…because fulfilling your wanderlust doesn’t come cheap.
Here are some great programs that offer free or paid travel, cultural, study, or work opportunities for students. In addition to the travel, you have the chance to make contacts, meet new people, and experience another culture and country as something other than just a tourist.
1. Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange: American high-schoolers attend high school in Germany for a year and live with a German family. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident, have a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, and be between 15 and 18 years of age at the start of the program. Application deadline is in December.
2. Korea Society Project Bridge: Students in this cultural outreach program will participate in a yearlong series of bi-weekly meetings and a 10-day study tour to Korea in April. The tour includes visits to historical sites, the Demilitarized Zone and a home stay. High school juniors and seniors from New York City and Los Angeles are eligible.
For college students:
1. Humanity in Action: Program for students from U.S. and European countries to meet with human rights activists and authors, participate in seminars, and research minority issues in their host countries. Sophomores, juniors, or seniors at accredited 4-year colleges in the U.S. are eligible to apply. The program usually takes place in New York and the deadline is in February.
2. Freeman-ASIA: Awards of $3,000 to $7,000 (depending on length of program) are given to students for study abroad in East and Southeast Asia. Applicants must have little or no previous experience in the country in which he or she plans to study.
3. International Agricultural Internship Program: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this internship (offered in Spring, Summer, and Fall) provides college seniors and graduate students the opportunity to work in trade offices around the world. Students earn an hourly salary at the GS-5 through GS-7 grade level. The salary level is based on education and work experience.
For twentysomethings and/or college graduates:
1. Delay the Real World: Not ready to put on a tie and do the 9-to-5? Just email your proposal and you can win $3,500 to go on your “gutsy and worthwhile” adventure. But if you want to apply for 2007, do so quickly. The deadline is April 27, 2007.
2. Watson Fellowship: A $25,000 stipend for one full year of independent travel and study outside the United States ($35,000 if you are accompanied by a spouse or a child). You take the money, then create, execute, and evaluate your own program. If you want to shoot a documentary about native plants of Latin America, this is the fellowship for you. Graduating seniors of these institutions may apply.
In addition, many universities offer fellowships to give financial assistance to students who do a project or take an internship abroad. Ask around. Make friends with the study abroad office. Some of the college-sponsored grants can be quite generous, and best of all, there is a smaller pool of competition than is found at these national scholarships.
For more opportunities, check out the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program, the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships, the Fulbright Program, the Marshall Scholarships, the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, and of course, the Rhodes Scholarships.
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