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Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA)

Award Listings

Awards for Study Abroad, Language Training or Teaching Abroad

Please note: Most nationally competitive study abroad awards require undergraduate applicants to have completed one year of college and to be accepted to study abroad programs approved by their home institutions. Check out the Steps to Study Abroad to learn how Winthrop's Study Abroad Office can help you start planning your study abroad experience. Contact ONCA if you have questions about any of the awards listed below or would like to schedule an appointment with the ONCA director, who advises WU students interested in applying for national awards. 

Awards for Undergraduate Study Abroad and Language Training

  • Gilman Scholarship for Pell-Grant eligible undergraduates to study abroad for at least four weeks
  • Fund for Education Abroad for students underrepresented in study abroad to participate in programs lasting at least four weeks



Awards for Graduate Study or Teaching Abroad

  • Critical Language Scholarship for graduate students to receive intensive training in languages important to national security and economic competitiveness


Ashley Soulé Conroy Scholarships for Study Abroad

Description: Ashley’s Foundation first began in 2006, as a way of honoring the life of Ashley Soulé Conroy and as a way for Ashley’s family and friends to heal in the wake of her passing. With a love of travel being one of Ashley’s core traits, they envisioned a small foundation, something that could perhaps someday offer scholarships in Ashley’s name to a few deserving university students planning to study abroad. They envisioned a way of helping these students realize their dream of studying in the far flung corners of the globe that Ashley so dreamed of visiting herself someday. What her family didn’t envision was that this foundation with such humble roots would evolve into what it is today — an organization with thousands of donors and dozens of scholarship recipients from all over the U.S. To date, the foundation has awarded 32 Ashley Soulé Conroy Scholarships for Study Abroad to students who have studied in such places as Japan, China, Prague, Greece, Italy, Spain, India, Australia, Africa, Ireland, Costa Rica, London, Russia, France, Peru, Scotland, New Zealand, Denmark, and Germany among others. Ashley’s Foundation remains family-run but has supporters from around the world, who know and believe in the ability for travel to change a life and for that life to make a positive dent in the world.

Eligibility: Full-time undergraduates who have completed at least 30 credit hours before study abroad term begins and a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply. Must study in one country for at least fourteen weeks. Fall and Spring semester programs only (not summer only).
ONCA Deadlines: May 1 (for Fall semester); October 1 (for Spring semester)


Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Description: Over 1,200 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year for U.S. citizen undergraduates to study abroad. Award amounts will vary depending on the length of study and student need with the average award being $4,000. Students who apply for and receive the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad are now eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement from the Gilman Program for a total possible award of up to $8,000. Critical languages include: Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and others.

Eligibility: Applicants must be Pell-Grant eligible. Must study in one country for at least four weeks. Fall, Winter, Spring, and full Academic Year programs.
ONCA Deadlines: March 1 (for study beginning in Fall); October 1 (for study beginning Winter/Spring)


Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan

Description: The Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan. Funding from private foundations and major U.S. corporations has made it possible for ATJ to award 100 scholarships annually to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan for a semester or an academic year. Bridging Scholarship recipients receive a stipend of $2,500 (for students on semester-long programs) or $4,000 (for students on academic year programs). Each scholarship recipient will be expected to send a brief report about his or her study in Japan to the ATJ office within 60 days of returning from abroad.

Eligibility: Undergraduate students majoring in any field of study are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Japanese language study is not a prerequisite. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must be enrolled as undergraduates in a college or university in the United States before and during the time they are studying abroad. Students studying in Japan on summer programs are not eligible to apply.
ONCA Deadlines: Applications for Bridging Scholarships are accepted twice a year. For study beginning Fall, the deadline for application is April 1. For study beginning in Spring, the deadline is October 1.


Critical Language Scholarship

Description: The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Eligibility: Undergraduates who are U.S. citizens at the time of application and have completed at least one academic year of study (two semesters or three quarters) by the beginning of the CLS Program. Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate (associate's, bachelor's) or graduate (master's, doctoral, professional degree) level at the time of application.
ONCA Deadlines:
 Applications for CLS are accepted each Fall. Contact ONCA no later than September 1 to start the application process.


