on March 31, 2016 on 3/31/16

Fund for Education Abroad Diversifies Study Abroad with $150,000 in Scholarships

Fund for Education Abroad Diversifies Study Abroad with $150,000 in Scholarships
2016 FEA scholars include 25 first-generation, minority, LGBTQI, community college, and students studying in non-traditional destinations; 40% pursue full-year programs

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WASHINGTON, DC, March 31, 2016 – The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) today lifts barriers to study abroad with the awarding of 25 scholarships totaling $150,000 to top-performing U.S. students for whom study abroad is traditionally beyond reach because of background, lack of access, or an atypical language focus or travel destination. Funded by scholarships of $10,000 each, close to half (40%) of the 2016 FEA Scholars will study abroad for a full academic year.

Significantly advancing diversity in study abroad, a total of 117 students, including first-generation, minority, LGBTQI, community college, and students studying in non-traditional destinations, will now have benefited from over $500,000 in scholarships awarded since the Fund’s inception in 2010. The vast majority (80%) of the 2016 FEA Scholars are first-generation college students, three quarters (76%) are of minority background and will study the host country language (72%), and over half (56%) attend minority-serving institutions or community colleges.

A significant majority of students (88%) will study in non-traditional destinations. The 2016 FEA Scholars will travel across the globe to Dakar, Senegal; Osaka, Nagoya, Hirakata, Gifu, and Kochi, Japan; Minsk, Belarus; Accra, Ghana; Santiago, Chile; Florence, Italy; Seoul, South Korea; Rosario, Argentina; London, England; Tainan, Taiwan; Prague, Czech Republic; Beijing, China; Copenhagen, Denmark; Turkey; Singapore, Uganda and Rwanda.

“The increase in FEA scholars spending a full academic year abroad corresponds to the uptick in U.S. students studying abroad across the board, but significantly outpaces the 3% national average,” said FEA Executive Director Jennifer Calvert. “The longer a student is abroad, the greater the financial barrier. Generous donations to FEA make the dream of studying abroad possible for these committed high-performing students and help paint a more diverse, and truer, picture of American students abroad.”

The 2016 scholars represent a broad diversity of academic majors, ranging from Biomedical Sciences to Graphic Design, Sustainable Land Management to Theology, Linguistics to Psychology, Engineering to International Affairs, and Creative Writing to Public Health. Close to 75% will study languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese.

“Studying abroad has become a form of public diplomacy – it opens doors, promotes language competency and helps students successfully engage in a rapidly globalizing world,” added Calvert. The 2016 FEA scholarship winners were selected from a pool of over 1,500 applicants representing approximately 500 colleges and universities across the country. A team of 80 reviewers individually read and reviewed each application.

FEA offers general and dedicated scholarships. Dedicated scholarships include several regional scholarships and a Rainbow scholarship for students nationwide who self-identify as LGBTQI.

The mission of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is to increase opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. FEA aims to make the demographics of US undergraduates studying abroad reflect the rich diversity of the US population. FEA won the 2015 Diversity Abroad Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award and GoAbroad.com’s 2015 Innovation in Philanthropy Award.

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About the Fund for Education Abroad

The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to increase the opportunities for dedicated US students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. FEA’s goals include assisting committed students in the acquisition of critical foreign language skills and cultivating US students’ world awareness and appreciation of cultural differences through academic and experiential opportunities. Scholarships are awarded with a preference for underrepresented students in study abroad programs, including minorities, first-generation college students, community college students and those choosing to study in non-traditional countries. Follow FEA at www.fundforeducationabroad.org, and on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and on Twitter: @FEAScholarships.