Financial Aid

Financial assistance for summer study-abroad programs is limited, but in the past some students have secured financial aid for ieiMedia programs. Check first with your campus financial aid office AND your international programs office for more information about what funding is available through your school. Ask your department chair or dean about scholarships and special funding for study-abroad opportunities.


ieiMedia has a partnership with Fund My Travel, a new online fundraising platform developed by that allows students to raise funds for “meaningful travel experiences,” such as study-abroad programs and overseas internships. Participants can create a customized webpage that describes their travel plans and sets a fundraising goal. They can then share the page with friends, family members and other contacts through social networking sites. Read more about this method of fundraising on our blog.

Scholarship for the Urbino Program

James Foley Memorial Scholarship in International Photojournalism

In honor of the courageous men and women who risk their lives in order to report from the world’s most dangerous places ieiMedia has established the James Foley Memorial Scholarship in memory of the photojournalist who was tragically executed while covering the war in Syria.

This $5,000 photojournalism scholarship covers tuition, program fees and meals for participation in our Urbino program, jointly sponsored by James Madison University and Iowa State University. The winner will work with two award-winning photojournalists in an experiential program that runs through the month of June 2015. The recipient is responsible for his/her own airfare.

To enter the competition you must submit a link to an online photographic portfolio as well as a short letter explaining why an international reporting experience is important for your education. The portfolio should be well organized and show evidence of curiosity about other groups or cultures. The letter should not exceed 300 words. The judging will be done by a jury of professional photojournalists including former White House Photographer and Washington Post staff photographer Susan Biddle as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Dennis Chamberlin.

Apply for the Foley Scholarship here.

Scholarships for the Jerusalem Program

Rothberg International School Summer Study Travel Grants

The Rothberg International School at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has generously offered up to 15 scholarships for students enrolled in ieiMedia’s international reporting program in Jerusalem.

The first 15 students who apply will be given scholarships of $400. The scholarships are available to U.S. citizens and students of other nationalities who are enrolled in an American college or university.

For more information about scholarships and financial aid, fill out our contact form.

The Rothberg International School also provides scholarships for Canadian students. Please see this website for more information.

Because Israel is considered a holy place for the world’s three major religions — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — students may be able to get financial assistance to travel there from religious institutions and organizations. Christian students, for example, may be able to get financial aid from their church or a Christian organization. Jewish students may be able to get scholarships or grants from their synagogues, or other groups, including:

Jewish Federation

In the United States, most cities have a location Jewish Federation that gives out scholarships. Each Federation has its own requirements for scholarships.

To apply, contact your location federation. To locate your local federation, go to The Federations of North America’s Jewish Finder Web site.

Tip on Getting Money from Your Federation
The only way to get money from your federation is to CALL their office. DO NOT email them if you want to get a scholarship.

When you call the Federation, ask to speak with the Financial Aid Director or to the person in charge of scholarships. Explain your situation to them (i.e. you’re an aspiring journalist and want to participate in ieiMedia’s program in Jerusalem, you can’t afford to pay the whole program fee, etc.). Ask them if you’re eligible to apply to any of their scholarships.

Bureau of Jewish Education

In the United States, many cities have a Bureau of Jewish Education that gives out scholarships. Contact your local Bureau of Jewish Education directly to find out if they have scholarships for which you might be eligible.

Synagogues and Churches

Many synagogues and churches in the United States and Canada have discretionary funds that may be used for scholarships, particularly to help students travel to Israel. Often these are not publicized. Ask your priest, rabbi or minister if they could help pay for this educational experience in Israel.

Scholarships for all ieiMedia programs

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Financial Aid

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to support students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities. The program seeks to assist students from a diverse range of public and private institutions from all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study-abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

This congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston, TX.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers scholarships for summer programs to students from all majors who meet the program’s standard eligibility criteria.  For more information, view their website on Summer Scholarships (click on the “Summer” tab). 

The Summer 2015 online application will open in January 2015; all online applications are due March 3, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

One student who participated in our 2011 Istanbul program received a $5,000 Gilman scholarship.

Deadline: March 3, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Average grant: $3,000

For students applying for any academic term (Academic Year, Fall, Spring or Summer) please find the eligibility requirements below:

  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student at a two or four-year U.S. Institution
  • United States citizen
  • Receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of study abroad
  • Participating in a study-abroad program that is no less than 4 weeks in one country
  • Receiving academic credit
  • Study in any country not currently under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Cuba

Other Organizations

  • Go! Overseas offers $1,000 scholarships for students planning to study abroad in any program. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15.
  • The Fund for Education Abroad offers scholarships for U.S. citizens interested in studying abroad.
  • The Overseas Press Club offers 12 $2,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students who aspire to become foreign correspondents. Applications, including a 500-word essay, a cover letter and a resume, are due Dec. 1.
  • The Sons of Italy Foundation offers National Leadership Grants to undergraduate and graduate students who are U.S. citizens of Italian descent (at least one Italian or Italian American grandparent).
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society offers 45 $1,000 scholarships for high-achieving students to study abroad.
  • The Turkish Coalition of America offers several scholarships for students interested in studying in Turkey.

School-Specific Scholarships

A number of schools have scholarships specifically for study-abroad programs. Among them:

Ask your international programs office if your school has any special scholarships for study abroad.

Other Funding Sources

Local, regional and national groups sometimes provide scholarships for independent study projects or study-abroad programs. These include:

  • Heritage groups that have interests in specific countries (e.g. National Italian American Foundation)
  • Civic groups (Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs)
  • Agencies and foundations
  • Professional and business clubs
  • Sororities and fraternities (local and national chapters)
  • Charitable, ethnic, religious and campus organizations

Some students have also had luck applying directly to a relative, friend or other private donor.

Write a letter to the group or individual specifying how you intend to spend the funds (airfare, program fee, tuition, personal travel, etc.) and what you hope to gain from the program. In exchange for the financial support, you should pledge to give something back, such as regular updates while you are abroad or making a presentation about your experiences when you return.

Other Fundraising Ideas

  • Request financial gifts or loans instead of holiday, birthday or graduation gifts
  • Find out if your parents’ employers or your employers have a scholarship program
  • Ask family members to donate frequent flyer miles
  • Set up a crowdfunding campaign. ieiMedia has a partnership with Fund My Travel. Organizations like MyTab, GoGetFunding and Funding4Learning also help students raise funds for education. To find out how Funding4Learning works watch this video.

Apply Now

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Students Say...

My time in Urbino has truly been indescribable. It’s not just the gorgeous city itself, but it’s the local people of this small town that have made the past couple weeks so special to me. Everyone here is so full of life and passionate about what they do; all they want is to share what they know with us, while learning a thing or two from us Americans as well. I will never forget my trip to Urbino, the rich lessons learned and the amazing people I met along the way.
by Stephanie Strickland, James Madison University, Urbino Project 2012