FIE Dublin Scholarship

Description: Sharif Rahman Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships, worth $1,000, are open to all students enrolled in FIE programs. (See the International Center for more information - this is a study- abroad program.) Application is by competition. Students can choose from three application routes: an "Importance of Study Abroad" route, an environmental initiative route and a charity initiative route. These various pathways provide students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful cultural immersion and social responsibility projects and activities.

Eligibility: Must be enrolled in the FIE Dublin study abroad program, which includes Fall, Spring, Summer, and Internship programs. (NOTE: we are told that FIE rarely exhausts its scholarship fund!)
Information: Contact the WU Study Abroad Office for more information about FIE. For FIE scholarship opportunities, visit
ONCA Deadlines:
Fall Semester or Quarter participants: June 1 prior to fall arrival. Spring Semester or Quarter participants: October 15 prior to spring arrival.


Freeman Asia Scholarships

Description: The Freeman-ASIA program is designed to support U.S.-based undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The program’s goal is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Awards from $3,000 - $7,000 available.

Eligibility: Open to undergraduates who have demonstrated financial need and are accepted to a WU-approved study abroad program in Asia. Must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 and have at least one semester remaining at WU after return from study abroad in Asia.
ONCA Deadline: Applications for Summer 2019, Fall 2019, AY 2019-20 and Spring 2020 will be available in January 2019. Contact the Study Abroad Office and ONCA before applying.


Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Description: One of the most widely recognized academic honors, the Fulbright awards provide support for graduate students and young professionals to study abroad. Awards include full grants for up to one year of academic year of study or research, language training, travel grants and teaching assistantships in English. The Fulbright Program: (1) Is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.; 2) Is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide; (3) Was established in 1946 by the U.S. Congress to "enable the government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries."

Eligibility: U.S. citizen; senior, recent graduate, or graduate student. NOTE: Students may begin the application process as juniors or seniors and are strongly encouraged to begin well in advance of the deadline.
Application: Includes two-page proposal, autobiographical statement, three letters of recommendation, language proficiency evaluation, and interview.
ONCA Deadline: October 1



Fulbright Killam US-Canada Exchange Program

Description: The Killam Fellowships Program allows undergraduate students from Canada and the United States to participate in a program of binational residential exchange. Killam Fellows spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in the host country. Students can apply either to the direct exchange program, which is limited to the participating university partners listed on this site, or to the open competition, allowing for participation from (and to) any accredited degree granting college or university in either country. This program, administered by Fulbright Canada, is supported by the American Killam Trusts and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. It is an integral part of the Foundation's multidimensional strategy to foster mutual understanding between Canada and the United States of America.

Eligibility: All American applicants for the Killam Fellowships Program must be U.S. citizens; full-time undergraduate students in good standing at a fully accredited degree granting college or university in the United States; have met the eligibility requirements of their home university(as they relate to the participation in international exchange programs); be fluent in the English language (and/or French, where appropriate);have a superior and competitive academic record; complete the application process prior to the published deadlines, in the case of the direct exchange applicants; and, be nominated by one's home university.
ONCA Deadline:
January 15


Fulbright US-UK Commission for Summer Study in the UK

Description: The US-UK Fulbright Commission offers special Summer Institutes for US citizens to come to the UK. These summer programmes provide the opportunity for US undergraduates (aged over 18), with at least two years of undergraduate study left to complete, to come to the UK on a three, four, five or six week academic and cultural summer programme. Participants in these programmes will get the opportunity to experience an exciting academic programme at a highly regarded UK University, explore the culture, heritage and history of the UK and develop their academic ability by improving presentation, research and communication skills. The Summer Institutes will cover the majority of participant costs. This includes round-trip airfare from the US to the UK, tuition and fees at the host university/institution, accommodation and meals and in some cases a small daily allowance.

