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High School Study Abroad Scholarships

Summer 2025 Global Navigator Applications Now Open

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Make High School Study Abroad Affordable for You

Today’s interconnected world requires a range of global competencies—with intercultural awareness and communication skills at the top of the list. That’s why CIEE’s high school summer abroad programs focus on language proficiency, local interactions, and intentional reflection in countries all over the world. 

We seek to provide life-changing study abroad experiences to as many motivated high school students as possible. It’s a critical part of our overall mission: to encourage and prepare students to connect and communicate across cultures and make a positive impact on society, both globally and locally. 

Start Your Scholarship Application

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High School Study Abroad Scholarships

CIEE manages the largest study abroad scholarship fund for high school students in the U.S.

We want to make study abroad opportunities more accessible to more students and amplify the positive impact of educational exchange on our world.

Our selective scholarships and awards are a prestigious honor that can help you stand out on your college applications, resumes for career opportunities, and other experiences to come.

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What Types of High School Scholarships Can You Apply To?

There are two types of CIEE high school study abroad scholarships available:

  • Global Navigator Scholarship (GNS) covers between $500 to 100% of your tuition costs (this is the price listed at the top of every high school summer abroad program page). You must submit your parent(s)'s or legal guardian(s)'s financial information to apply for this scholarship.
  • Academic Merit Award covers $500 from your tuition costs. You don’t need to submit your parent(s)'s or legal guardian(s)'s financial information to apply for this award.

Applying for a Scholarship

Global Navigator Scholarships (GNS): Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is currently a freshman, sophomore, or junior and residing in the United States may apply.

Students may submit a new application each year if they have declined Global Navigator Scholarships (based on financial need + academic merit) in previous years within the accept/decline window. Students who confirmed travel and cancelled later (or who failed to communicate their accept/decline decision within that window) are not eligible to apply.

Students who have traveled on a Global Navigator Scholarship (based on financial need + academic merit) in previous years are still eligible for an Academic Merit Award and an alumni discount.

Academic Merit Award: All high school students may apply. You can only travel on an Academic Merit Award once during your high school career. Returning Academic Merit Award alumni are welcome to travel without a scholarship/award in a future year.

1. Click “Apply” or “Apply Now” on any of our high school summer abroad programs.

2. Once you create an account or log in and start an application, the first question you will be asked is: “Do you want to apply for a scholarship?” Select the type of scholarship you’re interested in (Global Navigator Scholarship or Academic Merit Award).

3. The application will be slightly different when you apply for the Global Navigator Scholarship than when you apply for the Academic Merit Award. For the Global Navigator Scholarship, you will select your top three choices for programs (you should include at least two Language & Culture programs). For the Academic Merit Award, you will apply directly to your top choice program.

Note: When you apply for the Global Navigator Scholarship, we will do our best to award you a scholarship for one of your top choices. However, if program spots have been filled, you may be awarded a scholarship for another program.

During the application process, you will need to provide the following:

For a Global Navigator Scholarship, you will need to provide additional documents:

  • Proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • A copy of your legal guardian(s)’s most recent 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form. You will need to enter some key data points from the 1040 in the application.

High school scholarships to study abroad aim to make the cost of studying abroad with CIEE more affordable. CIEE awards millions in scholarship awards each year and scholarships can cover up to 100% of program tuition based on your family’s finances. Scholarships go towards covering a portion of program tuition (this is the price listed on every high school summer abroad program page of our website). 

The program tuition includes your:

  • Classes
  • Housing
  • 3 meals/day
  • Ground transportation (once in-country)
  • Access to local phone and WIFI
  • Excursions and cultural activities
  • Travel medical protection
  • 24/7 on-site support
  • and more

Note: Scholarship money cannot cover the cost of airfare to and from the country, passport or visa fees, or personal spending money. To make your study abroad experience even more affordable, see our fundraising section.

All our CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs offer scholarships or awards. Our multi-destination programs and other programs where space is limited only offer Academic Merit Awards.

Note that 90% of Global Navigator Scholarships are awarded to students going on Language & Culture programs. To give yourself the best chance of receiving a scholarship, list at least two Language & Culture program choices on your Global Navigator Scholarship application.

If you need financial aid to be able to participate on program and can meet the eligibility requirements, you should apply for the Global Navigator Scholarship. Remember, to be eligible for this type of scholarship, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen/permanent resident AND
  • Be completing your freshman, sophomore, or junior year of high school in the academic year before you summer program

If you don’t have a financial need, have previously received the Global Navigator Scholarship (based on financial need + academic merit), or don't meet the requirements above, you should apply for the Academic Merit Award.

