OVPDEMA's Study Abroad Scholarship


Scholarship applications are reviewed by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) after the posted deadline. This scholarship is not intended to pay for an entire study abroad program, but rather to assist students in covering some of the costs associated with international study. OVPDEMA highly encourages students to seek additional funding sources for the study abroad programs. Remember that each scholarship has a specific deadline. Make sure to apply early. Below is a list of excellent financial aid resources:

Eligibility Requirements

Applications will be accepted from undergraduate students enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program on the IU Bloomington campus. The study abroad experience must take place during the period immediately following applications. Applications submitted for retroactive reimbursement will not be considered. Students in any one of the following programs are eligible to apply:

Applicants must be in good disciplinary and academic standing at the time of application and must maintain academic progress toward degree completion to receive the scholarship award. To receive OVPDEMA study abroad scholarships, students need to have minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students with a lower than 2.5 GPA may submit an appeal letter to the OVPDEMA Study Abroad Scholarship selection committee. Appeal decisions are made by the committee on a case-by-case basis.  The appeal letter should address the following three questions and must not exceed 500 words. 

  • Explanation of low GPA (below 2.5)
  • Why the study abroad experience will help the applicant
  • What the applicant is planning to do to bring his/her GPA up after the study abroad experience

Students must be accepted to an IU Study Abroad program that offers credit, as listed under the IU Office of Overseas Study programs. Some IU departmental programs that have study abroad components are acceptable. Applicants must comply with IU Office of Overseas Study policies and regulations. Seniors must have one semester to complete at IU upon their return from the study abroad programs.Students who plan to graduate before they complete their study abroad experience or the study abroad program is during their last semester at IU are not eligible. Students who demonstrate financial need will be given special consideration. Students receiving a full scholarship from another source are not eligible for this study abroad scholarship.

Application Process and Requirements

The application deadline for Fall 2016 programs is Monday, May 16, 2016. All application materials must be received by the deadline. Incomplete applications or applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

The application material consists of one application form and three recommendation forms.

Application form

The application essay should answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to undertake your program abroad?
  • How will your study abroad contribute to your academic and/or professional growth?
  • How will your study abroad contribute to your potential to give back to others?

Essays cannot exceed 250 words. Applications with essays longer than 250 words will not be accepted. We recommend typing your essay in MS Word (check the spelling and character count; character count is under the word count tool) and then pasting it into the application.

The OVPDEMA Study Abroad Scholarship does not accept paper applications. All application materials must be submitted via email to demaschl@indiana.edu.

Recommendation forms (3)

Submit three letters of recommendation (at least one recommender must be an IU faculty member from your major/minor). To determine if a person is "faculty," please use IU Address Book. It must say 'Faculty' under 'Affiliation.' Graduate students are not considered faculty. Recommendation letters from family members will not be accepted. Letters from friends are only suitable if they attest to the applicants' work ethic or academic ability. We encourage students get a recommendation letter from your program advisor/mentor. Please find a downloadable recommendation form here.

Selection and Notification

The scholarship committee will rate applications based on the following selection criteria:

  • Quality of the applicant’s response to the scholarship essay (250 words maximum)
  • Quality of the recommendation forms (one recommendation form must be from an IU faculty member from the applicant's major/minor)
  • Whether the overseas program relates to the major/minor that applicant is pursuing
  • Applicant’s cumulative grade point average
  • Country of destination. Students are encouraged to consider studying in a non-traditional destination within the following regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Central or South America, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East. Browse the IU Office of Overseas Study list of IU programs and destinations.
  • Limited previous experience abroad. Preference will be given to students who do not have extensive travel or study abroad experience.
  • Duration of the applicant’s study abroad program. Preference will be given to summer and semester-long programs.
  • Whether previous recipients of OVPDEMA study abroad scholarships. Preference will be given to students who previously have not received OVPDEMA study abroad scholarships.

Scholarship awards will range from $500 to $4,000. Scholarship award notifications will be sent electronically; applicants should be sure a correct email address is provided. Scholarship funds will post to the awardee's Statement of Account with the Indiana University Office of the Bursar. Award recipients will be required to submit pictures and short reports, the following semester after the study abroad program. Questions about OVPDEMA's Study Abroad Scholarship Program or the application process should be sent to demaschl@indiana.edu with the subject line "Fall 2016 Study Abroad Scholarship Application."