Student Resources

At AIFS, we believe in the power of international exchange to bring the world together and want to support all students as they change the way they see their world; no matter their gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Below are resources to help you throughout your study abroad journey. We also encourage you to visit your university's study abroad website and office as they might have more information and resources on diversity and inclusion in study abroad.

If you would like to speak with AIFS alumni who are members of any of the communities below, please email us at alumni@aifs.com and let us know and we would be happy to connect you with former AIFS program participants.

 

  • Diversity Abroad: Provides information on international destinations, including funding opportunities, for diverse and underrepresented students
  • PLATO: A compilation of organizations, resources, and scholarships that support academic advancement for underrepresented groups who study abroad 
  • Ron Brown Scholarship: RBSP competitively awards Ron Brown Scholars four-year $40,000 scholarships ($10,000 each year) to the most talented and economically-challenged high school seniors who demonstrate a keen interest in public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship and global citizenship
  • Jackie Robinson Scholarship: “JRF Scholars” receive grants of up to $30,000 over four years to complement the financial aid they receive from their colleges or universities.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships: Information on several types of scholarships available for students who attend one of the 47 TMCF member-schools. 
  • United Negro College Fund: The UNCF manages various scholarship programs and each program has its own eligibility criteria, open/close dates and required documentation. To apply for a UNCF scholarship, you must apply through the on-line application process.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: The NAACP offers nmumerous scholraships, each with their own eligibility criteria. Visit their site for more details on the funding opportunities available.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund: HSF empowers families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional students as possible.
  • Travel Noire: Cultivated insights from a global community of black travelers.
  • Minority Rights Group International: Contains information on history and minority populations around the world
  • Meaningful Travel Tips and Tales: African American Perspectives: Guide from GoAbroad with tips and scholarship information for black students interested in studying abroad.

  • Diversity Abroad: Tips and must ask questions about religion for study abroad students
  • BBC Guide to World Religions: Brief overview of religions around the world with links to additional resources.
  • International Religious Freedom Report: The Department of State’s annual report to congress on international religious freedom, describes the status of religious freedom in every country.
  • KAHAL: Resources for Jewish students going abroad, including information on how to keep Kosher.
  • Diversity Abroad: Tips for students as they start their study abroad process
  • I’m First: An online community for first-generation college students—and their supporters. Hear inspiring stories and share your own, discover colleges that care about first-gen students, find answers to your questions about college, and receive guidance on the road to and through college.
  • One of the biggest perceived barriers to studying abroad is funding. Below are some great resources to help invest in your education abroad experience.
  • AIFS Scholarships: Each year, more than $800,000 in scholarships, grants and financial support is awarded to deserving students & institutions. Funds are available for both summer and semester programs. The scholarships listed are not available to students on AIFS customized faculty-led programs. If you are participating in a program through your school, check with the study abroad director for details of any special AIFS scholarships that may be available.
  • Boren Scholarships: An initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.
  • Critical Language Scholarship: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the CLS is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Diversity Abroad Scholarships: Directory of scholarships and programs, with a focus on resources for minority, low income and first generation college students.
  • Fund for Education Abroad Scholarships: Grants scholarships up to $10,000. Applicants from groups underrepresented in study abroad and those destined for non-traditional locations are given preference, in an effort to make the demographics of U.S. undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. population.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program: The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for thousands of outstanding Pell Grant eligible students of color to reach their fullest potential.
  • Generation Study Abroad Scholarships: A five-year initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.
  • Gilman Scholarship: Aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.
  • GoAbroad.com Scholarships: A directory of program options and scholarships 
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund: Resources on funding for Hispanic students
  • StudyAbroad.com Scholarships: A directory of program options and scholarships
  • In addition to loans and scholarships, there are several ways for students to fund their time abroad. Below is a list of some basic activities to get started.

Letter writing campaign

  • Reach out to companies and organizations you would like to potentially work for and explain how this experience would be of benefit to them:
    1. Family and extended family
    2. Co-workers
    3. Family co-workers
    4. Church
    5. Social organizations (4-H, Kiwanis, Rotary, etc)
    6. Greek organizations
    7. Students on your campus
    8. Friends at other universities

Lifestyle

  • “Keep the change” savings accounts that round up to the nearest dollar on your purchases and put funds directly into a separate savings account
  • Review and alter your daily spending habits to find ways to cut back on your discretionary spending
  • Ask families to give you money or travel-related gifts for holidays and birthdays
  • Consider a part-time job

Crowdfunding

One of the most popular and creative fundraising ideas currently is crowdfunding, which is the practice of raising small money from numerous people to fund a project (in this case study abroad). Previous AIFS students have found success from this practice and have raised thousands of dollars toward their program fees. Most sites charge either a per-donation or one-time fee for using their service and students should research the crowdsourcing platforms available online to determine which site best suits their needs. Once you have a personalized crowdfunding website you should share the link on your social media platforms to spread the word and consider getting business cards made that you can pass out to everyone. Strangers are often willing to donate to your cause if you have a compelling story and are only asking for $2. Keep in mind that every dollar counts.