NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships

Description: The National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships offer a unique opportunity for U.S. undergraduates to study abroad. NSEP awards scholarships to American students for study of world regions critical to U.S. interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and the Middle East). The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. NSEP Boren Scholarships are intended to provide support to U.S. undergraduates who will pursue the study of languages and cultures currently underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. national security.
Dollar Value: NSEP Boren Scholarships are merit based. Award amounts are based on the study abroad costs and financial aid information provided by the applicant. The maximum award is $8,000 for a summer, SI0,000 for a semester, or $20,000 for a full academic year. Students must inform IIE/NSEP of any additional outside funding they receive for their study abroad program.
Number of Scholarships: Varies
  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application.
  • A high school graduate, or have earned a GED, and are matriculated as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in a U.S. post-secondary institution, including universities, colleges, and community colleges accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Applying to engage in a study abroad experience in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand that meets home institution standards.
  • Planning to use the scholarship for study abroad and the study abroad program ends before graduation, NSEP Boren Undergraduate Scholarships are not for study in the United States.
Application Procedures: All applications must be submitted online.
Deadline: February 10, 2011
National Security Education Program
David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships, Institute of International Education
1400 K Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-2403
Telephone: 1-800-618-NSEP Fax: 202-326-7672
Fellowships Coordinator:
Name: Scott Handley, Honors College, University Hall 212
Phone: 417-836-6371
Frequently Asked Questions
If the proposed country, language, and/or field of study is not on the preferred list for the NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships, should the candidate still apply?
Yes. NSEP is interested in encouraging applications for study in non-emphasized countries, languages, and fields of study when the applicant can make a compelling argument that increased understanding and appreciation of that particular country, language, and/or field of study through study abroad represents an important contribution to U.S. national security and the goals of NSEP.
Is a foreign language component required for all study abroad proposals?
Yes. Foreign language study is a key element in all NSEP proposals. The language chosen should be appropriate to the country in which he/she plans to study. The study abroad proposal should note the amount (number of hours per week) and level of classroom instruction you will undertake. Most importantly, they are expected to provide a realistic estimate of the language level expected from the formal as well as informal (non-classroom) study will help he/she achieve. Students who are at an advanced level of Spanish or French must keep in mind that their proposed study abroad program should not emphasize language training, but rather academic study, which would require using Spanish or French in course work related to their field of study.
Are candidates required to take a language test before applying for an NSEP Boren Scholarship?
No. If selected for the NSEP Boren Scholarship, they must agree to take a language test prior to and after the study abroad experience. If there was no previous instruction in the language to be studied, applicants may not be required to take the pre-test. The results of the proficiency testing will be used to assess the program; they will not be used to evaluate students. Information about language testing will be provided to all scholarship recipients and the cost of the tests will be covered by NSEP.
Is it possible to split the academic year between two study abroad programs in the same country? How would the application be completed?
In some cases, appropriate full academic year programs may not be available. In these cases, students may then submit two separate, but related, applications for study on two different programs. Applications for two different consecutive study abroad programs should entail study in the same country and of the same language. Applicants proposing study in two different countries and/or for two different languages will not be funded by NSEP.
Does NSEP approve or sanction particular study abroad programs?
No. An NSEP Boren Scholarship is a source of portable financial assistance that can be used to support study abroad through an established program, direct enrollment in a foreign university, or an individually arranged study. The choice of a particular program for study abroad is made by you in consultation with your campus advisor. Make the choices based on the overall quality of the program, the strength of the language instruction, and on elements it offers that will enhance the period of study abroad. There are no lists of NSEP-preferred programs nor does NSEP endorse programs under a particular institution, organization, or group's sponsorship.
What is the NSEP service requirement?
The NSEP service requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community. If, after making a full and good faith effort (according to conditions and rules established by NSEP), an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, he or she may work in any U.S. federal department or agency. There is also an expectation that NSEP Scholars and Fellows will use the language or regional expertise acquired as a result of the award in their work for the U.S. government.