Explore the World Travel Scholarships

Program Details

Eligibility Requirements
Application Process
Local Communities Served
Program Requirements
Selection Process
Award Distribution
Number of Scholarships
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::
    • Being a current Pell Grant recipient
    • Being a former Pell Grant recipient
    • Having a current income level that does not exceed 300% of the 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Reside or attend school in one of the select metropolitan areas where HI USA has a community presence:

    CALIFORNIA NEW YORK
    Los Angeles New York City
    San Diego OREGON
    San Francisco/Oakland Portland
    DC TEXAS
    Washington Austin
    ILLINOIS Houston
    Chicago VIRGINIA
    MASSACHUSETTS Richmond
    Boston WASHINGTON
    MARYLAND Seattle
    Baltimore
    MINNESOTA
    Minneapolis/St. Paul

  • 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, 2017 and August 31, 2018 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
  • If selected as a finalist, participate in an interview in your local area
  • Deadline: March 15, 2017
  • 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, Orange County, Riverside County
    CA - San Diego San Diego County, Imperial County
    CA - San Francisco San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County
    DC (DC/Maryland/Virginia) 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, Barnstable County, Dukes County, Nantucket County, Bristol County
    MD - Baltimore Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County
    MN - Minneaplois/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
    WA - Seattle King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, Whitman County, Whatcom 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, 2017 and August 31, 2018.
  • Use the online scholarship management application to submit required documentation and request funds.
  • By May 1, 2017, 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 must wait until after this date.
  • 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 photoswith the post travel funds request for the second installment of $1000.
  • 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:

  • 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

  • 98 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 April 20, 2017.

Award Cancellations:

  • All travel must be completed and all funds requested by August 31, 2018, 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 future awards, provided that they have reimbursed any of the scholarship money that was paid to them in anticipation of the their 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 convention mail.