Belarus Education Scholarships
Get Paid to Study Overseas
Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus has suffered separation anxiety. It apparently liked being told what to do by an authoritarian overseer, and is on course for a political reunion with Russia. Old habits die hard, and while close neighbors, such as Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, have earned accolades for their fresh-faced policies and economic democratization, Belarus is criticized for its persistent Soviet-like ways. This Communist Bloc attitude may turn some students away, but perhaps it is an ironic characteristic that beckons others to study in the country. Both Russian and Belarusian are the official languages. The capital city of Minsk is not huge by American standards: It is home to about two million.
- The federal government generously providesBenjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for disadvantaged students who otherwise would not be able to afford to study abroad. More than 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 annually are given for study programs around the globe, including Belarus. The Gilman Scholarship Program supports students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad, including but those with high financial need, community college students, students in under-represented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities. Applicants for the program must be federal Pell Grant recipients. Other criteria for acceptance includes being in good academic standing and a commitment to study in one country for at least four weeks.
- The National Security Education Program offers prestigious David L. Boren Scholarships to undergraduate students who are studying an advanced language and culture studies or a discipline such as business, law, the sciences or agriculture. Scholarships are awarded for up to a year of study abroad. Recipients must be willing to pay back their scholarships with a term of service with the federal government. Awards are up to $20,000. Applicants should identify how their study abroad program, as well as their future academic and career goals, will contribute to U.S. national security — broadly defined as the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger and population growth. For graduate students, Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. students to study abroad for 12 weeks to 24 months.
- Fulbright Scholarships are often given more freely to those applicants who engage in programs that are not highly trafficked, such as Belarus and other Eastern European nations. Fulbright awards are handed out to academically talented candidates trekking off to compelling and engaging study abroad programs all over the globe. The Fulbright Program offers grants for American students to study in Belarus for a full academic year. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships (ETA) places U.S. students as English teaching assistants in schools or universities. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American scholars and professionals abroad to lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Fulbright funding varies from partial awards to full monetary support.
The American Councils for International Education is a global organization funded by any number of agencies acting on the Title VIII program that mandates funding for scholars and advanced students who are pursuing relevant projects and programs in Eastern Europe/Eurasia. The organization designs programs and provides technical assistance in education for governments and development agencies throughout Eurasia and the United States. There are various scholarships for students interested in studying abroad and the group has a special focus on Russian and the languages of former Russian republics. The focus can change based on relevant language criteria, and independent programs of study can be arranged in certain countries, including Belarus, so check with the current areas of focus.
The International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) is an international organization focused on civil society, education and media development. It supports the ongoing work of scholars in many regions of the world, including Eastern Europe. Fellowship priorities change according to the political landscape. There is one fellowship that is currently open to eligible applicants wishing to conduct research in Belarus:
- The Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowships are earmarked for graduate students who want to research in Belarus. Candidates must be pursuing a well-defined research proposal directly related to foreign policy research or related international affairs. Awards range from a minimum of two months and a maximum of nine months. Participants are provided with visa assistance, international round-trip transportation, a monthly allowance for housing and living expenses.