National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship

September 27th, 2012 by Jonathan Frankel

National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship
Deadline: November 1

The Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State provides a merit-based award for eligible students to learn a second language overseas through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship. This award allows students to learn a less-common second language, promotes international commerce and assists in preparing American citizens to be leaders in today’s global world.

Individuals interested in the NSLI-Y study language abroad program do not need to have previous second language training; however, they must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher (4.0 scale)
  • Be 15-18 years old
  • Be enrolled in high school at the time of application
  • Not have an immediate family member who is an employee at the U.S. Department of State who works in the Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs or for the NSLI-Y
  • Not have had previously traveled outside the U.S. on a Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship covers costs associated with the program including round-trip travel, pre-departure and re-entry orientations, secondary medical benefits, tuition and educational materials, room and board, visas, in-country support and cultural activities.

For a full list of requirements and more information on how to apply for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship you can visit here.

*Indian College Student photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Common Mistakes in Scholarship Essays

September 25th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

Scholarships are a great way to help reduce the cost of school. Unfortunately, they’re not just handed out for no reason – you have to apply for them, and applying usually means writing a scholarship essay.

Even if you aren’t a perfect student, a well-written essay can still set you apart from other applicants and really put you in the running to win. Because of this, it’s important that you avoid making any of the common mistakes in scholarship essays outlined below.

Keep it Simple

You may have a temptation to use a lot of large words in your essay thinking it will impress the reviewers. While a large and well chosen word every now and then can be impressive, adding too many can make your essay sound like it was written by a thesaurus. The people who review scholarship essays are typically looking for sentences that are descriptive, clear and simple all at the same time. If you are unsure about a particular word or sentence, try reading it out loud and see if it sounds natural. If you are not comfortable with English (and, really, even if you are) it is also a good idea to have a friend or classmate proofread your essay. It’s hard to spot your own mistakes!

Create an Outline

Another one of the more common mistakes in scholarship essays has to do with organization. Without proper planning it is easy to get off topic and winding up with a messy and unorganized essay. The best way to prevent this is to create an outline before you start writing. The outline should include everything you want to talk about and be laid out in a logical and easy to follow order, with one topic leading into the next. This will keep you on topic and give your essay a more solid and coherent feel than an essay that is written without an outline.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Pushing things off until the last minute is something everyone can be guilty of from time to time, and because of that it is another of the more common mistakes in scholarship essays. It is obvious when an essay is rushed. Even if you are a great writer and confident in your work, there are always simple mistakes that can get past you if you don’t take the time to review and polish your essay. Most common of these mistakes are misspellings and incorrect grammar, both of which can all be easily avoided if you take your time.

* Blank scholarship application photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Other Interesting Posts:

Hagley Museum and Library Grant-in-Aid

September 20th, 2012 by Jonathan Frankel

Hagley Museum and Library Grants-In-Aid
Deadline: October 31

The Hagley Museum and Library is granting 15-20 individuals a grant for graduate research within the Hagley Museum. To be granted this award individuals can be citizens of any country, however, they must be studying inside the United States as an international student.

Individuals who receive the Hagley Museum and Library grant-in-aid will receive a $400 stipend and the opportunity to use the Hagley research collections for one week to benefit their research project. The Hagley Museum and Library has a focus on business interactions within American history from the late 18th century to the present.

Applicants must reside more than 50 miles from the Hagley Museum, however, low-cost accommodations can be arranged for the Hagely Museaum and Library grant-in-aid recipients if needed. To apply for this award, you can submit the following:

  • A project abstract (150 words or less)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A project description outlining your research (1000 words)
  • A summary of the Hagley research materials that will be used in your study and how they will benefit your project. (500 words)

For more information on how to apply to this award, you can visit here. Good luck!

