10 Useful Scholarship Tips for Interning Abroad

Scholarships are a great way to defray the cost of interning abroad. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the application process!

1. Start early

The earlier you start researching scholarship options, the better. Having more time to find opportunities and perfect your application materials will increase your chances of earning competitive scholarships!

2. Fill out a FAFSA

A completed FAFSA application is an essential first step to applying for scholarships, even if you don’t generally receive financial aid. You don’t need to fill anything out differently when you’re planning to intern abroad.

3. Check in with IIP

Your IIP Advisor can help you identify relevant scholarships and walk you through the steps of applying. Our Funding page also lists many scholarships that are tailored to interning abroad.

4. Consider academic credit

Enrolling in IIP’s online WIP Course allows UW-Madison students to earn academic credit for their international internship. This is also a requirement for many scholarships, both on campus and nationally.

5. Get to know WiSH

Use the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) to apply for scholarships through IIP and through your UW-Madison school or college! There are a lot of opportunities available, so take some time to sort through them all and find the ones that may work for you.

6. Look for opportunities outside of campus

There are also many scholarship opportunities for studying and interning abroad outside of those offered by UW-Madison. Some companies like Tortuga and Scott’s Cheap Flights offer scholarships for students going abroad. You can also ask organizations that you belong to for help funding your internship.

7. Try Creative Fundraising

Creative fundraising can be a great way to defray the cost of interning abroad! Start a campaign on GoFundMe and ask your friends and family to donate to support your internship experience for your birthday or holidays. If they prefer tangible gifts, ask for things that you’ll need for your internship like luggage or your go-to American toiletries that may not be available abroad.

8. Apply even if your internship isn’t confirmed 

Many scholarship applications close before you know for sure internship offers are finalized. You should always apply by the deadline, even if your internship isn’t confirmed yet!

9. Spend time on your application materials

Read the directions for each application and follow them carefully. Pay attention to word limits and prompts. Make your application stand out by showing your creativity and telling your unique story! IAP has tips on writing scholarship essays for studying and interning abroad.

10. Use campus resources for editing

Grammar or spelling mistakes can reduce your credibility. Read your applications multiple times, and out loud. Then, use campus resources like the Writing Center to get feedback from experts!

Applying for scholarships to intern abroad might be a lot of work, but it can have great results! If you have questions or concerns at any point through the process, remember that IIP is here to help. Send us an email at internships@international.wisc.edu or come in for advising!