximately 7 months as English teacher assistants. Teachers in TAPIF work 12 hours per week and can be placed in France proper, as well as French departments (think: Caribbean).
Teaching Assistant: Spain
English Teaching Assistants in Spain (better known as auxiliars) work between 12-16 hours per week supporting English teachers for approximately 8 months. I have heard mixed reviews of the program, but outside of the hilariously frustrating interactions with bureaucracy, the people I know who worked with the program loved their time in Spain.
WAGGGS World Centres Volunteers / Interns
Are you still an active Girl Scout and you have a hankering to move abroad? If so, WAGGGS has opportunities for young adults to intern in their World Centres! Volunteer opportunities can be as little as a month, and up to approximately seven months. I’ve visited two of the World Centres, and they are incredible!