*Woman reading a book at the library photo courtesy of Shutterstock

5 Ways to Save Money While Studying in the US

September 19th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

College is expensive. Between paying for books, classes, and rent it can sometimes feel like the only thing you’re really learning is how to live on a shoestring budget. Luckily, there are some simple things international students can do to save money while studying in the US. To help you out, here are 5 ways to save money while studying in the US:

1. Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Universities offer a lot of fun (and often free) activities for their students. Some universities have a theater that plays free movies, others have free music concerts throughout the year, and many local businesses offer student discounts simply for showing your student ID. Make sure you ask around and look through your school pamphlet for what deals are available to you.

2. Buy Your School Books Online
Books can be very expensive if they are purchased from your university bookstore. If you do not need your book right away, do some searches for books online. Many popular shopping websites offer the books you need for half the price of the University.

3. Eat At Home
It can be easy to give in to the temptation of eating out all the time. It is faster, you don’t have to own cooking supplies (or even know how to cook), and there are usually restaurants all over campus. Not only is eating out all the time unhealthy, it’s also expensive. With just a few pots and pans and a little know-how you can cook all sorts of cheap and healthy foods. The internet is full of websites that cater to people with little time to cook, so if you’re ever in a rush remember that there are countless quick recipes at your fingertips. If you are looking for more help, check out our 10 Tips to Keep Food Costs Low blog.

4. Make a Budget
Between midterms, papers, and extracurricular activities, keeping track of how much you are spending is likely at the lower end of your priority list. However, keeping track of how much you spend is a great way to keep yourself from spending too much. $1 sodas and $3 coffees might not seem expensive by themselves, but they can really add up over time. If you budget your money and keep track of your spending, you can find out where most of your extra funds are going and what places you need to pay more attention to.

5. Meet Local Students
Being in a new country can be scary for international students. You might be tempted to keep to yourself, but every city has hidden secrets that can’t be found unless you make friends someone who has lived there their entire lives. Local students can help you find cheap and free things to do all over the city that you might have never known about otherwise.

Travel Video Content Launched – Now Is Your Chance To Win $4,000!

September 14th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

That’s right, if you are currently studying outside your home country – or if you want to study abroadInternational video contest, you have the chance to win $4,000! The 2012 Travel Video Content hosted by has just opened allowing you to submit your video with the opportunity to add $4,000 to your travel budget.

As the 7th annual Travel Video Contest, this could be your year to win! To enter, submit a video of less than 5 minutes explaining why you want to study or travel abroad! If you are currently abroad, then talk about a trip you’d like to take and why.

Check out previous winners to get those ideas flowing, and submit your video before the deadline, October 31st. The winner of the Travel Video Contest will be announced on the website the week of November 12-16, International Education Week.

In addition to the grand prize of $4,000, the winner will get their very own blog on International Student to document their trip and share their experience with viewers. This blog will start immediately after the winner is announced, and will continue through the trip until return to school. For more information, check out the Travel Video Contest for rules and regulations, to see previous videos, and learn how to submit your video.

Good luck to you all!

* Professional Video Camera picture thanks to Shutterstock

New Zealand Summer Student Scholarship

September 13th, 2012 by Jonathan Frankel

New Zealand Summer Student Scholarship
Deadline: September 28

The University of Auckland has a New Zealand summer research scholarship available that is open for applications until the end of September. This scholarship will award at least one international student at the University of Auckland NZ$5000 toward their research project that is focused on marine science. Assistance with finding accommodation and obtaining a visa will also be provided. The research project will last eight weeks, beginning in December and ending in February. Upon completion of the project, a short project report submission will be required of the awardee.

Interested students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

• Have completed their second year of an undergraduate degree
• Have a minimum of a B+ grade average (GPA equivalent to a 6.0)
• Have a clear project outline and supervisor to support the research

The New Zealand Summer Student Scholarship was created to give university students a chance to conduct research prior to graduation and encourage postgraduate studies. Students who receive this award must be able to commit to a full-time work schedule in regards to their project.

For more information on the New Zealand summer student scholarship or to apply, you can visit here.

*New Zealand flag painted on a brick wall in an urban location photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

10 Tips to Keep Food Costs Low

September 7th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

Studying in the United States can add up, but there are many tips to budget properly and keep costs low. Food can add up weekly, especially if you are not planning appropriately. Going to dinner can easily add up to $20 for one meal. By taking the time steps to save money on food, this can mean more opportunities – and more adventures for you!

