Learning Abroad Center

Diversity Study Abroad Scholarship


The Learning Abroad Center’s Diversity Study Abroad Scholarship provides awards for University of Minnesota undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds and identities. This scholarship is intended to:

  • Motivate underrepresented students to go abroad by easing the financial barrier
  • Increase representation of diverse viewpoints on study abroad programs

For the purpose of this scholarship, diversity may include (but is not limited to) cultural, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, first generation college students, military, or other perspectives or viewpoints that contribute to the diversity of the student body. This scholarship is not need or merit-based, and awards are granted on the strength of a student’s essay.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be enrolled as a degree-seeking undergraduate student on the Twin Cities or Rochester campuses at the time of application.
  • You must be participating in a credit-bearing study abroad program through the Learning Abroad Center or Carlson Global Institute (this includes CGI's self-designed international experience, IBUS 3999). 
  • Students who obtain collegiate approval to participate in a nonaffiliated program or directed study are eligible. 
  • Virtual internship programs and National Student Exchange programs (except NSE Canada) are not eligible.
  • You can only apply once per application cycle.  For example, a student participating in a winter break program and a spring semester program can apply for one of these terms but not both.
  • If participating in an Academic Year or Calendar Year program, you can only apply for Academic Year or Calendar Year scholarship awards. For example, for Academic Year programs, you cannot apply for both the Fall and Spring cycles, only the Academic Year cycle.
  • Students can apply for any or all of the Learning Abroad Center scholarships (Study Abroad, Diversity, and Financial Need) for which they are eligible. It is possible to be awarded both the Diversity and Financial Need scholarships. Students who receive the Diversity or Financial Need scholarships cannot also receive the Study Abroad scholarship. 
  • Students who receive the President's Emerging Scholars Fund the Gap Scholarship are not eligible for this award. 
  • Students are eligible to utilize this scholarship for a program offered during a term immediately following their graduation.
  • Students can receive a maximum of 3 Learning Abroad Center scholarships (Study Abroad, Diversity, Financial Need) during their undergraduate career.


Essays are evaluated based on:

  • How thoroughly you answer the specific questions outlined below
  • How well written your essay is, in terms of grammar, punctuation, and organization

Note: we encourage you to avoid using Chat GPT or other automated language tools when writing essays. The scholarship essay scoring rubric favors applications with strong personal voice, perspectives and experiences. The use of general and cliche language, which is often found in ChatGPT/AI tools, will likely result in a lower score. We value your authentic thoughts and reflections as they contribute to a more meaningful and insightful application.

Essay Questions

This application is comprised of 2 separate essay questions:

  1. General study abroad essay (required)
  2. Diversity essay (required)

Essay Question #1

Reflect on how the program you chose relates to your academic, career, and/or personal goals. Why did you choose this particular program? Describe specific program features and elaborate on how these will help you meet one or more of your goals. (350 words maximum)

As you write your essay, consider the following:

  • “Academic” goals do not need to be related to your major; we are looking for you to describe how the program coursework, model, and/or features are relevant to your goals. 
  • Regardless of what type of goals you are focusing on, explain how your goals enhance intellectual learning.

Essay Question #2

  • How have your diverse backgrounds and identities influenced your decision to learn abroad? What challenges and growth opportunities unique to your identities do you anticipate throughout your time abroad?
  • How might your lived experiences prepare you for these challenges? (350 words maximum)

Deadlines & Award Amounts

Apply before the deadline for the term you are studying abroad, found on the Dates tab of your program. Contact Nathan Jacobson with any questions. 

The application for your term abroad will become available after the current deadline has passed. For example, if you are studying abroad in spring, you cannot apply until after the deadline for fall programs.

Term AbroadAmountApplication AvailableDeadline DateNotification Date
Winter break 2025
Winter break 2025 (fall 2024 on-campus course)
Winter break 2025 (spring 2025 on-campus course)
$1,000Application not yet availablemid-October 2024mid-November 2024
Spring break 2025$1,000Application not yet availablemid-October 2024mid-November 2024
Spring semester 2025$2,500Application not yet availablemid-October 2024mid-November 2024
Calendar year (spring 2025 - fall 2025)$4,000Application not yet availablemid-October 2024mid-November 2024
May session 2025
May session 2025 (spring 2025 on-campus course)
$1,000Application not yet availablemid-February 2025Late March 2025
Summer session 2025$1,500Application not yet availablemid-February 2025Late March 2025
Fall semester 2025$2,500Application not yet availableearly April 2025mid-May 2025
Academic year (fall 2025 - spring 2026)$4,000Application not yet availableearly April 2025mid-May 2025

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on the deadline date. Scholarship notification emails will be sent to all applicants' UofM email accounts 4–6 weeks after the deadline.

Submit your application:

Applications are not currently being accepted for this scholarship.  The next application round (Winter break 2025, Spring break 2025, Spring semester 2025, and Calendar year 2025) will open in late May 2024.