Boren Scholarship



Are you interested in long term immersive language study abroad? Have you thought about how your career plans intersect with US national security (in a very broad sense)? The Boren Scholarship is a federal program that funds undergraduates pursuing eligible study abroad programs in a long list of countries around the world. Boren focuses on language, culture, and service, so if these are dimensions of international engagement that appeal to you, it might be worth considering! Boren has a long list of preferred fields of study, but all majors are eligible to apply as long as they can explain why their career plans match with this opportunity.


There are several versions of the award as far as the duration, timing, and amount of funding. The Boren Scholarships Maximum Award Amounts are:

  • 8-11 weeks: $8,000 for a summer program (STEM majors only) <—note that summer study can be tricky to find funding/financial aid for; Boren is an option for STEM majors hoping to study abroad in summer
  • 12-24 weeks: $12,500
  • 25-52 weeks: $25,000

ALL Boren Awards have a one-year federal service requirement. This means that after they graduate from college, Boren recipients will spend 12 months or more working for the government related. A wide range of roles qualify: everything from Peace Corps to military service to working for federal agencies (explore Boren alumni stories here and see a list of career opportunities here). Resources are made available to help Boren fellows to find eligible work and there is special hiring authority for Boren alumni at several federal agencies, so this can be an advantage of the program for those interested in federal careers. It’s definitely something all students will want to consider closely when considering this opportunity. Read more about the Boren service requirement here.


All applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens at the time of the national application deadline
  • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
  • At least 18 years of age or older at the time of the national application deadline
  • Planning an overseas program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
  • Planning to study in a country of which they are not a citizen
  • Matriculated for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program in an undergraduate or graduate degree program located within the United States and accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • (For ROTC cadets and midshipmen and members of the military Reserves or National Guard) In inactive, non-drilling status for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program

How to apply

  1. Review the eligible languages and preferred countries information on the Boren webpage
  2. When you know what language and/or country you’re targeting, book an appointment with the Office of Study Abroad (on Zoom or in person) to talk about what specific study abroad program you might plan for
  3. After you meet with the Office of Study Abroad, learn more about the Boren application:
  4. Book an appointment with the Office of Fellowships to get support in seeking letters of recommendation and drafting your application essays
  5. Submit your Boren application by the deadline!
    • For those starting their study abroad between June of the current year and March of the following year, the deadline is in early February each year, so start the steps above right away!
    • For those studying abroad between March 2024 and June 2025, the deadline will be in early 2024 (and so on! Boren takes application every year and it’s never too early to get started)