Eligibility: Must be a US citizen, over age 18, with at least two years of undergraduate study left to complete.
ONCA Deadline:
February 1


Fulbright-mtvU Award

Description: Up to four awards will be available to pursue projects around an aspect of international contemporary or popular music as a cultural force for expression. Preference will be given to creative projects that are conveyed in a dynamic fashion and are accompanied by a feasible plan. In addition to presenting unique projects on music as a global force for mutual understanding, applicants must submit a Documentation and Outreach Plan describing how they intend to share their activities with their peers during their Fulbright year abroad through mtvU print, broadcast and/or online mediums. The Documentation and Outreach Plan form must be submitted as part of the Fulbright application. Applicants are encouraged to consider all aspects of the power of music in developing their proposals. Along with the study of music in a specific cultural context, proposals will be considered in other music-related fields including music and social activism; music in learning; music and the community and musical performance.

Eligibility: U.S. citizen; senior, recent graduate, or graduate student. Preference will be given to graduating seniors who meet all host country requirements, including those related to language, affiliation and program start dates. Please refer to the Participating Country Summaries for details. Applications for all countries where there is an active U.S. Student Fulbright Program are encouraged.
ONCA Deadline: March 1


Fund for Education Abroad

Description:The mission of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is to provide scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the US study abroad population. FEA makes life-changing, international experiences accessible to all by supporting minority, community college, and first-generation college students before, during, and after they participate in education abroad programs. FEA awards scholarships of up to $10,000 for students who plan to study abroad for a full academic year; $5,000 for students who plan to study abroad during the fall or spring semester; and awards that are prorated by number of weeks in-country (with a minimum of $1,250) for students studying abroad during the summer.

Eligibility: Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents; currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the U.S. (graduate students are not eligible; study abroad program must be eligible for credit at the student’s home institution; study abroad program must be at least 4 weeks (28 days) in country/countries.
Application Information:
ONCA Deadline:
December 1



Japan Exchange and Teaching Program

Description: Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) are engaged in English language instruction and make up over 90% of all JET Program participants. They are mainly assigned to local boards of education or elementary, junior high or senior high schools and carry out their duties under the guidance of language teachers’ consultants or Japanese teachers of English (JTEs) as specified by the supervisor and/or principal of the board of education and/or school. ALTs teach in Japan for one year.

Eligibility: Applicants must be graduating seniors or recent graduates who have an interest in Japanese culture and language and will be excellent ambassadors for the U.S.
ONCA Deadline: November 1


MEXT Research Student Scholarship

Description: The Research Student Scholarship is a one-and-a-half to two-year scholarship for students with undergraduate degrees to study a subject of their choosing at a graduate school in Japan. Benefits of the program include a monthly allowance of 152,000 yen (approx. $1450) per month; transportation to and from Japan; and university tuition. To qualify, applicant must be a citizen of the United States, have been born on or after April 2,1975, and should be in good health. All applicants must hold an undergraduate degree by the time of departure. Proposed field of study must be the field, or any related field, that the applicant studied at a previous university. Applicants must be able to arrive in Japan between April 1-7 or between October 1-7. Proficiency in Japanese is not required.

Eligibility: College graduates not older than 35 years of age; U.S. citizen.
ONCA Deadline: May 1 (for Fall entry)


Organization of American States Fellowships

Description: The Department of Human Development of the Organization of American States (OAS) administers one of the hemisphere's largest multinational fellowships and training programs. In recent years the Department of Human Development has provided several hundred fellowships for graduate studies and research, fellowships for undergraduate studies at universities through the region and awards for specialized, short-term training at educational institutions and training centers in OAS Member and Observer States. OAS offers fellowships for graduate study or research in the Americas in any field except medical and related fields and introductory language studies. Awards are tenable for at least 3 months and up to 2 years and provide travel expenses, tuition, special fees, study materials, and a subsistence allowance.

Eligibility: Applicants must have a university degree, know the language of their host country, and secure acceptance at chosen university, study center, or research site.
Application Information:
Approximate ONCA Deadline: March 15


National Security Education Program (NSEP - Boren)

Description: The National Security Education Program (NSEP) provides a unique funding opportunity for U.S. students to study world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. NSEP provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduate students for study abroad in world areas critical to U.S. National Security. Recipients incur an obligation to work either for an office or agency of the Federal Government involved in national security affairs or in higher education. NSEP is merit based. The maximum NSEP Boren Scholarship award is $8,000 for a summer, $10,000 for a semester, and $20,000 for an academic year. The maximum NSEP Boren Fellowship awards generally vary between $12,000 and $30,000.

