Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature



Boren Scholarships provide funding to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. The program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security (defined broadly to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness). All applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to this broad understanding of national security and incorporate formal language study into their study abroad program.

The Boren Scholarships offer a special initiative for STEM majors knowing that spending 1-2 semesters abroad can be difficult to accommodate within the confines of STEM curriculum requirements.  The scholarship funds summer study abroad with the restriction that the program must be a minimum of 8 weeks. 

Eligibility Requirements

    • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application
    • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited US institution and remain enrolled for the duration of the scholarship ( may not graduate until the scholarship is complete). 
    • Be applying to a study abroad program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

Characteristics of a Competitive Application

Preference is given to students will incorporate study of less commonly taught languages in countries that are critical to national security, and who will make a commitment to work in the federal government.  Beyond those restrictions, it's important that applicants:

    • make sure you are choosing a study abroad program that is appropriate for your language level, major, and future interests. 
    • be committed to incorporating significant language study into the study abroad experience and express a plan for continuing to study that program upon return to the US.  It is not necessary to have previous experience with the language as long as you are participating in a program appropriate for beginners. 
    • make a well thought out, sincere case for how specific objectives and how they relate to national security as broadly defined
    • submit a well organized, application package that clearly presents your current academic plan, proposed study abroad experience, and future career goals into one strong narrative.

Application Procedure

The application consists of the Boren Scholarship application to be completed online by the application and the following supplemental materials which must be submitted to the campus representative:

    • a minimum of 2, but no more than 3, recommendation letters which must be original hard copies signed, and in a sealed envelope with the writers signature across the seal
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (freshman applicants must provide high school transcripts as well)
    • Language self-assessment
    • Language proficiency form (optional)
    • A one page study abroad program description with cost information included

Detailed application information can be found on the Boren website.  For information regarding Purdue deadlines and procedures for submitting supplemental materials, please contact the Director of Programs for Study Abroad.