Alternate Scholarship Resources
Sponsored by Smith - Boren
1. General Outline
3. Approved Countries
4. News & Tips
5. Study Abroad Plan
6. NSEP Service Requirement
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Undergraduate Study Abroad Academic Year or Semester in Conjunction with Smith Study Abroad Program
The David L Boren Undergraduate Scholarship is named for former Senator Boren, founder of the National Security Education Program in 1991. Mr. Boren is now president of the University of Oklahoma. He is a former Rhodes Scholar.
FOR JUNIOR YEAR, or semester abroad to study a foreign language &/or culture, and/or for a summer for junior applied science or engineering majors. Preference is given to students applying for a full year. Must be matriculated undergraduate entire time abroad. Seniors don't apply, but can apply as juniors for senior-year use before graduation. Sophomores apply for Junior year, starting late summer, early fall.
- Awards up to two semesters of $10,000 maximum per semester ($20,000 total). Students can also apply for the Gilman Scholarship www.iie.org/gilman &/or to the Freeman-ASIA Program http://www.iie.org/freeman-asia for additional funding.
- 3.5 GPA required to enter Smith's sponsorship program, as well as a suitably relevant background by way of the right courses taken to be able to demonstrate benefit from the proposed project. (2002 had 681 applicants and 194 awards = 29% chance)
Boren has preferred countries and unavailable countries (those in Western Europe, Australasia and Canada). There is a third category which is all other countries in neither list for which an extra-strong case must be made that includes a preferred language and or career goals that match NSEP goals. Boren awards fellowships to a handful of these each year. Questions: 1-800-618-6737
To check for State Dept. Travel Warnings (which then exclude even listed countries) go to:
Targeted Fields of Study include agriculture, anthropology, applied sciences, biology, biomedical science, business, chemistry, computer & information sciences, economics, engineering, environmental sciences, food sciences, health, history, international affairs, law, mathematics, physics, political science, policy studies, psychology, social sciences, sociology.
For a first-hand account of the experiences of a Smith Boren Fellow in Jordan, go to
Begin by attending a Study Abroad Info Session in order to decide country and program. Then submit a Provisional Plan of Study for your chosen Smith-Approved Study Abroad program to the Office for International Study for approval. (For form, see the Study Abroad Plan link below.) Thereafter, register with the Fellowships Program and include your Provisional Approval when submitting your Boren registration.
Application must BEGIN and be completed fall of sophomore year. Begin process ideally spring of first year.
The most advantageous time to register for a fellowship is in the spring, starting mid February. Statistics show that those who register earlier fare far better. The deadline to register for the Boren is the end of September. Petitions to register later may be considered from students who show exceptional promise to be successful in fellowships competitions.
Acceptance of scholarship requires signing a service agreement to work for one year in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community. You choose where you want to work. Online database, plus guidance is given. Graduate school assistantships qualify. You have three years to fulfill the requirement. More information is available at
STUDY THOROUGHLY http://www.borenawards.org & email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-618-6737 for exact info about Study Abroad Options depending on your year of college. If you are planning to study on one program in the fall and a different program in the spring, you must complete two separate applications. Students interested in a summer program plus a fall program must also complete two applications. If you were to apply for a summer program following a spring semester program, that summer application would be submitted the following year. Application may be split between countries during different time periods provided these countries are in the same region or use the same language and are connected by a common project theme. If you wish to apply for a split program, contact IIE/NSEP to ensure you are approaching your application correctly.
- For help choosing a Study Abroad Program (that supports academic & career goals, and is relevant to NSEP) consult the Study Abroad Office and in creating the effective key Two-Part Statement of Purpose centerpiece (that links study abroad program and academic & international career goals with NSEP mission), you will be assigned to a Boren Mentor once your Registration and Draft Plan of Study has been approved.
- An alternate Study Abroad Program in the same country should be given if possible. This is not a requirement, though strongly
suggested. It will be used only if Preferred Program is unavailable. Applications to these programs must be submitted to the institutions or
program administrators at the latest when the scholarship application is sent to Boren Undergraduate Scholarship administrators IIE
(Institute of International Education) in Washington D.C, preferably beforehand so that an acceptance letter from them can be included with
First-years & sophomores can win again for junior- and senior-year use, meaning applications can again be made in sophomore and junior years.
- Language study abroad is a required component of Boren project proposals, except for Spanish- and French-speaking countries, for which a higher level of proficiency is required.
(for graduates enrolled at U.S. universities)
WHEN TO BEGIN WHICH BY SCHOOL YEAR
- First-Years Start Application after Spring Break
- See tips on writing an effective resume
- ADD expanded section listing every "public" service, community involvement of any and all kinds.
DOMESTIC & FOREIGN, OR FELLOWSHIPS ABROAD
WHERE IN THE WORLD TO USE
International Fellowship (87 foreign countries)
GPA AND RELATED MINIMUMS
- 3.5, suitably relevant background
- (Community involvement, contribution to society, leadership or initiative, all count as much as grade level. Fellowships = character, not intellectualism alone.)
U.S. citizens only
AGE, SCHOOL-YEAR, OTHER RESTRICTIONS
Only first-years, sophomores and juniors in application year, any age
DURATION OF FELLOWSHIP, AMOUNT OF AWARD
$20,000 is the maximum amount awarded. Each fellow receives a maximum of $10,000 per semester for up to two semesters.