Eligibility: The National Security Education Program includes three components: (1) The National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad offers opportunities for U.S. students to study in world regions critical to U.S. interests but generally underrepresented in study abroad; (2) The National Security Education Program David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships encourages U.S. graduate students to add an important language component to their educations; (3) The Critical Language Enhancement Opportunity offers advanced language training in Arabic, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Persian, or Russian.
Application Information:
ONCA Deadline: February 1


National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) Study Abroad Scholarships

Description: Offers scholarship funding to help expand our members’ international and cultural knowledge. Two (2) $2,500 scholarships are awarded to members studying abroad during the fall semester, spring semester, or academic year.

Eligibility: Undergraduate NSCS members who have been accepted to a study abroad program approved by their home institution.
ONCA Deadlines: Varies by scholarship.


Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Awards

Description: 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. Thirty-eight $1,000 grants are awarded each year.

Eligibility: The competition is open to Phi Kappa Phi members and non-members in all fields of study who meet the following requirements:
(1) Attend an institution with a Phi Kappa Phi chapter; (2) Have a minimum of 30 credit hours (or equivalent) but no more than 90 credit hours (or equivalent) by the deadline, including all AP, credit by exam, transfer credits, etc.; (3) Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale; (4) Have at least two semesters (or equivalent) remaining in residence at their home institution after completing the study abroad experience; (5) The study abroad program must be taken between May 1 and June 30;  (6) Must have been accepted into a study abroad program (provide the letter of acceptance on an official letterhead as part of your application); (7) Your study abroad plan should relate directly to your academic preparation, potential career choice, and commitment to the welfare of others.
Application Information:
ONCA Deadline: February 1


Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship

Description: The U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was renamed the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program to honor one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Pickering held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. The Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The goal of the fellowship program is to attract outstanding students who enroll in two-year master's degree programs in public policy, international affairs, public administration, or academic fields such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages, who represent all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds and who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The program develops a source of trained men and women who will represent the skill needs of the Department and who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad.

Eligibility: Only individuals who are United States citizens at the time of application will be considered. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. At the time of application, candidates must be seeking admission to graduate school for the following academic year. Winners are expected to enroll in a two-year, full-time master's degree program in either public policy, international affairs, or public administration, or in an academic field such as business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages (U.S. graduate institutions only).
ONCA Deadline: January 15


Rotary Global Grants

Description: Scholarships to support one year of graduate-level study abroad with sustainable, high-impact outcomes in one of Rotary's six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, economic and community development. Minimum of $30,000 for graduate-level study during one academic year abroad. Funds may be used for round-trip transportation, tuition and fees, room, board, language training (if necessary) and living expenses.

Eligibility: All applicants must be sponsored by their local Rotary Club, which develops specific eligibility requirements.
Program and Application Information:
Approximate ONCA Deadline:
Varies depending upon location; between March and July.


Sigma Delta Tau Study Abroad Scholarships

Description: The scholarship provides up to $3,000 for the purpose of studying in a program that furthers the applicant's engagement with Sigma Tau Delta's mission for an academic term or year in a certified, undergraduate program outside the country in which the nominating chapter is located. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service; they also must explain the relevance of their study abroad program and activities to fostering the discipline of English, including literature, language, writing, or literacy.

Undergraduate members who have been accepted to study abroad for a Fall or Spring semester program approved by their home institution.
ONCA Deadline:
March 1 for Fall semester. November 1 for Spring semester.


Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF)

Description: The Teaching Assistant Program in France offers you the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages. Each year, over 1,200 American citizens and permanent residents teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of France such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion. The American cohort is part of the larger Assistants de langue en France program, which recruits 4,500 young educators from 60 countries to teach 15 languages annually in France. The Assistants de langue en France program is managed by the CIEP, the Centre international d'études pédagogiques.

Eligibility: Graduating seniors and graduates aged 20-35 with intermediate French language proficiency and an interest in teaching children.
ONCA Deadline: January 1














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