Wednesday, October 8, 2014

World Wisdom With Weaver - Student Travel Round #2

Happy October! I know I have touched on the topic of student travel and gave you several ideas of where to travel and what groups/companies can accommodate you, but in this blog post I'm going to give you some information on HOW to fund it!

See, I know that money can be tight. Trust me - I have a 4-month old who thinks it's an Olympic sport to see how many diapers he can go through in a day - I know. But, I would hate to think that a student decides NOT to travel based on cost. That's the worst reason.

One of my favorite quotes is "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"  I'd like to modify that and suggest "Where would you attempt to travel if money was not a boundary?" Don't let a lack of funds keep you stateside. Seek out funding help!  With that in mind, my wonderful friend Ketja Lingenfelter (Assistant Director for Student Global Engagement, Office of International Programs, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University) has provided me with some promising scholarships that could help you or a student you know to travel internationally. Please check them out!

Applications are now being accepted for US Department of State study abroad programs U.S. high school students. These are all merit-based scholarships and most programs have no language prerequisites. Gap year students are also encouraged to apply as long as they remain age eligible. Here are the upcoming deadlines by program. Please note the first deadline, for the NSLI-Y program, is coming up soon.

  1. The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
    1. Offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the culture life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. 
    2. The application deadline for summer 2015 and academic year 2015-2016 is OCTOBER 30, 2014
  2. The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program
    1. Offers merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in countries that may include: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Oman, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This program increases understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service, and complete a capstone project.
    2. Applications for academic year 2015-2016 programs are due JANUARY 7, 2015
  3. The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX)
    1. Offers merit-based scholarships to spend an academic year in Germany. The program was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Students live with host families, attend local schools, and participate in community life of Germany. 
    2. Applications for academic year 2015-2016 are due JANUARY 8, 2015

For more information on exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit or watch THIS VIDEO about U.S. high school student exchanges. To receive printed brochures and/or posters about our study abroad opportunities, send an e-mail with your request to

For information on having an international experience without leaving home, consider hosting a Department of State-sponsored exchange student. Learn more at
So, what's your excuse now?!?! GO TRAVEL!

Agriculturally Yours, 

Nicole Weaver
PSU Global Teach Ag! Fellow
Ag. Teacher


  1. Great list, Nicole. Thanks for sharing this. I would also recommend students look to regionally focused foundations (the Japan Foundation or Confucius Institute, for example) for scholarships to go abroad to specific destinations.

  2. Caitlin, Thanks for the response and for the input! I think that is a great suggestion. Most times I think people have a desire to do something but just don't know where to start. To have input like this makes it easier to take that first step! Take care!