Studying overseas can provide an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of international development. However, the experience often comes with a high price tag, one that many college students cannot afford. Also, many schools lack study-abroad programs in developing countries.
Help is available through several federally-funded grants, including the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Program (FLAS). Each provides full or partial funding for students studying languages and volunteering in a variety of countries. Knowledge of a native language is helpful in understanding culture and being able to manage programs and direct workers abroad.
The CLS program is a fully-paid summer scholarship that is open to undergraduates travelling to a variety of countries including China, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. Participants can receive academic language credit for their time abroad and live with host families while participating in intensive language classes as well as volunteer work.
Similarly, the FLAS program provides financial assistance for students studying abroad, and is aimed at helping both undergraduate and graduate students advance their current foreign language abilities. The FLAS application cycles are coordinated through individual universities, and can offer up to $20,000 per academic year in assistance.
For more study abroad resources and opportunities, see Global Washington’s Career Center.