International Studies & Programs

Office for Education Abroad Scholarships

Office for Education Abroad Scholarships

You need to submit only one application in order to be considered for all the Office for Education Abroad scholarships for which you are eligible. Some scholarships are based exclusively on academic performance; others are based on a combination of academic performance and financial need. Some scholarships have additional requirements.

All awards are very competitive! Approximately 30% of students who apply for the Office for Education Abroad scholarships will receive an award.

ELIGIBILITY

UNDERGRADUATES: These scholarships are open to all MSU undergraduate students participating in a credit-bearing education abroad program for which they have completed the appropriate MSU Education Abroad Application.

GRADUATE STUDENTS: MSU graduate students applying to join a credit-bearing group program abroad are also eligible; however, graduate students pursuing individual or independent research abroad are not.

  • A special award is reserved for MSU medical students participating in a College of Human Medicine or College of Osteopathic Medicine study abroad experience.

DEADLINES

Spring Break (need-based awards only): January 15
Summer, Fall Semester or Academic-Year: March 1
Freshman Seminars Abroad (need-based awards only): June 8
Winter Break and Spring Semester: October 15

If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications must be submitted the working day after the deadline.

EA academic merit only scholarships

NOTE: Merit-based scholarships are not available for the Freshman Seminar or Spring Break scholarship rounds.

If you have an overall GPA of 3.5 or better, you may be eligible for the Charles and Marjorie Gliozzo Merit Scholarship or the Office for Education Abroad Academic Excellence Awards. Merit-only awards are among OSA's most competitive; most awardees have a GPA of 3.75 or above. However, a high GPA does not guarantee an award. The quality of the required essay is crucial. Your application for merit-only awards must include a 600-word essay describing how study abroad will help you reach your academic and personal goals. Your essay will be scored on both its content and the quality of writing. (Important: Do not exceed the 600-word limit.) No FAFSA is needed for these awards. 

Advice for merit-only applicants:
All scholarships are highly competitive, but competition for merit-only awards is particularly intense because they constitute only 25% of all scholarships available.

Though the minimum overall GPA to be eligible is 3.5, it is unusual for a student with a GPA under 3.7 to win a merit-only award. On the other hand, a high GPA does not guarantee an award.

The quality of your essay is crucial. Because many merit-only applicants have a GPA of 3.8 or higher, it is important to compose your essay very carefully.

  • Remember to focus your essay on how study abroad will help you meet your personal and academic goals. 
  • Do not exceed the essay length limit. Evaluators will stop reading your essay after 600 words. 
  • Shorter, more carefully crafted essays often receive the highest scores, so make every word count. Avoid unnecessary flourishes and remember to stay on topic. 
  • Have someone review your essay before you submit it.

EA financial need and academic merit scholarships

If you have an overall GPA of 2.5 or better and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file with the MSU Office of Financial Aid, you may be eligible for one or more of the following scholarships. No essay is required for these awards.

  • MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) Scholarships
    MSUFCU's generosity makes these one of the largest awards available from OSA.
  • Forest Akers Scholarship
    For students with high financial need, but not eligible for Pell grants.
  • MSU Alumni Association Scholarship
  • Eleanor and Charles Greenleaf, Sr. Scholarship

Office for Education Abroad Need and Merit Awards

  • Georges Jules Joyaux Memorial Fund Scholarships
    For undergraduates spending at least four (4) weeks in a French-speaking country. First-time participants in education abroad, juniors and seniors preferred.
  • Brigitte and Thomas Huff Scholarship
    For study in Germany. Permanent residents of Kalamazoo County preferred.
  • Kellogg Foundation Scholarship
    For majors in Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Eli Broad College of Business.
  • The Carol Welch Endowed Scholarship
    For Michigan residents and residents of Brooklyn preferred.
  • Medical Education Abroad Scholarship
    For College of Human Medicine or College of Osteopathic Medicine Students.
  • The Martha and Keith Peters Scholarship
    For students participating in the German Language and Culture in Mayen, Germany program.
  • Office for Education Abroad Freshman Seminar Abroad Scholarship
    For participants in the Freshman Seminars Abroad.
  • Delia Koo Endowed Scholarship for Education Abroad in Asia
    For students participating in a program to Asia.
  • Mehas Family Greek Heritage Endowed Scholarship for Education Abroad in Greece
    For students participating in a program to Greece.

