Learning Abroad Center

IES Scholarship


The Learning Abroad Center's IES Scholarship provides study abroad awards for University of Minnesota undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need who are participating on an IES study abroad program.

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.

The IES Scholarship is not merit-based and awards are granted based on the strength of a student’s essay.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students on any University of Minnesota campus.
  • You must participate in a credit-bearing study abroad program offered by IES.
  • Preference will be given to students who 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. To determine if you are receiving subsidized loans, log on to your FAAN or contact the Office of Student Finance at One Stop. If selected for an award, documentation of your financial aid eligibility will be requested.


Essays will be evaluated based on:

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

Essay Questions

The application comprised of 2 separate essay questions:

  1. General study abroad essay (required)
  2. Financial need essay (required)

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 goals you are focusing on, explain how your goals enhance 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. (350 words maximum)

Deadlines & Eligible Terms

Scholarship notification emails will be sent to all applicants' UofM email accounts by the deadline listed below. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date.

Term of Study Deadline Date Notification Date
Fall 2021 April 7, 2021 By mid May 2021
Spring 2022 October 13, 2021 By late November 2021

Award Amounts

Term Amount
Summer session Up to $2,000
Fall & spring semesters Up to $3,000

The number of scholarships awarded by the deadline may vary depending on the pool of applicants and the funding available.

How to submit your application:

You can apply for this scholarship after you have submitted your application for an IES program to the Learning Abroad Center. The scholarship application will appear as an optional item in your program application checklist.