Merit scholarships

EF Study Abroad's Merit Scholarships are given to students who show strong academic performance, community and extracurricular involvement, and/or leadership. Seven scholarships are given out to Merit recipients each year. See details on application requirements and submit your entry today!

To be eligible, you must be:

1. Enrolled on a 2022-2023 EF Study Abroad program
2. 18 years of age or older
3. A current part-time or full-time student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program
4. In good standing with your institution
5. In good financial account standing with EF Study Abroad payments

Affiliated community members, spouses, or friends of Group Leaders are not eligible.

View our full terms and conditions here.

What you need to apply for this scholarship:

We recommend having these two materials ready to go before you start your application. You will have the ability to copy and paste your responses in the entry boxes supplied on the application form.

1. Letter of recommendation

Ask an educator (a professor, administrator, or teacher, for example) to paint a holistic view of you as an individual and as a student that speaks to your character, passion, drive, and deservingness of this scholarship. Length should be about 250 to 500 words. No need for a paper copy—you'll simply be copying and pasting your recommendation in the application once you're ready.
Below are some suggestions if the person writing your recommendation is looking for inspiration:
  • Your academic strengths, interests, and pursuits
  • Your role in your community
  • Your involvement in extracurriculars
  • Examples of demonstrated leadership
  • Why you are deserving of an EF scholarship
Please provide the first name, last name, and email address of the educator who has written your recommendation for verification purposes.

2. Mini reflection essay

This year, our world has witnessed a lot of change, uncertainty, and challenge. Our belief is that travel has the ability to open the world and that the world is better when people try to understand one another. In 500 words or less, describe how you view the importance of future travel amidst COVID-19 and the current state of our world.

How we evaluate Merit scholarship applicants:

Applicants will be selected based on strong academic performance and community involvement. Applications will be scored in the following categories, with 1 – 4 points awarded in each category:

  • Academic performance (strengths, interests, and pursuits), as indicated in the letter of recommendation
  • Character (includes role in your community, involvement in extracurriculars, and examples of leadership), as indicated in the letter of recommendation
  • Passion and drive, as indicated in the letter of recommendation
  • Professor’s assessment of why this student is deserving of a scholarship
  • Applicant articulates in the reflection essay the importance of future travel amidst COVID-19
  • Quality of persuasive writing in applicant’s reflection essay

Timing and application deadlines

Deadlines are based on your program departure date as outlined below. 

Program Departure Date


For Travel February 1, 2024 - April 30, 2024 October 31, 2023
For Travel May 1, 2024 - December 15, 2024 February 7, 2024

*We will notify all applicants if they have been awarded a scholarship or not approximately 6 weeks after the scholarship deadline for your travel window.

Ready to apply?

Submit both your letter of recommendation and your mini reflection essay together by the deadline outlined above.