Explore the World Travel Scholarships

Program Details

Eligibility Requirements
Application Process
Local Communities Served
Program Requirements
Award Distribution
Selection Process
Number of Scholarships
Awardees Announced
Award Cancellations

Eligibility Requirements:

To be considered for the Explore the World Travel scholarship, candidates must:

Application Process:

  • Complete an Explore the World Application for your location. Don't forget to check out our 7 Tips for a Successful Explore the World Application!
  • Provide 2 personal references
  • If selected as a finalist, participate in an interview in your local area
  • Deadline: The deadline for submitting the Explore the World Scholarship is May 15, 2016.
  • Please Note: Applicants may only submit one application per calendar year. Applicants who are not selected may reapply in the future. However, prior scholarship recipients are ineligible to reapply.

Local Communities Served:

Applicants must reside or attend school in one of the select metropolitan areas where HI USA has a community presence:

CA - Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County

CA - San Diego

  • San Diego County, Imperial County, Orange County, Riverside County

CA - San Francisco

  • San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County

DC - Washington

  • DC - District of Columbia
  • MD - Montgomery County, Prince Georges County
  • VA - Arlington County, City of Alexandria, City of Arlington, Fairfax County

IL - Chicago

  • IL - Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County
  • IN - Lake County

MA - Boston

  • Suffolk County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County

MD - Baltimore

  • Baltimore City, Baltimore County

MN - Minneapolis/St. Paul

  • Hennepin County, Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Ramsey County, Scott County

NY - New York City

  • Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens

OR - Portland

  • Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County

TX - Austin

  • Travis County, Bastrop County, Blanco County, Burnet County, Caldwell County, Hays County, Williamson County

TX - Houston

  • Harris County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Waller County

VA - Richmond

  • City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County

WA - Seattle

  • King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County

Program Requirements:

As a scholarship recipient, the candidate agrees to the following:

  • Travel outside the USA for at least one week (7 days). Travel must be completed by August 31, 2017.
  • Use the online scholarship management application to submit required documentation.
  • Provide required documentation and complete a pre-travel survey before travel and first installment of funds. Documentation includes contract, release, W-9, ID, photo and bio, proof of international health insurance, and statement of intent to travel.
  • During travel, post at least three photos and/or status updates to Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtag #exploretheworld and @HIUSA.
  • Provide a post-travel report or presentation, submit at least three additional photos that can be used by HI USA, and complete a post-travel survey after returning from travel and before the second installment of funds.
  • Failure to complete the requirements can result in forfeiture of award.

Award Distribution:

  • The total amount of the award is $2000. The award is split in two equal installments of $1000.
  • The first installment is awarded before travel upon completion of the pre-travel requirements.
  • The second installment is awarded after travel upon completion of post-travel requirements.
  • Under certain conditions, this scholarship may be taxable income. For further details, please review the IRS Taxable Scholarship qualifications here.
  • Scholarship funds are to be used solely for the international travel opportunity outlined in the travel scholarship agreement.

Selection Process:

A scholarship committee of local residents will score and select awardees from completed, eligible applications based on the candidate’s ability to:

  • Present a compelling case on why/how the proposed travel will benefit him/herself and others
  • Convey a genuine interest in enhancing intercultural understanding through travel
  • Demonstrate financial need

Number of Scholarships

  • More than 80 scholarships will be awarded in local communities across the United States.The specific number of scholarships will vary by location.

Awardees Announced:

  • All applicants will be informed of the local committee's decision by June 25, 2016.

Award Cancellations:

  • If travel is not completed by August 31, 2017, the scholarship is forfeited.
  • Recipients must officially cancel the scholarship using the cancellation form.
  • If a scholarship recipient cancels his/her award, any funds released will need to be returned to HI USA immediately. HI USA has the right to pursue funds not used for the intended purpose.
  • Prior applicants who were awarded a scholarship but were unable to use the scholarship are eligible to reapply for future awards, provided that they have reimbursed any of the scholarship money that was paid to them in anticipation of the their travel.