Fellowships & Scholarships
NSEP Boren Scholarships
  • Northeastern: 01/08/2024
  • Fellowship: 01/31/2024

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for this fellowship, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. You may contact the office with any questions.

Award Details

Award Website

Boren Scholarships provide up to $25,000 to U.S. undergraduate 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 America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. Awardees must commit to one year of public service in internationally focused position. This can be broken up.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their chosen study abroad program is recognized by Northeastern University for the purposes both of academic credit and progress toward degree. Students should consult with their academic advisors and the Global Experience Office if they have questions about the transferability or recognition of courses taken abroad. For budgeting purposes, students should bear in mind that they will be charged Northeastern tuition for study abroad programs that transfer credit back to Northeastern.

Boren Scholars represent 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.

View the Program Basics for the Boren Scholarship.

Abroad Award
Term Length: 2 or more semesters, at least 6 months overseas. 8 weeks for S.T.E.M. students only.
Needs Institutional Endorsement
US Citizenship Required

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Planning an overseas program that meets home institution standards in a country outside of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.  Boren Fellowships are not for study in the United States.
  • Have institutional endorsement
  • In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP Service Requirement.

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 at least 6 months overseas. Boren-funded programs can begin no earlier than June 1. Summer-only programs must be eight (8) weeks or more and are limited to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

National Security

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.

Maximum scholarship awards are:

  • $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; 8 weeks minimum)
  • $12,500 for a semester
  • $25,000 for a full academic year

To apply, please complete your application on the Boren site by our internal deadline, including all required elements, if you wish to receive office assistance (otherwise, feel free to apply on your own):

  • Boren Scholarship Application
  • Study Abroad Program Summary
  • Budget
  • Two essays:
    • National Security Essay #1 (800 words) — Explain Significance of Proposed Region, Country, Language to National Security (800 word). Take a broad view of what “national security” means. Detailed, focused argument, relevant of country and chose language to US national security interests. Think defense, diplomacy, environment, security and agriculture, public health and disease prevention, cybersecurity, immigration, trade and commerce, financial regulation. Craft your argument. Protects and promotes welfare of US in international context.
    • PUBLIC SERVICE CAREERS, ESSAY #2 (800 words) — Recipients must commit to minimum service requirement of 12 months with preference for long-term engagement, such as a career in government service. This essays asks applicants to reflect upon experience that demonstrates capacity to do Boren, explain how country and language acquisition will help fulfill career goals and plan for federal service specifically, and describe interest in federal service and what you will bring to that service.
  • All College and University Transcripts
  • Language Self-Assessment Form
  • Two letters of recommendation, option of submitting a third. For our internal deadline, applicants should have their references submit their letters through Northeastern’s Internal Fellowship Portal (see application link above). Letters should be signed and on official letterhead and uploaded as PDFs.

Submit the application as a PDF as well as letters through our Northeastern University Internal Fellowship Portal.

In order to receive Northeastern’s endorsement and support, we ask that applicants please complete their applications by our internal deadline.

Contact URF@Northeastern.edu for assistance with your application.

Interested? Have Questions?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in a fellowship or opportunity, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. Contact the office with any questions: