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Prestigious Travel Awards: What They Are And How To Get Them
Editor’s note: Brittany was recently awarded a Fulbright Grant, and will be embarking on her adventure in Malaysia in January 2013.
As I watch most of my friends graduate, many of them are extremely worried about the future. Jobs, we hear from everywhere, are harder than ever to get and staying in school is often too expensive to be considered an option. So, what's a graduate to do? Win a prestigious travel grant!
All right, so while it may not be that easy, I can say that perfectly average people (like me) win them. And you can, with a bit of luck and hard work, be awarded one as well! So, for this article, I'm going to give you a basic overview of a few prestigious travel grant awards, the basic application process, and why this might be the best year of your life.
Why a travel grant?
Prestigious travel abroad grants are impressive both to future employers and to graduate schools, and a great way to see more of the world in a meaningful way. Recipients are awarded a grant, which often includes all travel expenses and a stipend, to complete a project for a timeframe generally ranging from nine months to two years. Grants are usually open to college seniors or recent graduates, although many programs make exceptions. Each scholarship has its own specific requirements and application processes, so do check the links to get the most up-to-date information.
There are many kinds of Fulbright Grant awardees, ranging from graduating college seniors to established scholars and professors. Grants are usually for a yearlong term and include all travel and living expenses. Two of the most common types of travel abroad grants are Fulbright Student Grants and Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships.
For Fulbright Student Grants, recent college graduates perform a project with a university overseas. For the English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), grantees teach English abroad in a country of the applicant's choice while also completing a community project to help build a relationship between themselves and the locals.
Unlike many other travel fellowships, Fulbright Awards are not country-specific and can be applied for in many countries around the world. Significant Fulbright scholars include writer Sylvia Plath, actor John Lithgow, and economist Joseph Siglitz. The number of grants varies by country.
Learn more: www.iie.org/fulbright
The Rhodes Scholarship allows Scholars to pursue a post-graduate degree with the University of Oxford. This Scholarship judges applicants on four different standards:
- Scholastic achievement
- Achievement in athletics
- Devotion to duty, sympathy, fellowship, kindliness, and unselfishness
- Leadership ability
The Rhodes Trust has established scholarships in many countries, including former Commonwealth Nations and the USA. The Rhodes scholarship is considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world, and includes alumni such as former US President Bill Clinton, actor Kris Kristofferson, and astronomer Edwin Hubble. Approximately 90 grants are awarded each year.
Learn more: www.rhodesscholar.org
Marshall scholarships provide grantees with two full years of post-graduate study at any university within the United Kingdom. The grant's goal is to provide future American leaders with an appreciation of contemporary Great Britain and an opportunity to serve as an ambassador from the US to the UK while studying at some of the best universities in the world.
Applicants must have achieved a college GPA of at least 3.7 and have their application endorsed by their university. Significant alumni include founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, journalist and author Thomas Friedman, and publisher Warwick Sabin.
Learn more: www.marshallscholarship.org
Boren Scholarships provide US undergraduates with up to $20,000 to study abroad in areas of the world that are underrepresented in study abroad, and that are critical to current US interests. Such areas include the Middle East, China, Latin America, and Africa. Boren scholars can study for a period of time ranging from eight weeks for a summer program, to an entire year.
Learn more: borenawards.org/boren_scholarship/basics
Mitchell Scholars spend one year in a graduate program in Ireland. As most Master's Degree programs in the UK are one year long, this allows the applicant to complete a degree if they wish. Applicants can be aged from 18 to 30 and must be American. Marshall scholars are also given a travel bursary in addition to their living and education expenses, allowing them to travel the world while studying.
Learn more: www.us-irelandalliance.org
So, these may look tough to get, but trust me—you can do it! Most universities have advisors for the travel grants, and will be happy to help you figure out which one is perfect for your year off. So, good luck and have fun learning and traveling!
Photo credits: summonedbyfells and Frontierofficial, Creative Commons.