For many students, the best way to learn about another country is to take classes there for a semester or more—which often leads to a lifetime of travel. This is why we’re so jazzed about a new offering from Go Overseas, a listing and reviews website for programs abroad.
The Berkeley, California-based company announced last week it has partnered with the Irish government to offer 26 scholarships for students studying in Ireland. In total, the scholarships are worth nearly $300,000.
Students can apply the scholarship dollars to tuition at one of 12 different participating institutions. Of the 26 scholarships, 15 are for one semester of undergraduate-level study, and 11 are for graduate or postgraduate-level study (full-year master’s or semester-long PhD programs). Undergrad scholarships range from $4,000 to $12,000 and higher-level scholarships range from $11,000 to $24,000.
The scholarships are available to U.S. residents only, and a Go Overseas spokesperson said they are technically “tuition waivers,” which means they cover tuition only and do not include room and board.
Prospective students can apply for the 2017 or 2018 academic year. They must do so by March 17—regardless of which year they’re applying for.
According to a release, three of the participating institutions have chosen to award their scholarships with a focus on diversity. Among the trio of schools, there are four scholarships earmarked for students of color and others who qualify based on sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
The same release indicated that Go Overseas would award two scholarship winners with round-trip flights to Ireland aboard Aer Lingus.
Ireland is a particularly appealing destination for study programs of this nature because students have options to extend their stays beyond the academic semester. Students who receive a master’s degree can get one nonrenewable extension to their visas for up to 12 months. This “loophole” allows students to work full-time and apply for green cards or work permits to stay even longer. The same provisions are available for undergrads, but the extension only is available for six months.
To apply for the Go Overseas scholarships, students must fill out a short questionnaire, upload an Ireland-themed photo, and write a 300-word essay.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, other companies have scholarship programs to help students study abroad, too. Hosteling International gives away dozens of $2,000 scholarships for high-need students, Tortuga Backpacks has a $1,000 scholarship, and many individual study abroad providers have their own scholarships that offer $1,000 to $5,000 per student.
The bottom line: There’s money out there to help students study abroad. All you have to do is look.
Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor based in Healdsburg, California. In nearly 20 years as a full-time freelancer, he has covered travel for publications including TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sunset, Backpacker, Entrepreneur, and more. He contributes to the Expedia Viewfinder blog and writes a monthly food column for Islands magazine. Villano also serves on the board of the Family Travel Association and blogs about family travel at Wandering Pod. Learn more about him at Whalehead.com.