David L. Boren Scholarship
Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide up to $20,000 ($24,000 for overseas fellowships) to U.S. degree-seeking students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. For a complete list of countries, click here. Boren Scholars come from a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. For a complete list of languages, click here. Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. 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. NSEP draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
For undergraduates, a maximum award is $10,000 for a semester and $20,000 for a full academic year. For graduates, a maximum award is up to $12,000 for a semester and $24,000 for a full academic year. More may be awarded for overseas programs.
Length of Study
Boren Scholarships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion, and therefore study abroad proposals for two or more semesters are strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to undergraduate applicants proposing a full-year academic study. Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics students. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1, 2013.
National Security Service Requirement
The program focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. It draws on a broad definition of national security, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. All applicants must demonstrate how their study programs and future goals are connected to this broad understanding of national security. The NSEP Service Requirement stipulates that an award recipient work in the Federal Government in a position with national security responsibilities. The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or any element of the Intelligence Community are priority agencies. If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in one of these agencies, the award recipient must seek to fulfill the requirement in a position with national security responsibilities in any Federal department or agency. Approval of service outside of a priority agency is contingent upon satisfactory demonstration of a full and good faith effort in accordance with conditions established by NSEP. If an award recipient demonstrates to NSEP that no appropriate position is available in the Federal Government, the award recipient may petition NSEP to fulfill the requirement. The education option is available only after exhausting all opportunities to fulfill the requirement in the Federal Government in accordance with conditions established by NSEP. The duration of the NSEP Service Requirement is one year or the duration of assistance provided under the program, whichever is longer. Boren Scholars must begin fulfilling the service requirement within three years of graduation. For more details and a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the NSEP Service Requirement, click here.
Boren Scholarships are awarded with preference for countries, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security. Preference is also given to students who will study abroad for longer periods of time, and who are highly motivated by the opportunity to work in the federal government. As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications that fall outside the preferences, if the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.
You are eligible to apply for the Boren Scholarship if you are:
- A U.S. citizen.
- A high school graduate, or have earned a GED, and are matriculated in an undergraduate degree program 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 you graduate. Boren Scholarships are not for study in the United States.
You are eligible to apply for a Boren Fellowship if you are:
- A U.S. citizen.
- A graduate student applying to or matriculated in a degree-seeking program.
- Planning to add a critical language component to your graduate study through a study abroad experience (research or project work may be included.)
- Applying for study in a NSEP-preferred country.
Boren Scholarship Recipients for 2013-14:
Jacob Parsley – Russia, Russian Language Study
Jacob graduated summa cum laude from Portland State University in 2009 with a degree in Political Science. He joined the United States Peace Corps and served in Kazakhstan, where he worked as an English teacher in secondary schools in the capital of Astana and in the south of the country. Peace Corps unexpectedly suspended its Kazakhstan program in December of 2011 and Jacob returned to United States, where he joined the PSU Russian Flagship Program. His Boren Scholarship will help fund his participation in the 2012-2013 Russian Overseas Flagship Program in St. Petersburg. He is considering going into the U.S. Foreign Service once he has completed his studies.
Inna Makheddinova – Russia, Russian Language Study
Inna is currently a senior at PSU double majoring in International Studies and Russian as well as minoring in Political Science. She has actively participated in the Russian Flagship Program for nearly three years and will be completing the Russian Overseas Flagship Program next academic year in St. Petersburg,. Her academic experiences include participation in the Engalitcheff Instituted on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and study abroad in Paris, France. She has had internships with Conservation International and the World Affairs Council of Oregon and has volunteered for LEAD International. In the recent past, Inna was selected to accompany a delegation of PSU jazz musicians to Khabarovsk, Russia, as part of a cultural exchange project supported by the Portland-Khabarovsk Sister City Association. Inna’s various interests, which include the United Nations, conflict resolution and intercultural communication, have led her to participate in Model United Nations conferences across the country. After graduation, Inna will continue her education at the graduate level and pursue a career within the U.S. Department of State.
Jacqueline LaBerge – Russia, Russian Language Study
Jacqueline is a student at PSU majoring in Russian language and enrolled in the Russian Flagship Program. She will go to St. Petersburg during 2012-2013, taking advanced language classes and completing an internship with an organization in the city. Jacqueline’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in English literature, two years spent as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan, and an internship at a university in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, where PSU has a sister-school partnership. After graduation, Jacqueline hopes to utilize her language skills and her varied experiences by living and working abroad.
David Duke – Morocco, Arabic Language Study
David is working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Politics and International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa. His Boren Fellowship will allow him to further his study in Rabat for one year studying Arabic and doing research on tolerance and equality in civil society in Morocco. His background includes work as an AMIDEAST intern in Tunisia, a pharmaceutical sales rep, and a US Army Captain. He has received CLS and FLAS scholarships, among others, to further his language studies (Critical Language Scholarship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship) and most recently went to Istanbul and Ankara as a Consulate General of Turkey Scholar. He enjoys sports such as snow boarding, scuba diving and motorcycling. Upon graduation, David plans to work for the Dept of Defense, the Dept of State, or USAID.