Financial Support

Financial Support is available for any major to cover a portion of the cost of a summer abroad. The total cost includes tuition and fees, room and board, international airfare, in-country transportation to program site, books, passport, visa, insurance, inoculations, and personal expenses (program budget must be approved by the Education Abroad Advisor). The application deadline for CIE-administered Summer Abroad scholarships and grants (e.g., New Horizons Grant) is 15 February.*
»See: Summer Abroad Scholarships and Grants

Money from around the world

Internal Scholarships

Global Education Opportunity (GEO) Scholarship

Significant scholarship funding is available for a semester abroad. Financial Aid is available to cover the total cost including tuition and fees, room and board, international airfare, in-country transportation to program site, books, passport, visa, insurance, inoculations, and personal expenses (program budget must be approved by the Education Abroad Advisor).

The Global Education Opportunity (GEO) Scholarship is considered an institutional contribution to the Cost of Education (COE) for the term abroad. All students must contribute a minimum of $1000 (self-help), and financial aid for the remainder of the cost will be based on need as determined by the FAFSA Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Loans (not grant aid) will be awarded for the balance after the COE grant, $1000 self-help, and EFC. In all cases, however, total grant aid provided by the College (i.e., the COE grant plus any institutional grants awarded toward the need-based remainder) will not exceed a certain amount. The current cap is set at $6,000. Endowed funding is variable every year, as are the number of applicants, so the scholarship may be capped at a lower amount.

The CIE also administers two other scholarships that are awarded for a term abroad:

Bolin Blaine Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to assist a Berea College junior with study outside the United States for a minimum period of one month during the junior year. The amount of the scholarship is typically $500. The fund was established in 2004 and named for John Seelye Bolin and Sandra Anne Blaine Bolin in memory of their families and their contributions to Berea College. Both John and Sandra Bolin served as instructors and administrators of Berea College.

Charles E and Patricia Timberlake International Scholarship:

A $1000 scholarship is awarded each term for study in a non-traditional location (especially outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand) to a student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

No additional applications are necessary for the Bolin Blaine and Timberlake scholarships; recipients are selected from the pool of students approved for a term abroad.

External Scholarships

In addition to funding from Berea College, there are also external scholarships to help pay for a semester abroad. For example, the Kentucky Institute for International Studies offers a $500 KIIS Scholarship for each one of its summer programs. Some of these external scholarships can be used for programs anywhere in the world (e.g., Gilman International Scholarship), while others are specific to a region or country (e.g., Bridging Scholarship for Japan). Some providers (e.g., ISA, SIT Study Abroad, CGEE and others) also offer scholarships to participants in their programs. Learn more about external scholarships.

Other Financial Aid

Since summer is considered optional, the only forms of financial aid available for summer programs—other than education abroad scholarships and grants—are from federal sources, specifically the Stafford Loan and the Pell Grant (Berea College loans may be an option for BIST participants). Before applying for admission to a summer program, consult with Student Financial Aid Services to ensure that you are able to apply some of your Pell Grant money and that you are eligible for subsidized and/or unsubsidized Stafford Loans sufficient to meet the total cost of participation. The maximum Stafford Loan amount that a student can borrow is based on financial need, classification, dependency status, and annual borrowing limits as set by federal regulations.

To be eligible for a Stafford Loan, students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher and be enrolled on at least a half-time basis during the summer. This generally means enrolling in two courses for a total of 6 semester credits (equivalent to 1.5 Berea course credits).

The application deadline for summer loans is 1 March. Stafford Loan applications will be processed after education abroad scholarships/grants have been awarded and you have been accepted to your program.

Disbursement of Funds

Financial aid for program fees—including both education abroad funding and Stafford Loans—will be disbursed directly to your program administrator, provided that a consortium agreement is in place (see Consortium Agreements in sidebar). Any remaining aid (e.g., for airfare not billed by the program, books, or personal expenses) will be disbursed to students during finals week.

Application Fees

Application fees cannot be covered by financial aid, so plan ahead and save. Application fees can be hefty and generally are non-refundable.


College loans, based on need, will be available for the $1000 self-help contribution and for any additional need. College loans will be interest-free, except for those applied to the $1000 self-help requirement. Stafford Loans will be available to replace EFC.

Travel Grants

Planning to visit cultural or historic sites beyond the scope of your formal education abroad program? Already approved for a semester abroad? If so, apply for the Emilie Strong Smith Travel Grant, which provides up to $500 for non-program travel. Deadline: November 1 for Spring and April 1 for Fall.


For questions about education abroad scholarships and grants, contact the Education Abroad Team at or 859-985-3453, or drop by 205 Woods-Penniman.

For questions about financial aid (e.g., Stafford Loans and consortium agreements), contact Paul Winker or any other counselor in Student Financial Aid Services.

* The Department of Foreign Languages also offers financial support for qualified majors and minors.