group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

Ecolab Learning Abroad Planning Scholarship


    The Ecolab Learning Abroad Planning Scholarship provides study abroad awards for Twin Cities University of Minnesota undergraduate students who are enrolled in eligible learning abroad programs* that have a focus on environmental sustainability problems.

    This scholarship is intended to:

    • Ease the financial barrier of study abroad for students with significant financial need.
    • Provide assurance of funding earlier in the process and encourage early financial planning. Recipients have up to one year to use their award.
    • Increase representation of economically disadvantaged students on study abroad programs.

    This scholarship is not merit-based and awards are granted based on the strength of a student’s essay and expressed interest in study abroad opportunities.

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Must have completed a minimum of 30 credits by the time of participation in your study abroad program
    • Must be enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students on the Twin Cities campus at the time of participation in your study abroad program
    • Must be in good academic standing
    • A demonstrated interest in and/or passion for learning the skills and knowledge needed to put sustainability into practice, solve pressing environmental challenges in Minnesota and globally, or finding solutions for our world’s grand environmental challenges
    • Applicants must be participating in an eligible credit-bearing study abroad program* (see below)
    • Applicants must demonstrate financial need by having a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file. For the purpose of this scholarship, “financial need” is defined as being eligible for subsidized loans during the academic year you plan to study abroad. Eligibility can be based either on your current on-campus costs OR on the estimated cost of participation in your study abroad program. To determine if you are eligible for subsidized loans, follow these instructions or schedule a financial aid preview meeting. The Learning Abroad Center verifies eligibility with Onestop for all potential awardees. 
    • If you are awarded the Ecolab Learning Abroad Planning Scholarship, you cannot also receive the Learning Abroad Financial Need Scholarship.

    Preference Factors

    • Demonstrate an interest in environmental justice and/or equity issues
    • Have not already received other UMN Ecolab scholarships
    • Are able to participate in future programs and events offered through the Ecolab Scholar Program including an annual fall retreat for all Ecolab scholars, and other workshops designed to help students become the leaders we need to address complex environmental challenges.

    Eligible Programs

    Institute on the Environment

    Institute on the Environment programs approved for the current application cycle are TBD 

    Learning Abroad Center Programs

    Semester Programs

    • Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) seeks to engage students, faculty, staff, and the general community in dialogue and reciprocal learning with people from Africa, Asia, and Latin America concerning local and global problems, with a particular emphasis on development issues. Locations include:  Thailand, Ecuador, Senegal, and Kenya.
    • Study Abroad in Denmark (DIS) - Eligible tracks include:  Environmental Science of the Arctic Program and Sustainability.

    Short Term Programs

    • TBD

    Obtaining Approval for Other Programs

    Other programs will be considered, including those listed on the Learning Abroad with the Sustainability Studies Minor resource.   Include a rationale in your essay for how a program you are considering will further sustainability concerns and allow you to gain new perspectives on sustainability challenges at the global scale.

    If you have questions about program eligibility, e-mail the Institute on the Environment at


    Essays will be evaluated based on:

    • how thoroughly you answer the specific essay question
    • how well written your essay is in terms of grammar, punctuation, and organization

    Essay Questions

    This application is comprised of 2 separate essay questions:

    1. Study abroad motivation and connection to sustainability and the environment essay
    2. Financial need essay

    Essay Question #1

    What motivated you to select your particular study abroad program? Address any academic, career, and/or personal goals that were part of your decision, and expand on one or more of them*. (350 words maximum) 

    “Academic” goals do not need to be related to your major; we are looking for you to describe how the program coursework and/or components are relevant to your goals. Regardless of what type of goal(s) you are focusing on, explain how your goal(s) enhances intellectual learning.

    Essay Question #2

    We understand your financial aid (as assessed on the FAFSA) may not fully explain your financial circumstances.  While eligibility for this award is determined by qualification for subsidized loans, scholarship reviewers do not have access to your financial aid information. 

    With that in mind, elaborate on the specifics of the financial circumstances impacting your and/or your family's ability to pay for study abroad.  Discuss what financial planning strategies you will use and/or steps you have already taken to pay for study abroad. Be as specific as possible. Your responses will remain confidential.

      Deadlines & Award Amounts

      Apply for the deadline based on the Education Abroad Term found on the Apply section of your Program page. Contact Kelley Redmond if you are unsure of your program term or have any questions. 

      This scholarship will not be offered for Fall 2020. We hope top offer the award again in Spring 2021 for the program terms below. 

      Term Abroad Deadline Date  Notification Date

      Spring Break 2021

      May Session 2021

      May Session 2021 (Spring 2021 on-campus course)

      Summer 2021

      Fall Semester 2021

      Academic Year 2021-22

      Winter Break  2021-22

      Winter Break  2021-22(Fall 2019 on-campus course) 

      Winter Break  2021-22 (Spring 2020 on-campus course)

      Spring Semester 2022

      Calendar Year Spring 2022-Fall 2022

      Early February 2021

      March 2021

      Applications are due by 11:59pm on the posted deadline.  All applicants will be notified via email by the posted date.

       Award Amounts

      Term Amount
      Academic Year $5,000
      Fall Semester  $5,000

      Winter Break
      Winter Break (Fall on-campus course)
      Winter Break (Spring on-campus course)

      Calendar Year  $5,000
      Spring Semester  $5,000
      Spring Break $2,500
      May Session
      May Session (Spring on-campus course)
      Summer Session $3,500


      Submit Your Application

      • Check the scholarship deadlines for the term you will be studying abroad.
      • Begin filling out your scholarship application and essay and submit via the Learning Abroad Center Online Scholarship Portal. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the application deadline date, no exceptions. 
      • Once in the portal you have to 'SIGNUP' for an account every time you start an application for a different scholarship. Use the 'LOGIN' to access an application you have already started.
      • Paper, faxed, or emailed applications will not be accepted