Here are 10 tips to keep food costs low:

1. Eat at Home

With a restaurant on every corner, many students think convenience! Pizza in 10 minutes? Hamburger in 2 minutes? Or, splurge at a fancy restaurant? While this might be a treat once in a while, try to find easy and quick recipes you can make at home. Not only are these typically healthier options, but it will save you money in the long run!

2. Buy Local

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables at a grocery store can be expensive. Mangos can be $1 each – on sale! Go to your local farmers market though and you’ll pay much lower prices. Some people show up early – others show up late – to get even greater discounts on their produce.

3. Buy on Sale

Sales can be so much fun – great deals and good food is the way to go. If it’s food that doesn’t go bad, then you can buy more and save it for later. If it’s meat, then you can freeze it for later also. Don’t splurge on food you may not normally purchase, but buying your everyday food on sale allows you to save even more money!

4. Freeze Left Overs

Ever try to cook something and make more than you can stomach? Or, have you had left overs but couldn’t fit it into your weekly schedule? Don’t forget that freezing food can be a great way to conserve and make the most of your budget.

5. Plan Your Meals to Reduce Wasted Food

There are so many times that we’ll go to the grocery store and buy everything in sight. There are also many times where you may be swayed to indulge, but not actually incorporate it into your eating regiment – and therefore goes to waste. Don’t let this happen to you. Plan your meals, reduce wasted food, and watch your money go even farther.

6. Buy Store Brand

Many times “white label” food is just as good as the brand name. Try buying your grocery store brand – not only will you save money but you will in many cases end up with the same quality!

7. Clip Coupons

If you are one of those people who read the newspaper – or go searching for coupons online – then take the time to see if there are any coupons for your normal purchases. One dollar off or buy one get one free can certainly help lower your costs on regular shopping days.

8. Compare price on per unit cost – not total price!

If you’ve ever taken the time to notice, many packages will tell you the weight of the food you are buying. Just because the total price is lower, it may be that you are buying less. Don’t be fooled by marketers, compare prices based on the equivalent weight to make sure you get the best deal!

9. Buy in Bulk

Many times if you buy in bulk, you will end up with the best price. While you may end up buying more than you need, consider sharing with friends or roommates to make sure that you get the lowest price for the maximum quantity.

10. Grocery Store Membership

Many stores now have memberships which offer you discounts or money back. If you are not already a member, sign up and see the savings come back to you!

Other Interesting Posts:

Anne Wexler Scholarship

September 6th, 2012 by Jonathan Frankel

Anne Wexler Scholarship
Deadline: September 30

In 2009 the Anne Wexler Master’s scholarship was created by the Australian government to assist in the development of the Australian-American relationship. The award was established to aid in ongoing policy exchange between the two countries.

If you are an Australian citizen wanting to undertake research or study in the US, or a US citizen wanting to study or perform research in Australia, the Anne Wexler Master’s scholarship might be able to assist you with funding your studies. Individuals applying for this award can be from multiple areas of study as long as it correlates with Anne Wexler’s interest in a bi-national focus in the field of public policy. A few possible areas of study include health, sustainability, energy, climate change, regional security, history and governmental relations. This scholarship is awarded to two individuals annually and each award is valued at AUD 140,000. The award benefits include the following:

  • Annual stipend of up to AUD 30,000
  • Tuition fees up to AUD 27,000
  • Travel allowance up to AUD 6,000
  • Establishment allowance up to AUD 6,000
  • Insurance allowance up to AUD 4,000

This award is part of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards Program, funded by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission.

You can find more information and how to apply for the Anne Wexler Scholarship here.

*Australian Dollar Coins on a Fifty photo courtesy of Shutterstock

IEFA logo
Thank you for visiting
Providing information about international financial aid & scholarships since 1998
2024 MPOWER Financing, Public Benefit Corporation
1101 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036