WSU students enjoying a trip abroad.

Funding Opportunities & Scholarships

It can be a challenge to find the total cost of attendance for your time abroad.

For faculty-led travel study, you pay the direct costs. We figure out what the airfare, room and board, and other course costs will be for the location of the course you choose, divide that by the number of students in the course, and that is what you pay. Costs could range from $2000-$7000 and everything in between, depending on the course. Financial aid is applied toward the cost of the program. Speak with International Programs about the total cost, and how much you might want to add for incidentals (spending/fun money, etc). Contact Dana Engel at for more information.

For semester/year-long study away programs (third party-provider, exchange, direct enroll), the program fee depends on which program you choose. You will almost always pay more than WSU cost of attendance, but how much more depends on which program you chose. You could choose a program that would cost you no more than it would cost you to stay on campus, or you could choose one that would cost you $15,000 more, and everything in between. Your financial aid is applied toward the cost of the program.

Read the fine print and be sure to compare apples to apples. Some programs include housing in their fees, some don’t; some include tuition, some don’t; some are 14 weeks long while others may be 16+ weeks.

Remember, if the program you’ve chosen is more expensive than you’d like, talk through your concerns with the study away advisor, Susan Pham ( – and read the following to learn more about where to find funding!

Financial Aid is a reasonable and helpful resource. You can apply your aid to your program. Also, your need for financial aid is greater when you study abroad so you may qualify for more student aid. For more information, contact the Financial Aid staff.

If you have not used Financial Aid in the past, consider applying for it for your study away. Remember that you can always turn money down, but if you never apply, you’ll never know your options!

Scholarships are out there, but you have put in a little effort to find and apply for them. Generally speaking, the longer you go, and the less-common a location you choose, the better your chances of finding funding and the higher the award.

Below are a few of the scholarships available for study abroad students. There are others out there, so we’ve included a few search engine suggestions as well.

For more information on scholarship opportunities, set up an appointment with our scholarship coordinator, Renee Stowell at She’ll be happy to help you prepare the best application possible.

Program Partner Awards

Many of our program partners offer scholarships or other financial assistance. If you choose to go on one of their programs, you can also apply for their scholarships! As you search for programs, make sure to check partner websites for this information. Here is a sample of what is available:

Other Scholarship Opportunities

  • Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships provide up to $5,000 to the most needy students studying abroad – therefore, you must be eligible for a Pell Grant to apply. Although this is a nationally competitive scholarship, WSU has great applicants - more than 50% of WSU students who apply for this award receive one!
  • Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests (not Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand). Post-graduate government work is required.
  • BUTEX United Kingdom scholarships of up to £500 for study at a member institution in the UK (Aberdeen, Lancaster, Queen’s Belfast, and Salford are all members).
  • DAAD Germany Scholarship Programs include various scholarships for study and internships in Germany. German language competency is not necessarily required.
  • Freeman Scholarship for Study Abroad in Asia is for up to $7,000 to study in East or Southeast Asia (Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam). You must be able to demonstrate financial need.
  • Fund for Education Abroad has various scholarships (including one for students specifically from Minnesota universities!) of up to $10,000.
  • Vicki Decker Scholarship is a Winona State Foundation scholarship of $750 for undergraduate students enrolled full-time at WSU who will participate in a Study Abroad Program in the spring semester next academic year.

Note: Some scholarships require our office to verify your participation in a study abroad program. You must submit your online application to WSU’s International Programs office for us to be able to do that. Until you do so, this office cannot verify your scholarship application.

You may have also heard of famous scholarships like Rotary or Fulbright. While these are wonderful awards, they are not for traditional undergraduate study abroad experiences.

  • Rotary has funding for high school exchanges or grant/project work. See their website, or contact your local Rotary club for more information.
  • Fulbright awards are for research, teaching and/or study overseas after you’ve completed your undergraduate degree. So, if you think you’d like to go abroad after graduation, click on the link to learn more!

Other Scholarship Search Engines/Advice

Scholarship information is constantly changing, so the above list is not complete. Check the search engines listed below for other possibilities.

And remember that almost every Winona State University Foundation scholarship does work for your study away program. If you’ve never applied for WSU Foundation scholarships, considering doing so now!

Have questions? Need help? Contact the International Programs office or the scholarship coordinator, Renee Stowell, at