All scholarship applications are due January 15, 2025 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Global Navigator Scholarship announcements will go out in February.

If you are applying for an Academic Merit Award, your application will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, typically within two weeks of submitting your application.

If you have any questions, please contact your school or email CIEE at

All scholarships are competitive. Applications are reviewed by an independent review board. The quality of your application is based on your transcript, GPA, teacher recommendation, and your essays. For those applying for Global Navigator Scholarships, the scholarship amount is determined by the tax form provided in the application.

Receiving any amount of scholarship funding means you had a strong, competitive application!

You must ask for a recommendation from any teacher who has had you in class for at least six months and is not related to you. You can choose any teacher from any subject. They don’t have to teach the language/subject of the high school summer program you’re interested in. Choose the teacher that knows you best.

Note: It will be your responsibility to make sure your teacher receives the recommendation form (we will send it by email) and completes it by the scholarship deadline.

Global Navigator Scholarship announcements will go out in February. You will have 7 days after announcements go out to accept or decline the award. If you decide to travel, a $1,000 acceptance deposit will be due at that time.

Academic Merit Awards are awarded on a rolling basis, typically within two weeks of submitting your application.

We award millions in scholarship funds every year. These scholarships are competitive based on academic performance. If you have a strong academic track record, we strongly encourage you to apply!  

Historically, more scholarship money is awarded to students in our Language & Culture programs. If you’re interested in High School Summer Abroad Language & Culture programs, you may have a really good chance. 

If you do not receive a scholarship but you still want to travel with us, give us a call at 1-866-583-0332. We can talk about program availability and the process of traveling without a scholarship.

We also encourage you to look into fundraising to help make study abroad a reality.

If you are unable to travel without a scholarship, we encourage you to apply for one again next year if you are still eligible.

We have a few resources that can help you get through the entire application process.  

  • Visit our Application Support page for step-by-step instructions on completing your application. 
  • Join weekly Virtual Presentations to connect with our team as we walk you and other high school students through our programs and application process. 
  • Check out our Scholarship FAQs. It’s a useful and printable resource that goes more in depth into scholarship eligibility requirements and the overall process. 
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Additional Costs

  • Scholarship money cannot be applied to your airfare to and from the country, your passport or visa fees (if required), or your personal spending money. Check out airfare prices before applying to a specific program. This will help you and your legal guardian make the best choices based on your budget. For example, a flight to Mexico or the Dominican Republic can be half the price of flying to Spain! 
  • You will be responsible for paying the cost of program tuition that is not covered by your Global Navigator Scholarship or Academic Merit Award.
  • For fundraising advice, see our fundraising section

Get Started

Here’s What You Need to Do to Take the Next Steps:


Start an application and select the scholarship you want to apply for: Global Navigator Scholarship (Financial Need + Academic Merit) or Academic Merit Award (Academic Merit Only).


Complete all your application tasks and wait to hear back from us about your award!

Still Have Questions?

We’re here to help! Call our team at 1-866-583-0332 or send us an email at today.

Want to schedule a call with a CIEE Enrollment Coordinator in your area? Find a time that works for you on our bookings page.

What Students Are Saying

  • “Because of the great scholarship opportunities given by CIEE, I would recommend high school summer abroad programs to my low-income peers who don’t believe that study abroad is possible for them.” 

    Ruhi S. | Global Navigator Alum | Spanish Language & Culture in Seville, Spain

  • “CIEE helped me achieve one of my lifelong goals of traveling to Paris. I would have never been able to afford the trip out on my own, but CIEE helped me get a scholarship!” 

    Lorena C. | Global Navigator Alum | French Language & Culture in Paris, France

  • “CIEE gives out a lot of scholarships, so if you can’t afford to go, you're very likely to get the money to make it possible. The high school summer abroad programs are really great and an amazing opportunity to study abroad.” 

    Josef S. | Global Navigator Alum | French Language & Culture in Toulouse, France

  • “As someone who received a scholarship and someone from a family who struggles financially, it was more than worth it!” 

    Hala A. | Global Navigator Alum | Leadership & Service in Youth Development in Mohammedia, Morocco

Good to Know

  • Your scholarship award is applied directly to your account and goes toward your CIEE high school summer abroad program tuition for a single summer session. 
  • Students who have received a Global Navigator Scholarship for a previous summer are not eligible to apply. 
  • Scholarship decisions are awarded to a specific program and session and decisions are final. 
  • Scholarships are not transferable to another program or session.
  • For general program information and to view our program terms and conditions, check out our High School Summer Abroad FAQs