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For Community-Driven Global Development

Opportunities for Funding your FSD Internship

An internship with FSD is a life-changing experience that not only gives you first-hand experience working in international development but also equips you with valuable skills and knowledge to be successful in your future goals. Accepting an opportunity to intern with one of our community-based organizations is exciting, and we at FSD believe that every student should have the opportunity to participate in an international internship, regardless of socioeconomic status. Although our scholarship funds are limited, we want to provide you with resources to help you as you seek funding for this truly unique internship opportunity!

Below is a summary of some options that may be available to you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to follow our tips to look for more scholarships for which you may be eligible.

Opportunities at your university:

Did you know that one of the best places to find internship funding is at your university? Depending on the size of your institution, many on-campus departments offer scholarships and the resources to help you acquire them. Here are some different on-campus departments that are worth checking out:

Major and/or Minor Department

Depending on your concentration of study, your university might have major or minor specific scholarships to help fund your experience abroad. Departments on college campuses often receive donations from alumni to establish scholarship funds for students pursuing a particular major. Generally, the amount is small, but competition is often minimal considering you are only applying against other students in your major or minor. Your college advisor, your college’s financial aid office, or your department’s main office and website will likely have information on scholarships available for students pursuing your intended major.

Career Services Center

The Career Center at your university is always an excellent resource that provides guidance to help you strengthen your skills for a future career. However, it is important to recognize that they also offer scholarships grants and awards that provide financial support for international internships. For example, the University Career Services Center at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill boasts an extensive list of internship funding opportunities available to students.

Financial Aid Office

Depending on the institution and your financial need, your university’s financial aid office could have grant or scholarship opportunities for funding your internship abroad experience. If you completed and submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through your university, you may be eligible for accessing grants that could also help you in securing funding for your internship.

Departments relevant to your internship’s location, field, or project theme

All of the grassroots community organizations we partner with abroad are working in sectors that relate to environmental sustainability, gender equity, health, financial inclusion, youth, education, sustainable agriculture, microenterprise, and human rights. Many universities offer scholarships for students pursuing service based opportunities abroad working specifically in these areas. For example, if you are interning at one of our Latin America sites, you can contact your home institution’s Latin American Studies Center to see if there are options for you. If you are working with a women’s empowerment organization, you can check with the Women’s Center to see what is available.

Other on-campus departments that could provide financial assistance for your FSD internship are the International Programs Office, the Study Abroad Center and your university’s Centers related to Public and/or International Service.

External Scholarship Opportunities

Browse the links below for outside scholarship sources could be great opportunities to fund your FSD internship:

  • GoOverseas offers a $500 scholarship for any student who is enrolled in an American Institution and is planning on interning abroad. 
  • provides the Intern & Volunteer Abroad Scholarship Essay Contest which provides students with a $500 scholarship. This amount is paid directly to the selected intern with the information provided on their application or to the intern or volunteer abroad program.
  • The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a program created through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Gilman Scholarship gives students aid who would otherwise be unable to finance an international internship. 
  • The Live Like Ally Foundation awards scholarships and grants up to $10,000 to students between 15 and 23 years old who intend to intern, volunteer, or participate in a service learning project while abroad. Grant requests most likely to be considered would be from individuals looking to experience world travel, serve underserved groups locally, nationally or abroad, and in their own ways align with global perspectives on human rights and respect for the environment. Live Like Ally is a memorial to Allison Willen, who was studying abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand, when she passed away on a hiking trip.
  • The Rotary Foundation funds a variety of scholarships for secondary, undergraduate, and graduate study. Rotary Clubs scholarships are given by local clubs and open to anyone except Rotary members and their families. *Rotary Global Grants are also given, but long-standing membership as well as financial contribution is required. 
  • The WIIT Charitable Trust Scholarship Program awards female undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in international development financial assistance. 
  • Overseas Ambassador Program offered through Diversity Abroad is an initiative created for current students or recent graduates who are planning to study, intern, volunteer or teach abroad. Overseas Ambassadors will earn a stipend in return for representing Diversity Abroad, writing articles, and sharing experiences while away. Geared toward economically disadvantaged students, first-generation, students with disabilities and ethnically and racially diverse students. *The Overseas Ambassador Program is only open to students pursuing a Fall or Spring semester program. 
  • The Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded biannually to students wanting to explore the world.  An award of $1,000 and an Outbreaker backpack will be awarded to the winner. *Students must already be accepted to a program.
  • ScholarTrips offered by Allianz Global Assistance grants up to six $2,500 scholarships to put towards a study abroad or volunteer opportunity. Thirty runners-up receive a $50 Amazon gift card.
  • The Christianson Grant is awarded to young Americans between the ages of 18-28 who have been accepted to a service-based project or internship abroad. Award amounts range from $2,500 - $10,000. *The programs must be at least 6 months in length and not be a part of a degree requirement or for any class credit. 
  • The Brower Youth Awards is an annual award presented to 6 environmental and social justice leaders ages 13-22. The awards were created in honor of environmental advocate David Brower and his work with youth working towards the protection of the planet. Awardees are also granted a $3,000 cash award and an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco, CA to attend the awards ceremony and receive ongoing mentoring support through the Earth Island Institute. *Projects must have a measurable environmental and social impact and have demonstrated significant progress by the application deadline. This prestigious award can be considered after completing the FSD GAP Year to highlight your experience and community impact.
  • GoAbroad has partnered with Lonely Planet, to introduce a $2,500 scholarship for an individual entrant to pursue their dream of volunteering abroad. *No essay or co-curricular summary is required for consideration.
  • Hostelling International USA offers a scholarship of $2,000 to help finance a student’s international trip under the condition that there is an educational or service component to their itinerary. *Other requirements include demonstrated financial need by being a current of former Pell Grant recipient and residing or attending school in a metropolitan area where there is a Hostelling International
  • As an alternative to large-scale crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, FundMyTravel gives students their own platform for raising money for study abroad, internships, and volunteer opportunities abroad. With FundMyTravel, students can start a free fundraising page and post photos and updates to keep their friends and family informed of the status of their fundraising efforts. *FundMyTravel takes 5% from all donations to keep the website operating
  • Students can also increase their outreach by using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to gain financial support among friends and family.