The Boren Scholarship: Supporting Language Study and International Education
The Boren Scholarship is a unique program designed to help students develop their language skills and enhance their understanding of international affairs.
Studying a foreign language is an essential tool for gaining a better understanding of a country’s culture, history, and society.
The program provides funding for undergraduate students to study abroad in areas critical to U.S. national security interests.
In this blog post, we will explore the Boren Scholarship in detail. We will examine the program’s history, eligibility criteria, application process, and benefits.
We will also discuss some success stories of Boren Scholarship recipients and provide tips on how to increase your chances of receiving this prestigious award.
The History of the Boren Scholarship
The Boren Scholarship was established in 1991 by David L. Boren, a former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma and the President of the University of Oklahoma.
The scholarship was created to provide opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas that are critical to U.S. national security interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The Boren Scholarship is part of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which was created in 1991 to encourage the study of foreign languages and cultures that are critical to U.S. national security. The NSEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
To be eligible for this scholarship program, applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university in the United States.
Applicants must also be pursuing a study abroad program in a country or region that is critical to U.S. national security interests and studying a language that is important to the country or region.
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be willing to commit to at least one year of service in a national security position within the U.S. government after graduation.
The service requirement can be fulfilled through employment with any federal agency, as well as state, local, or tribal government agencies involved in national security issues.
The application process for the Boren Scholarship is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of approximately 20%. Applicants must submit a detailed application that includes a statement of purpose, a language self-assessment, and letters of recommendation.
They must also demonstrate their commitment to national security and international affairs through their academic and extracurricular activities.
The application typically opens in August and closes in early February. Finalists are notified in mid-March and are required to participate in an interview before the final decisions are made.
The Boren Scholarship provides up to $25,000 for undergraduate students to study abroad for a semester or academic year. The scholarship can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, and travel.
Recipients of the Boren Scholarship also receive assistance with securing international health insurance and finding suitable study abroad programs.
In addition to financial support, the Boren Scholarship provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their language skills and gain firsthand experience of international affairs.
The program offers a range of language study options, including intensive language courses, language immersion programs, and language study combined with coursework in a specific academic field.
Success Stories of Boren Scholarship Recipients
Many Boren Scholarship recipients have gone on to have successful careers in national security and international affairs.
For example, Anna Vinnik, a 2012 Boren Scholar, studied Arabic in Jordan and later worked as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State.
She credits the Boren Scholarship with giving her the language skills and cultural knowledge she needed to be successful in her career.
Another Boren Scholarship success story is Lauren Smith, a 2015 Boren Scholar who studied Hindi in India.
After completing her study abroad program, she worked as a research assistant at the Center for a New American Security, where she focused on South Asian security issues.
She later went on to work for the U.S. Department of Defense, where she continued to use her language and cultural skills to advance national security interests.
Tips for Increasing Your Chances of Receiving the Boren Scholarship
The Boren Scholarship is a highly competitive program, with a rigorous application process.
Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of receiving this prestigious award:
Choose your study abroad program carefully:
Make sure your program is in a country or region critical to U.S. national security interests and that you will be studying a language important to that country or region.
Demonstrate your commitment to national security and international affairs:
Highlight your academic and extracurricular activities that show your interest in these fields.
Take your language study seriously:
The Boren Scholarship is looking for applicants with a strong language background, so take as many language courses as you can and try to achieve fluency in your chosen language.
Develop a strong statement of purpose:
Your statement of purpose should clearly articulate your reasons for wanting to study abroad and how your study abroad program will contribute to your academic and career goals.
The Boren Scholarship is a unique and prestigious program that provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop their language skills and gain firsthand experience of international affairs.
The scholarship supports study abroad programs in areas critical to U.S. national security interests and requires a commitment to national service after graduation.
If you are interested in studying abroad and have a strong interest in national security and international affairs, the Boren Scholarship may be the perfect opportunity for you.
You can find more information about the Boren Scholarship on their official website: https://www.borenawards.org