David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad

===============================================

Boren Scholarship W&M campus deadline: 12 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22

What's due to the Charles Center by that time?

  • 1 hard copy of the completed application (including essays)
  • official copies of W&M transcript including fall 2013 grades
  • official study abroad transcript(s) (if applicable)
  • high school transcript (current freshmen only)
  • language self-assessment (use this form and these guidelines)
  • EITHER a one-page study abroad program description with cost information (and one page really does mean one page - copy the program website or brochure) OR appropriate letters of support for direct enrollment (see this page for details)
  • 2 letters of recommendation, with completed cover sheet, in sealed envelopes signed across the seal

Want to talk about your ideas?  See a Peer Scholarship Advisor!

===============================================

What are Boren Scholarships?

The Boren Scholarships were designed to provide American undergraduates with the resources and encouragement they need to acquire skills and experience in countries and areas of the world critical to the future security of our nation. As a student of another culture and language you will begin to acquire the international competence you need to communicate effectively across borders, understand other perspectives and analyze increasingly fluid economic and political realities. The goal of NSEP is to enhance the capacity of the federal sector to deal effectively with the challenging global issues of the 21st century. NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. NSEP strongly emphasizes the importance of award recipients seeking and gaining employment in federal government organizations whose missions and functions are most directly related to national security.

Maximum scholarship awards are: $10,000 for a semester, $20,000 for a full academic year

Who is eligible to apply?

These competitive scholarships are available to undergraduates who are studying abroad in summer 2014 (STEM students only), fall 2014, and/or spring 2015 in any country outside of  Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  Click here to see a list of preferred countries. Foreign language study is required of all applicants. Click here to see a list of preferred languages.

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.  Click here to see a list of preferred fields of study.

Exceptions to Countries, Languages and Fields of Study:
As we cannot list all countries, languages, and fields that are critical to U.S. national security, we are interested in applications for non-preferred areas where the candidate can make a compelling case that such study can contribute significantly to U.S. national security and the goals of the program.

What's the length of program requirement?

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 are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematic students. Applications for summer-only programs will be considered if the program is eight (8) weeks or more.

Special note: In some cases, applicants may not be able to find appropriate full academic year programs. If full year opportunities in the same program are unavailable, students may submit two separate, but related, applications for study on two different programs. we encourage consecutive programs of study; these applications could be for summer and year programs; fall and spring semesters; or for summer and fall semesters. These applications would then be considered together and receive preference as a year-long proposal. Applications for two different consecutive study abroad programs should entail study in the same region and in the same language. Successful applicants for study on two programs in the past have included: two semester-long programs in Vietnam, one in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh City; two separate semester-long programs in China, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai; and a summer intensive language program in Russia, followed by a fall semester program of coursework in Russian.

Applicants proposing study in two different regions or two different languages will not be funded.

NOTE: Only students in STEM fields may apply for summer-only programs lasting a minimum of eight weeks. STEM = science, technology, engineering, mathematics. All other students must apply for a minimum of one semester of study abroad.

Tell me more about the national security focus.

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.

What is the service requirement?

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.

What is the campus application process?

The pre-application is due to the Charles Center by 12 noon on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.  This consists of the two essays, a Banner transcript, and a completed questionnaire.  Applicants will be assigned to PSAs to continue working on their applications over winter break.  Complete applications (including letters of recommendation, official W&M transcripts including Fall 2013 grades, and high school transcripts if necessary) are due at 12 noon on Wednesday January 22, 2014. Interviews follow. 

What are the Boren Essays?

The essays are the most important part of the application. Each essay should be no more than 6,000 characters, not including spaces. Essays should be single spaced, except when spaces separate paragraphs.

Essay One: 
Please discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point:

  1. Explain the significance of your proposed study abroad experience (including the region you selected, its culture, and the language you will study) to U.S. national security, broadly defined.
  2. Describe how the country, language, and study abroad program you selected will help you achieve your career goals, including your plans to fulfill the service requirement.
  3. Describe how the skills you will gain during your Boren program of study, including linguistic and cultural competencies, as well as past academic, extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and professional experiences, will help you fulfill the federal service requirement. Be specific. 

Essay Two: Study Abroad Program Description (both the preferred and alternate programs, if applicable) 

  1. Describe the study abroad program’s course of study and related cultural activities, as well as the administrative and support services provided (i.e., facilities, housing, resident director, etc.). 
  2. Describe the language component in as much detail as possible, including the number of classroom contact hours and informal language study opportunities outside of the classroom.
  3. Describe your past experience in studying or speaking the language (or another language if relevant), as well as your plans for continuing to study and/or speak the language following your Boren Scholarship.
Anything else I should know?

** If you set up a direct enrollment or individually arranged study abroad program, please provide two letters of support. The first letter should be from your home institution and the second letter should be from your overseas host institution. **

This is a GREAT opportunity for students interested in careers with the federal government.

Visit the Boren website to start the application process www.borenawards.org

Click here to see a list of William and Mary's previous Boren recipients.