Opportunities to Get to Africa

If you have suggestions of programs and opportunities to be added to this list, please contact Eric Schmidt at ericjs@bu.edu.

BU Undergraduate Student Academic Enhancement Fund

The Student Academic Enhancement Fund is designed to support CAS students in the pursuit of academic interests, endeavors and achievements. Individuals or groups are welcome to apply here. While there are broad uses for which these funds may be applied and all requests will be considered, in the past, approved requests have included registration fees, travel expenses to programs in which students are representing BU, and materials for conference presentations.

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Fulbright Hayes Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA)

Who May Apply: Graduate students in doctoral programs in the fields of foreign languages and area studies must apply through the institutions in which they are enrolled.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grants

Dissertation Fieldwork Grants are awarded to aid doctoral or thesis research. The program contributes to the Foundation’s overall mission to support basic research in anthropology and to ensure that the discipline continues to be a source of vibrant and significant work that furthers our understanding of humanity’s cultural and biological origins, development, and variation. The Foundation supports research that demonstrates a clear link to anthropological theory and debates, and promises to make a solid contribution to advancing these ideas. There is no preference for any methodology, research location, or subfield. The Foundation particularly welcomes proposals that employ a comparative perspective, can generate innovative approaches or ideas, and/or integrate two or more subfields.

Boren Awards (African Language Initiative)

Boren Awards applicants have the opportunity to further their study of Akan/Twi, French, Hausa, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, or Zulu.

Laura Bush Traveling Fellowship

The Laura Bush Traveling Fellowship is intended to help fund a proposal designed by a student to conduct brief work in a foreign country related to the mandate of UNESCO – using education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations. The fellowship is open to US citizens (ages 18-25) enrolled in a college or university who express an interest in international collaboration but have not had many opportunities to travel abroad.

Royal Air Maroc-African Studies Association Student Travel Award

This award aims to facilitate and increase the amount of students and exchange of ideas between students of African Studies in Africa and the United States. The overarching aim of the award is to acknowledge outstanding scholarship by future Africanists.  The award will be given every year at the  ASA’s annual meeting, and will consist of two round-trip tickets per student between the US and any Royal Air Maroc destination in Africa. Awards may be used to facilitate research, study abroad, and/or travel home for African students studying in the US.

Global Health Corps

Global Health Corps is building a community of leaders who share a common belief–health is a human right. GHC selects recent college graduates and young professionals from diverse backgrounds and place them in health non-profits and government offices in the US, East Africa and Southern Africa for a year of service.Through additional GHC training, mentorship, leadership development and community building, these young people complete their fellowship with the skills and support to be change-makers in the global health field.

Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund

The Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund was established in 1991 in honor of Ruth Schlossberg Landes, Ph.D. (1908–1991) for interdisciplinary research and publications on subjects that were of interest to Dr. Landes during her professional and academic career. Grants are available for individuals and institutions. Funding preference will be given to research proposals on the specific subjects reflected in the Ruth Landes Bibliography. Special consideration will be given to applicants who work within Landes-related materials, including the papers and unpublished manuscripts at the NAA.

The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research

The Lewis and Clark Fund (initially supported by the Stanford Ascherman/Baruch Blumberg Fund for Basic Science, established by a benefaction from the late Stanford Ascherman, MD, of San Francisco) encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, and population genetics, but grants will not be restricted to these fields.

Child Family Health International

Experience the healthcare challenges facing South Africa first-hand, where under the Apartheid regime the majority of people had limited or no healthcare until the 1990’s. Now under majority rule, great strides have been made and efforts to reach underserved communities are ongoing.

German Academic Exchange Service (opportunities to study African languages in Germany)

DAAD offers grants to applicants from North American universities, who at the time of application have attained at least sophomore standing (second-year standing in Canada), to attend 8-week intensive language courses at leading institutes in Germany.

Princeton in Africa

Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering yearlong fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent.


iNERDE is a social enterprise with a plan for radical development in Africa. Our STEM Summer Camps teach African youth problem-solving, innovation, entrepreneurship, integrity, self-confidence, teamwork and, of course, the STEM skills needed to succeed in the modern world.

SAHA Global

Saha Global (formerly known as Community Water Solutions) empowers women in rural communities to solve their village’s need for clean water and electricity by providing business opportunities. How do we do it? We bring leaders from around the world to Ghana through our Global Leadership Program where they train local women to launch profitable social enterprises. All of the revenue from these businesses stays in the community and is managed by the women entrepreneurs.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Award amounts vary depending on program length and student need; up to $5,000. For critical need language study, award amounts can be as high as $8,000. For summer, semester, and academic year study abroad. Federal Pell Grant recipients participating in programs longer than four weeks in one country. For more information, visit Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Foundation For Global Scholars

Award amounts vary. For more information visit Foundation For Global Scholars.