Study abroad is an investment in your future! With proper preparation, you can plan a viable study abroad experience that fits your financial needs. Keep in mind that Cal Poly offers a wide array of study abroad programs, in a variety of different locations. Each program has different costs associated with it, and some programs are more affordable than others. Your first step is to explore different programs, and identify one that is financially a good fit for you.
Start by reading Fund Your Study Abroad Experience to see how financial aid can be applied to study abroad.
Complete the FAFSA - To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 2 deadline. Once your FAFSA is complete, you will be considered for the various types of financial aid offered at Cal Poly, including grants and loans.
Get your Award Adjusted - Once your financial aid is awarded, verify which types of financial aid can be applied to your study abroad program. Consult a Financial Aid Advisor to see if your aid can be increased in order to allocate for any additional costs associated with your study abroad program. Remember to accept your award in your portal!
Plan Ahead - Your Financial Aid Award will be disbursed on or around the first day of the quarter at Cal Poly, regardless of the actual start date of your study abroad program. Plan ahead to cover your plane ticket and other pre-departure or arrival costs, which you may need to pay for before your Award is disbursed.
Summer Financial Aid - Financial aid is limited in the summer. Awards typically consist of any unused loan amounts from the previous academic year. Consult a Financial Aid counselor for details.
For more information, visit the Financial Aid website (under ‘Special Programs,’ click ‘Study Abroad & Domestic Study Programs’).
Watch this video to learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships for Study Abroad:
You are encouraged to research and apply for merit- and need-based scholarships to help fund your study abroad experience. Below are several categories of scholarships and fundraising tools.
- Dedicate several hours to browsing scholarships.
- Set a goal to identify 3-5 scholarships or grants to which you will apply.
- Set aside several days to work on your scholarship applications.
- Apply for scholarships around the same time you are applying to study abroad.
- Remember: focus on quality in your study abroad scholarship applications!
CATEGORY 1: Cal Poly Study Abroad Scholarships
- Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship - For Cal Poly students who study abroad in Ireland. $7,500.
- John and Martha Rogers Scholarship - For Cal Poly students in the Orfalea College of Business who study abroad. $TBD.
CATEGORY 2: Cal Poly Global Program Scholarships
- Harrelson Family Scholarship - For Cal Poly students participating in 'Cal Poly in London.' $2,000.
- Jon M. Ericson Founders Endowment - For Cal Poly students participating in 'Cal Poly in London.' $500-$1,500.
- Michael Koehn Memorial Scholarship Endowment - For Cal Poly students participating in 'Cal Poly in London.' $2,100.
- William Martinez Memorial Scholarship - For Cal Poly students participating in 'Cal Poly in Spain - Fall.' $1,200.
- Language & Culture in Mexico Travel Scholarships - For Cal Poly students participating in 'Language & Culture in Mexico.' $500.
CATEGORY 3: CSU-IP Scholarships
- CSU-IP Scholarship Opportunities - Various awards for students participating in CSU-IP programs. $750.
CATEGORY 4: Partner Program Discounts & Scholarships
- CEA Scholarships & Discounts - For students participating in Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA) programs. $100-$3,000.
- CIEE Scholarships - For students participating in CIEE programs. $1,500-$2,500.
- DIS Scholarships & Discounts - For students participating in DIS programs in Scandinavia. Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reductions ($4,000 per semester / $300-$700 per summer). Additional scholarships available. $250-$10,000.
- SIT Study Abroad Scholarships - For students participating in SIT programs. $500-$5,000.
- TEAN Scholarships & Discounts - Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reduction of $500 for semester/year long programs. For students participating in The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) programs. $500-$2,500.
- USAC Scholarships & Discounts - Cal Poly students receive Automatic Fee Reduction of $220. Additional scholarships available for Cal Poly students participating in USAC programs. $500-$3,000.
- USAC Scholarships & Discounts - For students participating in USAC programs. $500-$3,000.
- Semester at Sea Scholarships - For students participating in Semester at Sea. Over $5 Million in scholarships and grants is available directly from Semester at Sea. $250-$10,000.
- Cal Poly Semester at Sea Scholarships - For Cal Poly students participating in Semester at Sea. These scholarships from Semester at Sea are dedicated specifically to Cal Poly SLO students. $500-$2,500.
CATEGORY 5: National Study Abroad Scholarships
- Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship - For U.S. students who with high financial need who study abroad. Aims to diversify the types of students who go abroad and the countries where they go. $1,500-$8,000.
- Boren Awards for International Study - For U.S. students who study abroad to learn less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests. $8,000-$20,000.
