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OSA Grants
Other Opportunities

When choosing your study abroad program, both you and your parents will look long and hard at the price tag. That's where scholarships come in. The money IS out there; at EIU we offer $65,000 a year in scholarship funds for students who plan to study abroad. Let us help you get there!

Scholarships Search Engine

EIU Scholarship Search - *All the scholarships have been inputted to the search engine Academic Works. For students interested in the OSA scholarships, visit the link, type in "Study Abroad" and all relevant opportunities will appear.  
Financial Aid Scholarships

Private Scholarship Search Services

Students interested in seeking a private grant or scholarship should check as many sources as possible. There are many free, online private scholarship search sites to assist in your search for scholarships.

FastWeb is one of the best sources for national, local and college-specific scholarships with over 1.3 million scholarship listings totaling over $3 billion.

MoneyGeek offers a study abroad guide that explains different forms of financial aid and loans available to help fund study abroad.  MoneyGeek has compiled a list of scholarships, information on loan options, suggestions for financial planning, and different resources in regards to study abroad funding and finances.

There are also for-profit companies that offer scholarship search services for a fee. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships does not recommend these services and suggests you thoroughly investigate any for-profit company before submitting any fees to them. You should be aware that scholarship scams do occur and you should protect yourself against these situations.

Office of Study Abroad Grants

Students Our application is now available online, click on the scholarship to get started! Please complete the application for scholarships through the AcademicWorks portal once you have applied for a specific program. You will need to upload an essay, resume, and provide the contact information for two-three recommenders. Please allow your faculty/staff/supervisors enough time to submit their recommendation! 

Upon receiving an award, all recipients are expected to act as ambassadors and fulfill volunteering hours. You will need to sign a contract accepting these conditions. See below for more information. 

Recommenders: You will receive an email once the student has completed the online application for scholarships. You will then be prompted to log into our online system and submit your recommendation. Please make sure you are aware of our deadlines and submit your recommendation in a timely manner! 
  • Average award is between $500-$2,000.
  • Do you have a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher?
    • If yes, you are eligible to apply for a Study Abroad grant. 
  • Do you have a FAFSA on file?
    • If yes, you are eligible for a financial-need award.
    • If no, you are eligible for a merit-based award.
  • Remember, as a condition of your contract, you must complete all four Student Ambassador hours. If you fail to do so, the grant or scholarship you received will be billed to your student account. In the event that this occurs, EIU may choose to withhold your diploma until the payment is fulfilled.
  • Click here to learn more about Student Ambassador Hours


November 30, 2018:  Spring semester 2019
December 1, 2018:  Spring break 2019
February 1, 2019:  Faculty-Led summer 2019
March 8, 2019: Independent summer & Fall semester 2019

OSA Study Abroad Grant

Types of awards:
  • Financial-need based- established by the student’s filed FAFSA
  • Merit-based- typically the top students in the pool
  • Full-time EIU student for at least one semester before studying abroad
  • Must have a 2.5 GPA (cum) at the time of application
  • Complete a study abroad program application
  • Note that guest students from other institutions are not eligible for these scholarships
Award amounts:
  • Between $500 and $2,000 per student.
  • Grant recipients will serve as a Study Abroad Ambassador for the semester after they return from their program abroad
  • The service requirement is 4 hours, which can be accomplished by a variety of projects with OSA
Evaluation Criteria:
  • Applications will be evaluated using the point-based system detailed below
  • 100 total points are possible
Criteria Formula Total
GPA GPA X 10 40
Essay 1 to 20 20
Letters of Recommendation 1 to 15 15
Leadership (as listed on resume) 1 to 5 5
Foreign Language Study - Students who plan
to study any foreign language as part of
their study abroad program
0 or 5 5
Time Abroad - Programs with greater time
spent abroad (ex. 8-week programs would
receive more points than 4-week programs)
# of weeks Max 15

Click here for some tips on how to write the best application, including what to include in your essay and how to request a recommendation letter. 

Four other scholarship opportunities

*Remember, in order to apply for Strandberg, Walden or Weber you must print an eligibility worksheet to submit with your application.* 

1. William V. Weber Study Abroad Scholarship

Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in good standing at EIU and qualify for financial aid. For at least half of the scholarships awarded in a given year, preference will be given to minority students (including gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender students) and first generation students. Scholarship monies may be spent on tuition and fees, travel expenses (transportation, meals, and lodging), study materials or resources, and other incidental expenditures directly related to travel abroad. More than one student may receive assistance from this fund in a given year. In addition, a past scholarship recipient may apply for and receive the award more than once, provided he/she continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Average award is $500 to $1000.

2. Kate and Cliff Strandberg Study Abroad in Europe Scholarship

Recipients must be full-time domestic undergraduate or graduate students, accepted to Eastern Illinois University, and with a minimum of a 2.75 GPA. Preference is given to School of Technology majors. Students must be planning to study abroad in Europe with attendant approval tendered to the Office of Study Abroad prior to awarding of the scholarship; all study credits must be applicable to the student's degree program. The recipient may, upon returning to the US, be asked to speak to the International Forum program regarding the study abroad experience. Average award is $400.

3. Dorothy E. Waldon Short Term Study Abroad Scholarship

Recipients must study on a short-term faculty-led study abroad program. Recipients must have at least junior status and at least a 3.0 GPA.  The recipient must not have traveled previously outside of the USA, Mexico, and Canada.  Students should apply through the online system.  Note that an additional letter of recommendation (3 total) is required for this scholarship. Also, the applicant must submit a written statement explaining how this award will assist them in achieving their personal goals. Average award is $250 to $400.

4. Talented Student Award - Study Abroad

Our office has an exchange agreement with several different institutions overseas. As a result of this relationship, we are able to offer discounted tuition to qualified students who plan to study abroad for a semester at one of these schools listed below.

This award covers up to 12 credit hours of EIU tuition. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA (cumulative). This award is reserved for students that exhibit financial need (as reported on their FAFSA), and have distinguished themselves as high-achieving students.

To apply for this award, please contact the Office of Study Abroad for further instructions.

Exchange programs include:

Every year, the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College gives a significant amount of financial aid in scholarships to current undergraduate honors students who will be studying or interning abroad. The applications for these scholarships are independent from the Office of Study Abroad and may have different deadlines. Honors students who wish to explore their options should contact Sara Schmidt at or by phone at 217-581-8369. Further information can be find in the Sandra and Jack Pine Honors College website.