Study in the Persian Gulf
Iran is major player in the Middle East’s socio-political arena, sitting along the Persian Gulf. There has been much controversy lately between Iran and other nations. Because of this heightened risk-factor, many colleges and universities are steering clear of international study programs there. However, Iran, soil of the ancient Persian Empire, is a valuable site for history and archaeology students as well as a site of importance for the U.S. federal government. Therefore, the U.S. Government, and some other privately funded organizations, provide scholarships to those willing to conduct research or study in this region.
Critical Culture and Language: Federal Programs Grow
Everyone wants to receive one of the highly prestigious David L. Boren Scholarships. These awards are given out to top students to study in areas around the world that are critical to U.S. interests. Students travel to these locations to learn about the culture and language that get overlooked on may other study abroad programs. Hundreds of undergraduate students are awarded $8,000 for a summer semester, all the way up to $20,000 for a full academic year for their pursuit of programs in these areas like Kuwait.
David L. Boren Fellowships are for graduate students who want to add international exposure and language study to their curriculum. Similar to the scholarships, these fellowships are for areas critical to U.S. interests. They promote linguistic and cultural immersion. Graduate students with these fellowships are aiming to learn one of the lesser taught languages. Studying these languages in the country they are spoken in greatly increases how fast students are able to learn them.
Students who receive these scholarships or fellowships must agree to work for the Federal Government in a position with national security responsibilities after they graduate in repayment of these scholarships.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships are given to undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grants to study abroad. Over 2,300 of these scholarships are given out each year to students who might not have been able to afford a study abroad program without it. The purpose? To diversify the amount of American students who will one day be global leaders. The more challenging and non-traditional the program, like that in Kuwait, the chance the applicant has at receiving the award. The maximum awarded amount is $5,000.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and gives undergraduate students a fully-funded summer abroad at a language institute outside of the U.S. The purpose of these scholarships is to allow students to learn, hands on, languages that are considered to be “critical need” to the U.S. To be considered for this program, the student must be in a U.S. degree-granting program, have completed at least one year of coursework, and must be in good mental and physical health. This scholarship pays for travel expenses, pre-departure orientation costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, program-sponsored travel within the country, and all entrance fees for program activities.
Graduate students specializing Eastern European or Middle Eastern politics may apply for Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowships through IREX. Their mission is to enable local peoples and institutions to build a dynamic society through quality education, independent media, and strong communities. Most of the fellowships are designed for students pursuing research projects in Eastern European locations, but there is a special allowance for those engaged in a combination of an Eastern European country and Iran.