NSEP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships

Several annual scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students who study less commonly taught languages in areas critical to U.S. interests, such as Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Full Description

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) was established in 1991 with the aim of providing resources such as undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, or institutional grants to assist U.S. citizens in understanding foreign cultures, as well as to strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and to enhance international cooperation and security.

They offer annually several scholarships to undergraduate students studying less commonly taught languages from regions critical to U.S. interests (e.g. Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East). The candidates can choose to apply for a one year scholarship ($20,000), a semester scholarship ($10,000) or, in case they are STEM students, for a summer program ($8,000). The winners should be willing to spend at least 6 months abroad and to work for at least one year for the federal government after their graduation.

The deadline for the applications is February 9, 2025.

Who's eligible?

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens pursuing their undergraduate studies at an accredited U.S. university
  • They should study less commonly taught languages from areas of vital interest to U.S. (Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East)
  • They should be willing to spend at least 6 months overseas
  • The recipients of the award must commit to work in the federal government for at least a year after graduation

How to Apply

Candidates should first contact their Boren campus representative to learn about their on-campus deadline. Then they should fill in and submit no later than February 9, [next year] the online application available at https://campus.embarkapply.com/boren/scholars/login.aspx. The following information/documents should be included:

  • Biographical and educational details
  • The applicant’s chosen study abroad program
  • The chosen program budget ($20,000 for one year, $10,000 for one semester, and $8,000 for a summer program)
  • Two essays of maximum 800 words:
    • In the first one, applicants should explain the significance of the proposed country, language and region to U.S. national security and argue how their studies abroad will impact their future careers
    • In the second one, the study abroad program should be described in more details
  • Two letters of recommendation (a third optional letter could also be submitted)
  • A language proficiency evaluation
  • A language self-assessment

A more detailed description of these requirements is available at http://www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship/how_apply.html.

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