EA scholarship award amounts

Spring Break programs: $250

Freshman Seminar programs:$250

Summer or winter break programs (2-12 weeks): $250-$1,000

Semester programs (13-20 weeks): $500-$1,500

Academic year programs (more than 20 weeks): $500-$1,750

NOTE: Awards and scholarship amounts may vary depending on funding availability.

Application process for EA scholarships

In order to apply for any MSU Education Abroad Scholarship you must first submit a program application. You will see a link for the scholarship application on your "My Education Abroad" checklist once you have submitted your online program application. In order to be considered for Education Abroad scholarships, follow the link, where you may submit an essay for merit scholarships if you have a 3.5 GPA or better, after which you will need to check the appropriate boxes in the Agreements section before hitting the submit button.

To be considered, submit your application before the deadline corresponding to your program. You must submit a separate scholarship application for each program to which you apply.

If you withdraw from a program, for any reason (voluntary or involuntary), any award you may have won will be revoked. If your award is revoked after funds have been disbursed to you, you will be billed for the award amount through your MSU student account.

Testimonial requirements

Scholarship recipients are required to provide a written testimonial and a few photos to show scholarship donors how much their support means and to inform future participants about the incredible opportunities abroad at MSU.

Stories and photos should be emailed to abroad(at)msu.edu within 30 days of your return from your program.

Guidelines for submission are as follows:

DETAILS

Include the following student info at top of the page:

  • Name
  • Status (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Major
  • Hometown
  • Name, location and year of your program

STORY

We’d like to hear about something you did that gives us a glimpse of your time abroad.

Be sure to include details: vivid, descriptive text (sights, sounds, smells, and tastes), humor, enthusiasm, surprise, etc.

  • How did your experience abroad enhance your academic pursuits and career goals?
  • How did your experience abroad affect you on a personal level?
  • How did your experience abroad help you in learn or improve your ability to communicate in a non-English speaking environment?
  • What did you learn from the host culture?
  • Can you “bust a myth” about education abroad?  Did you have prior ideas about what it would be like only to find out they weren’t true?
  • Does your story relate to other students?  Can they see themselves in your shoes?  Will it excite parents, friends, donors, alumni?  Will it speak to the academic aspect of your experience? 
  • Can you provide a different perspective?  Are you a student from an under-represented racial or ethnic group? A first generation college student? From a low income family? A student with a disability? A male?

Testimonials should be about one full page (300 to 500 words).

PHOTOS

You need to be in the photo(s).

A maximum of three (3) photos may be submitted.

Photos should be in a separate file (not embedded in document) in a JPG format.

NOTE: The MSU Education Abroad Health Insurance Policy does not cover illnesses, injuries and/or losses arising from participation in any professional sport, contest, or competition; sky-diving; hang-gliding; or bungee-jumping.  Therefore, we cannot accept entries that represent these activities.

Acknowledgements

The Office for Education Abroad thanks the following generous donors for making special awards possible so more students will be able to reap the many academic, personal, and professional benefits education abroad experiences provide:

The MSU Federal Credit Union
The National Board of the MSU Alumni Association
The Australia-Pacific Council
The Forest Akers Endowment
Charles and Marjorie Gliozzo
The Eleanor and Charles Greenleaf Sr. Endowment Fund
Thomas and Brigitte Huff Scholarship
Dr. Georges Joyaux Memorial Fund Scholarship
The Kellogg Foundation
Ms. Laura Mandziuk - The Land Down Under Scholarship
Ms. Carol Welch

The Office for Education Abroad administers the Office for Education Abroad Academic Excellence Awards, the Office for Education Abroad Need and Merit Awards, and the Overseas Study Endowment Fund.