Believe it or not, there are actually a few organizations that award grants to fund travel expenses to countries all over the world. But most of these opportunities are limited to students planning to study abroad or to those working on academic research or professional projects. There aren’t really any grant programs that will send you on a cruise or an all expenses paid vacation. But if you are willing to incorporate volunteer work or teach conversational English during your trip, you might just be able to get away with much of the cost of your travel funded for you through these organizations.
This is the largest exchange program operating in the United States. Annually, it issues around 8,000 federally funded grants through the U.S. Department of State to fund cultural exchange trips worldwide. Fulbright sends U.S. citizens abroad and also hosts international exchanges inside the United States. It offers opportunity for students, young professionals, college faculty and others to travel internationally through the Fulbright Program.
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program places around 800 academic faculty and working professionals in 125 countries around the world to lecture, work on curriculum and undertake independent research and study projects. Applications for the Scholar Program are due annually by August 1.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides around 1,900 annual grants to fund student research and study projects and place English teaching assistants in international classrooms. This program is available to recent graduates, young professionals and those seeking advanced graduate degrees. Those that are accepted for an English Teaching Assistantship are paired with an English teacher in a kindergarten to university setting to work with non-native English students. Fulbright accepts applications for the Student Program online between May 1 and October 15 for each upcoming academic year.
While it is certainly the largest such education travel opportunity, the Fulbright is not the only program offering free money to study abroad. For more information about this and other programs, check out our full article on study abroad grants that might just help you fund your overseas trip through a scholarship or grant.
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
This organization provides grants for international travel costs to fund reporting projects that focus on global topics that are generally unreported by the mass media. Grants are available to staff reporters as well as freelance journalists and the typical grant size is usually between $2,000 and $10,000. Your proposed project can include a combination of medium such as print, photography, radio or video. To receive a reporting grant, you must have some plan in place to handle media distribution when your work is completed. Journalists can apply by completing an online grant application. Contact Katherine Doyle by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any problems with applying online.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms
For those with an interest in organic farming, WWOOF pairs people willing to travel to and volunteer on organic farms with host farms that offer room and board in exchange for part-time work. Host farms are available worldwide in countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. For anyone interested in the organic movement, this is a great way to get away and see the world while learning about organic farming up close and personal. Usually you are expected to work 4-6 hours a day in exchange for the living expenses provided while on your trip. Typically these stays last a few days to several weeks. To inquire about an organic farm exchange, contact the WWOOF organization in the country you are interested in traveling to. A full list of available countries is listed at the bottom of the wwoof.net website. For any general questions about the program, email email@example.com.