- Critical Language Scholarship Program - Fully-funded overseas language and cultural program for U.S. students. $Varies.
- Fund for Education Abroad - For students who study abroad in non-traditional destinations. Awards for student athletes and LGBTI students are also available. $1,250-$10,000.
- Generation Study Abroad Travel Grants - The Institute for International Education will will offer 100 grants of $2,000 per student. The program will provide a resource for Generation Study Abroad Commitment Partners from U.S. colleges and universities who complete their annual progress report as an opportunity to encourage supplementary funds to their students.
- Go Overseas Study & Intern Abroad Scholarship - For U.S. students who study and/or intern abroad. $500.
- Golden Key Scholarships - Various awards for Golden Key members who study abroad. $Varies.
- Rotary Scholarships - Various awards for international study; contact your local Rotary Club. $Varies.
- LGBTI Scholarship Resources:
- Point Foundation Scholarship ($Varies)
- Human Rights Campaign Scholarships ($Varies)
- Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund (up to $10,000)
- Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship ($Varies)
- Pride Foundation Scholarships ($Varies)
- APIQWTC Scholarship ($1,000)
- PFLAG National Scholarship ($1,000-$5,000)
CATEGORY 6: Country/Region-specific Scholarships
- Asia: Blakemore Foundation Scholarships - For graduate students studying language and/or arts in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, or Vietnam. $Varies.
- China: Chinese Ministry of Education Scholarships - For U.S. students who study in China. $Varies.
- Denmark: Upper Midwest Rebild Scholarship Corporation - For U.S. students with Danish heritage. $1,000-$3,000.
- France: Benjamin Franklin Travel Grant - For U.S. students who study in France. $2,500.
- Germany: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Scholarships - Various awards for U.S. students who study in Germany. $Varies.
- Germany: UAS7 Study and Internship Programs for Engineers - Study and Internship Awards for Engineering students at a choice of 7 different universities in Germany
- Ireland: - Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship - For Cal Poly students who study abroad in Ireland. $7,500.
- Japan: Bridging Scholarship - For U.S. undergraduate students who study in Japan. $2,500-$4,000.
- Japan: JASSO Scholarship - Japanese government funding for U.S. students who study in Japan. $Varies.
- New Zealand: New Zealand Education Scholarships - Various awards for study in New Zealand. $500-$2,000.
- United Kingdom: Fulbright Summer Institutes for U.S. Undergraduates - For study at a UK Summer Institute in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. $Varies.
- United States: Rangel Summer Enrichment Program - For participants in a summer program at Howard University in Washington D.C. designed to provide a deeper appreciation of current issues in international affairs. $3,200+.
CATEGORY 7: Other Scholarship Resources & Fundraising Tools
- Chegg.com - Free scholarship search engine.
- Diversity Abroad - Various study abroad and research scholarships.
- Fastweb - Free scholarship search tool.
- Fund My Travel - Easy to use fundraising campaign site.
- Gates Millennium Scholarships - Various awards for African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minorities.
- GoAbroad.com Scholarships & Financial Resources - Free scholarship advice and directory.
- InternationalScholarships.com - International scholarships & awards database.
- IIE Passport Study Abroad Funding - Excellent search tool for study abroad scholarships.
- Scholarships.com - Free scholarship search tool.
- Studyabroad.com - Study abroad scholarships and financial aid information.
CATEGORY 8: Post-graduation and Graduate Studies Awards
- Anna Sobol Levy Foundation – Provides funding to undertake a Masters or Doctoral program in Australia. Includes travel and establishment allowances, monthly living stipend, tuition and fees, and health insurance. Up to $16,000.
- Boren Fellowships - Funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Up to $24,000 per year.
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellows Program – One year of funding available for recent graduates to work as research assistants in Washington, D.C. Contact Cal Poly rep Laura Hunkler at 805-756-5971.
- Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals - Yearlong awards for 75 Americans to study, intern, and experience cultural immersion in Germany. Candidates must have a strong interest in German and international affairs; candidates in business, vocational, scientific, engineering, and agricultural fields are especially encouraged to apply.
- Cultural Vistas - Various academic and internship programs outside the United States for young professionals.
- DAAD Awards for Germany - Funding for a wide variety of graduate study and other post-graduate activities in Germany, including research, language study, full degree programs, internships, and more. One specific program, RISE Professional, gives students in the fields of biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, and physics the chance to spent 2-6 months working in German companies.
- Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities (Oxford) – Ten scholarships are available for one- to two-year full-time master’s degrees and for three-year doctoral degrees. The award covers 100% of university and college fees, plus a grant for living costs.
- Fulbright U.S. Student Award – Yearlong grants are available for research, graduate study, and English teaching assistantships in a variety of countries around the world. Specialized awards are available in some fields and countries (e.g., Fulbright-NatGeo awards for digital storytelling, Fulbright-MtvU awards, Fulbright-Clinton awards for public policy, and more). Contact Cari Moore, Director of the Cal Poly International Center to discuss the campus application process (email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 805-756-2945).
- Gates Cambridge Scholarship – Highly prestigious scholarships awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue full-time graduate degrees at the University of Cambridge.
- JET Programme – Highly selective placement for recent graduates in paid English-teaching positions in Japan. $Varies.
- Marshall Scholarship – Highly competitive merit-based grant that provides full funding for outstanding U.S. citizens to study for one or two years at the graduate level in the United Kingdom.
- Mitchell Scholarship (Ireland) – Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars are selected annually for one academic year of graduate level study in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The award is designed to connect generations of future American leaders to Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.
- New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS) – Awards cover full tuition fees in PhD programs at any of New Zealand’s eight universities, and a living stipend for up to 36 months.
- Oxford Perishing Square Graduate Scholarship – Up to five scholarships for one year of study in MBA programs at Oxford University are awarded annually to support extraordinary individuals in developing their potential as future global leaders.
- Peace Corps Masters International – Offers unique opportunities to pair graduate studies at one of more than 90 U.S. academic institutions with Volunteer service abroad.
- Pickering Fellowships – Awards for outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State. Funding covers two years of a master’s level program in public policy, international affairs, public administration, business, economics, political science, sociology, or foreign languages.
- Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program – Thirty awards are provided annually to recent graduates pursuing careers in the Foreign Service. The award supports two years of graduate study, professional development activities, and entry into the Foreign Service. Fields of study include international affairs, economics, history, political science, public administration, communications, public policy, business administration, and foreign languages. Members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service are prioritized.
- Rhodes Scholarship – Provides full funding for outstanding U.S. applicants to complete a graduate degree at Oxford University in the UK. For advising, contact Emeritus Professor Michael Wenzl at email@example.com.
- Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship – Transatlantic initiative that offers 15 accomplished U.S. students the opportunity to complete a comprehensive professional development program in Germany.
- Rotary Peace Fellowship – Up to 100 individuals from around the world are selected annually to receive fully funded academic fellowships at one of Rotary’s peace centers in Australia, England, Japan, Sweden, Thailand, and the U.S. Awards include tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses. Applicants should have a strong background in volunteering and community service.
- Swedish Scholarship Awards – Up to three awards are provided annually for full funding for two years in a master’s degree program in Sweden.
- Attend a Financial Aid & Scholarships for Study Abroad Workshop
- Cal Poly International Center (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DROP-IN PEER ADVISING: Mon-Thurs 10-11AM & 2-4PM, Bldg 52, Rm E32
- Cal Poly Financial Aid (email@example.com)
FINANCIAL AID COUNSELOR AVAILABILITY: Mon-Fri 9 AM - 5 PM, Admin Bldg 001, Rm 212
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FEE POLICYAll students participating in Cal Poly-sponsored programs abroad and through the National Student Exchange (including Cal Poly Global Programs, CSU International Programs, affiliate partner programs, domestic and international exchange programs, and internship programs) must pay the non-refundable $400 International Center (IC) fee. This fee is in addition to program tuition and other charges, and supports the administration of study abroad at Cal Poly, which typically includes professional and peer advising, marketing and outreach, application processing, pre-departure guidance, orientation and workshops, program and advising materials, support while abroad, returnee programming, facilitation of academic credit processing, and program assessment.
At the time the Cal Poly Abroad acceptance letters are sent, students will have seven (7) calendar days in which to withdraw from their participation in the program and not be assessed the $400 International Center Fee. For students participating in Cal Poly Global Programs, the $400 IC fee is included in the student’s non-refundable program deposit.
The IC fee cannot be deferred until federal financial aid is disbursed for the term in which the student is going abroad. Failure to pay the IC fee will prevent the student from enrolling in future Cal Poly terms and will also prevent the student from being able to access official transcripts. Students will be charged the IC fee for each individual off-campus program to which they are accepted.
The IC fee is non-refundable. Once a student is committed for a Cal Poly Abroad program, the student is responsible for paying the $400 IC fee even if the fee has not yet been charged to the student’s account. If a student cancels/withdraws his or her application after receiving notification of acceptance into a study abroad program, the student is still responsible for paying the IC fee. For further information on payment policies for Cal Poly Global Programs, see the specific cost/budgeting information for each program.