Program Details | Explore the World Travel Scholarship

Explore the World Travel Scholarships

Program Details

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

Eligibility Requirements:

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

  • Be 18 - 30 years of age at the time of application
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident (possess Green Card)
  • Demonstrate financial need by meeting at least one of the following criteria:
  • Reside or attend school in one of the select metropolitan areas where HI USA has a community presence:
    Los Angeles
    San Diego
    San Francisco/Oakland Sacramento
    Minneapolis/St. Paul
    DC/Baltimore Metro New York City
    Greater Chicago Portland
    New Orleans Austin
    Boston Richmond
  • Have a strong desire and motivation to experience other people and cultures through international travel
  • Plan to take a trip to a destination outside of the 50 United States between May 15, 2019 and August 31, 2020 that incorporates education, volunteerism or service learning.
  • Employees and relatives of HI USA and its licensed facilities are ineligible to receive an Explore the World Travel Scholarship.

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
  • Deadline: The deadline for submitting the Explore the World Scholarship is March 2, 2019.
  • Please Note: Applicants may only submit one application per calendar year. Applicants who are not selected may reapply in the future. However, prior Explore the World 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, Orange County, Riverside County
CA - Sacramento Sacramento County, Yolo County, San Joaquin County, Sutter County, and Amador County
CA - San Diego San Diego County, Imperial County
CA - San Francisco San Francisco County, Marin County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo
DC - DC/Baltimore DC - District of Columbia
MD - Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard 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
LA - New Orleans Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. Bernard Parish
MA - Boston Suffolk County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Plymouth County, Barnstable County, Dukes County, Nantucket County, Bristol County
MN - Minneapolis/St. Paul Hennepin County, Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Washington 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, Austin County
VA - Richmond City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County

Program Requirements:

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

  • Travel outside the USA for at least one week (7 days).
  • Complete travel between May 15, 2019 and August 31, 2020.
  • Use the online scholarship management application to submit required documentation and request funds.
  • By April 26, 2019, provide required documentation indicating official acceptance of the award. Documentation includes contract, release, W-9, ID, location verification, financial need verification, photo and bio. Funds requests will open on May 5, 2019, after verification of submitted documents.
  • At least 30 days prior to travel, complete a pre-travel survey, and submit required documentation with the pre-travel funds request for the first $1000 installment of funds. Processing can take up to 21 days. Documentation includes statement of intent to travel and proof of international health insurance.
  • During travel, post at least three photos and/or status updates to Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtag #exploretheworld and @HIUSA.
  • Within 30 days of return, provide a report of your travels as per HI USA guidelines, complete the post travel survey and submit at least three additional photos with the post travel funds request for the second installment of $1000. Processing may take up to 21 days.
  • Failure to complete the Program Requirements by the specified deadlines 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 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:

  • Demonstrate financial need and limited travel experience
  • 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
  • Express a desire to motivate others to travel

Awardees Announced:

  • All applicants will be informed of the local committee's decision by April 10, 2019.

Award Cancellations:

  • All travel must be completed and all funds requested by August 31, 2020, otherwise, 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 the Explore the World Scholarship. Applications from prior awardees will only be considered if awardee officially canceled the award and has reimbursed any of the scholarship funds that were paid in anticipation of travel.

Reservation of Rights:

  • We reserve the right to modify this agreement and any policies of the HI USA Explore the World Travel Scholarship. Modification is effective upon posting to our website or distribution via email or conventional mail.