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Boren Scholarship


Campus Deadline: November 2012

National Deadline: February 2013

Description: The Boren Scholarships—funded by The National Security Education Program (NSEP)—offer a unique opportunity for U.S. undergraduates to study abroad. Boren awards scholarships to American students for study of world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). Boren Scholarships are intended to provide support to U.S. undergraduates who will pursue the study of languages and cultures currently underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. national security.

In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

Dollar Value: Boren Scholarships are merit based. Award amounts are based on the study abroad costs and financial aid information provided by the applicant. Maximum scholarship awards are:

  • $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; 8 weeks minimum
  • $10,000 for a semester
  • $20,000 for a full academic year


  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED, and are matriculated as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in a U.S. post-secondary institution, including universities, colleges, and community colleges accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Applying to engage in a study abroad experience in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand that meets home institution standards.
  •  Planning to use the scholarship for study abroad and the study abroad program ends before graduation. NSEP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships are not for study in the United States.

Application Procedures: All applications must be submitted online.

Pace Fellowship Website


Pace Fellowships and Scholarships Facebook Page


Frequently Asked Questions

 If the proposed country, language, and/or field of study is not on the preferred list for the Boren Undergraduate Scholarships, should the candidate still apply?

Yes. Boren is interested in encouraging applications for study in non-emphasized countries, languages, and fields of study when the applicant can make a compelling argument that increased understanding and appreciation of that particular country, language, and/or field of study through study abroad represents an important contribution to U.S. national security and the goals of the National Security Education Program.

How does NSEP define “national security”?

NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.

Is a foreign language component required for all study abroad proposals?

Yes. Foreign language study is a key element in all Boren proposals. The language chosen should be appropriate to the country in which he/she plans to study. The study abroad proposal should note the amount (number of hours per week) and level of classroom instruction you will undertake. Most importantly, they are expected to provide a realistic estimate of the language level expected from the formal as well as informal (non-classroom) study will help he/she achieve.

Are candidates required to take a language test before applying for a Boren Scholarship?

No. If selected for the Boren Scholarship, they must agree to take a language test prior to and after the study abroad experience. If the applicant has had no previous instruction in the language to be studied, applicants may not be required to take the pre-test. The results of the proficiency testing will be used to assess the program; they will not be used to evaluate students. Information about language testing will be provided to all scholarship recipients and the cost of the tests will be covered by the National Security Education Program..

Is it possible to split the academic year between two study abroad programs in the same country? How would the application be completed?

In some cases, appropriate full academic year programs may not be available. In these cases, students may then submit two separate, but related, applications for study on two different programs. Applications for two different consecutive study abroad programs should entail study in the same country or region of the world, and of the same language.

Does NSEP approve or sanction particular study abroad programs?

No. The Boren Scholarship is a source of portable financial assistance that can be used to support study abroad through an established program, direct enrollment in a foreign university, or an individually arranged study. The choice of a particular program for study abroad is made by you in consultation with your campus advisor. Make your choices based on the overall quality of the program, on the strength of the language instruction, and on elements it offers that will enhance your period of study abroad. There are no lists of IIE-preferred programs, nor does IIE endorse programs under a particular institution, organization, or group's sponsorship

Pace University Education Abroad