CHANCE OF AWARD: ODDS FOR EACH COMPETITION
- 24% or 1 in 4
- It is suggested that sophomores applying for fellowships also work with the CDO in order to have alternate vision strategies in place that include applying for more fellowships! Contact them at x2570 or x2582.
- Much material prepared for one fellowship application can be modified to fit another.
2 fellows (+ 1 alternate) out of 7 applicants in 2003 = 29%.
COMPETITION CRITERIA IN JUDGING CANDIDATES
How the Foundations Evaluate and Rate Candidates, What They Seek in Candidates & How You are Judged, Plus Other Vital Criteria Considered by the Foundations (PLEASE ALSO CONSULT THE NOTES IN THIS CATEGORY SECTION)
Boren's campus rating form contains the following questions for applicant evaluation:
A. Educational qualifications as a demonstration of potential for success in proposed study abroad
- The applicant's academic preparation is sufficient to allow him/her to benefit from the proposed study abroad experience. (Consider a proven or steadily improving academic record, curriculum choices appropriate to the course of study proposed for study abroad, and any special circumstances that warrant comment.)
- Language interest and aptitude: The applicant has made use of opportunities for prior language training (either in the target language or another), and/or has demonstrated a serious commitment to learning the target language abroad. Consider evidence of interest in foreign language study and realistic expectations of proficiency levels that can be achieved during the study abroad period. (Note - previous language instruction in the target language is NOT required for study under NSEP. However, students proposing study of Spanish or French MUST be at an advanced level of proficiency in order to be eligible for an NSEP Scholarship.)
- The applicant's motivation for undertaking this program of study is strong, particularly with regard to integrating the study abroad component into his/her academic and career plans in the international arena. Consider both the applicant's short- and long-term goals for integration.
- The applicant demonstrates sufficient maturity, flexibility and common sense to cope with the challenges of living and studying in an unfamiliar environment. Consider that the student's previous experiences and activities need not be related to international pursuits.
- The applicant demonstrates a clear, well-developed link between the study abroad experience and his/her future career goals in areas related to U.S. national security interests. (It is understood that such links from freshmen and sophomores will be less sharply focused, but still should be articulated.)
- The applicant's proposal includes a feasible plan for applying new knowledge (including language) after returning to his/her home institution. (Consider the student's discussion of plans to integrate further language and cultural studies - formal and informal - into his/her academic or professional program.)
- The applicant is sufficiently knowledgeable about the study abroad program he/she intends to pursue. (Consider formal classroom study, non-classroom learning and support structures available to the student, i.e., in-country program director or sponsor, housing arrangements and other facilities.)
- The applicant's proposed study abroad meets NSEP guidelines for emphasized countries, languages and/or fields of study. (Consider the quality of the application with respect to these guidelines. Applicants proposing study abroad that does not address NSEP areas of emphasis should still be rated by campus committees. Compelling proposals from such applicants will be considered.)
Formal Application Year (Fall Term) Sophomores
Late Fall Fellowship (due on campus early December)
J-TERM GRADUATE ELIGIBILITY
- Applications open to all first-years, sophomores and juniors for use the following year, regardless of graduation time, except first-years can use the fellowship for the first time only as sophomores, and juniors applying to use the fellowship in senior year must complete this use before their graduation whenever that is.
- Confirm this information on the NSEP website before deciding whether to proceed &/or email foundation.
Required Level of Smith College Sponsorship: Rated Evaluation
REAPPLYING FOR FELLOWSHIPS
Freshman or sophomore award recipients may apply for a second award for a longer period of study (semester or academic year) to be used during junior or senior year.
Confirm your specific situation directly with sponsoring foundation or fellowship administrators. Boren May defer up to a year but not beyond graduation.
To choose a Boren country, first go to the Boren website to see their current list of target countries: www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship
Then go to the Smith Study Abroad website to see Smith's list of Approved Country Programs:
Now find countries that appear on BOTH lists to see what your choices are.
Smith College may withdraw its approval of some programs and or countries, so always check with the Study Abroad Program at the Office for International Study (OIS). In any case, provisional approval for your Study Abroad Plan must first be obtained from the OIS before registering with the Fellowships Program for a Boren.
Because Boren countries do change, on September 1 check the Boren website for their updated list of countries.
ANY COUNTRY ON THIS CHANGING LIST OF COUNTRIES WITH A TRAVEL WARNING ISSUED AGAINST IT BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR A BOREN:
However, a warning may be lifted, so keep checking.
For regularly updated news and tips on applying for a Boren, see the NSEP Newsletter online at
Students wishing to apply for a Boren must complete the linked Provisional Approval Application for Smith-Approved Study Abroad document below and return it to the Office of International Study (OIS) by email attachment, ideally, or by hand. The OIS will confirm either that the plan is approved or that the student has been approved by petition. The OIS will then notify the Fellowships Program. Once this step is completed, the student may then register with the Fellowships Program to apply for a Boren by clicking on Smith Registration for Fellowships at left or here.
Provisional Approval Application for Smith-Approved Study Abroad (Word Doc)
The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies. If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, the award recipient must seek to fulfill the requirement in a position with national security responsibilities in any federal department or agency. Approval of service outside of a priority agency is contingent upon satisfactory demonstration of a full and good faith effort in accordance with conditions established by NSEP.
Frequently Asked Questions about the NSEP Service Requirement: http://www.borenawards.org/boren_scholarship