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Foreign Language Scholarships

When applying for a job, being able to speak a second language will set you apart from others vying for the same position. Fluency in (or even a working knowledge of) another language will also greatly increase your employment opportunities – they’re not going to give the big promotion at the Hong Kong office to someone who only speaks English – so majoring in a foreign language is a great way to initially bump up your resume’s attractiveness and keep your name at the top of your employer’s short list.

As a foreign language major, you have possibly the widest range of careers to choose from including education, business, hospitality, politics and social work. Pairing a language major with the aforementioned or other majors or minors is extremely beneficial, as it will give you a better understanding of how to blend both fields of study together (imagine taking an advertising class...in Spanish!). You can also further your knowledge by immersing yourself in the culture by studying abroad and maybe even interning abroad as well to get the full experience of what life after college will be like.

To ease the often high cost of college, foreign language scholarship awards are available for students majoring in nearly every language. But not all foreign languages are created equal: Students fluent in Coptic, Ancient Greek, Latin and Sanskrit aren’t going to have employers and foreign language scholarship providers banging down their doors with offers because these languages are not used every day. (The exception to this rule is if you're planning a career in academia.) There isn’t one “best” language to major in but some are more useful than others in certain careers. For example, Mandarin Chinese, German and Japanese are good choices for those interested in international business, French is excellent for anyone planning on doing social work in Africa, Arabic is a sought-after skill for those wanting to work for the government and Spanish is useful in just about every profession in the United States.

As for funding your education, countless options are available. The U.S. Department of Education offers a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Program while the Critical Language Scholarship Program conducts intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages but there are many, many more. Here are just a few foreign language scholarships in the Scholarships.com database. For more foreign language scholarship opportunities customized to your unique situation, conduct a free scholarship search today. ¿Comprende?

Boren Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 2/3/2021
  • Amount: $20,000
  • Boren Scholarships, a prestigious initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. In exchange for [...] More

DAAD German Studies Research Grant

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $3,000
  • This specialized DAAD program offers German Studies Research Grants to highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students who are nominated by their department/program chairs. The grant may be used for short-term research (one to two months) in Germany. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have at least junior standing pursuing a German Studies track or minor, and be [...] More

Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

  • Application Deadline: 3/13/2021
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program is open to underrepresented, low-income and first-generation college-bound students. Students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree full-time in transportation, math, science, engineering, architecture, environmental design, PreMed, psychology, Spanish language/literature. The applicant does not have to be a U.S. citizen but must have a minimum 3.5 [...] More

GRCF Audrey L. Wright Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • To be eligible for the Audrey L. Wright Scholarship, students must be Kent County residents (three-year minimum) pursuing an undergraduate degree in foreign language or education. Applicants must have financial need and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's [...] More

Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 8/1/2020
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Since 1964, the Italian Catholic Federation has awarded over $2,000,000.00 in scholarships to more than 6,000 high school students, of the Catholic faith, attending college. To apply, students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.2 and meet one of the following: are Roman Catholic and of Italian Descent who live within the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Arizona, California, Illinois and Nevada, only [...] More

Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship Fund

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2021
  • Amount: $2,000
  • The Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship is available to graduating seniors from public high schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties in Washington state (and a US citizen). Application forms are only available through these high schools and candidates for the scholarship are nominated by their school each year. Scholarships are renewable for four years of college in the state of Washington. [...] More

TEACH Grant

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $4,000
  • The TEACH Grant Program provides grants to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching. You must be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant Program and meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on one or more [...] More

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Last Reviewed: April 2020