Boren Scholarship

National Security Education Program

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Deadline: Feb 3, 2021 2:00pm PST

Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Fields of work: Food Security Environment Food Access & Hunger Diseases & Conditions Domestic/Homeland Security Economic Services & Development

Applicant type: Undergraduate Student

Funding uses: Scholarship

Location of project: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Europe Show all

Location of residency: United States

Location of citizenship: United States

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Boren Scholars and Fellows study a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Swahili. Boren Awards are available to students of all proficiency levels who are committed to enhancing their skills.


Boren Scholars and Fellows from diverse fields of study immerse themselves in the cultures in world regions underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.


Boren Awards alumni are committed to public service, working in positions critical to U.S. national security throughout the Federal Government, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and USAID.


Fund study abroad by U.S. undergraduate students in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

Maximum awards are determined by duration abroad:

  • Up to $20,000 for 25-52 weeks (preferred)
  • Up to $10,000 for 12-24 weeks
  • Up to $8,000 for 8-12 weeks (STEM majors only) 

The Boren Awards fund the intensive study of language and culture abroad by U.S. undergraduate students. All eligible applicants have the option to either

  • Apply for a Regional Language Initiative
    • Boren Awards Regional Language Initiatives offer undergraduate Boren Scholars and graduate Boren Fellows carefully-selected, credit-bearing language courses during the summer (domestic) and fall (overseas), with the option to continue overseas study into the spring. In 2020, the Regional Language Initiatives include:
      • The African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) for the study of French, Portuguese, Swahili, Akan/Twi, Wolof, or Zulu
      • The Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) for the study of Indonesian
      • The South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) for the study of Hindi or Urdu
      • New in 2020! The Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) for the study of Turkish
  • -OR-
  • Select/Design Their Own Study Program

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Boren Scholarships are for undergraduate students.
  • All applicants must be:
    • U.S. citizens at the time of the national application deadline
    • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED
    • Planning an overseas program in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
    • Planning to study in a country of which they are not a citizen
    • Matriculated for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program in an undergraduate degree program located within the United States and accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
    • (For ROTC cadets and midshipmen and members of the military Reserves or National Guard) In inactive, non-drilling status for the duration of their Boren Awards-funded program
  • Note that only undergraduates majoring in subjects marked as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are eligible for summer-only awards of at least eight weeks’ duration.


  • In addition to these basic eligibility criteria, the Boren Awards give preference to programs based on their duration, focus on intensive study of a preferred language in a preferred country, and the applicant’s field of study.


  • The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (colored grey in the map here) are always ineligible for Boren Awards funding.
  • Boren Scholarships are not for study in the United States.

This page was last reviewed August 03, 2020 and last updated August 03, 2020