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International Education Scholarship

IES - International Education Scholarship (formerly called the IEFS)

The International Education Scholarship is used as financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate UH students to participate in an approved learning abroad program. Learning abroad programs may include, but are not limited to, faculty-led programs, reciprocal exchange programs, third-party affiliated provider programs, internship opportunities, research collaboratives, academic conferences, and volunteer activities abroad. 

Applications submitted for the spring 2020 deadline are currently on hold due to the unprecedented situation from the COVID-19 outbreak. Learning Abroad has cancelled all summer 2020 programs, and we are determining the best way to move forward with the IES at this time. We will contact all IES applicants once we have an update on their applications. 

IES Eligibility

  • Undergraduate Students
    • Must have completed 12 UH credit hours*, have a minimum 2.5 GPA*, and be in good academic standing.
    • Must NOT have received the IES before.
    • *Credit hours and GPA at time of application deadline. First-semester and new transfer students are not eligible to apply during their first semester at UH.
  • Graduate & Professional Students
    • Must have completed 9 UH credit hours*, have a minimum 3.0 GPA*, and be in good academic standing.
    • Must NOT have received the IES before.
    • *Credit hours and GPA at time of application deadline. First-semester and new transfer students are not eligible to apply during their first semester at UH, unless the student completed an undergraduate program at UH. 

Students may not receive IES funding for programs in Travel Advisory Level 4 locations as outlined by the U.S. Department of State, and they have to have authorization for programs in Travel Advisory Level 3 locations. For further information, please review the UH Learning Abroad Policy for Student Travel and the U.S. Department of State travel website.

International Education Scholarship Policies and Procedures

Prior to beginning the application, please thoroughly review the IES Policies and Procedures.

How to Apply

  1. Select a specific program to which you have applied or will apply. Complete and save the

    International Education Scholarship Application

    This form is not compatible with Apple software. 
  2. Submit a description of your selected learning abroad program with cost information.
    • This may be a screen shot of a program provider's website or a PDF or a program flyer.
  3. Complete the IES application essay.
    • The essay should not exceed two pages. It must be typed (12pt., Times New Roman font) and double-spaced. 
    • It should describe how the learning abroad program you have selected will enhance your academic program at the University of Houston. Also, please state:
      • Personal, professional, and academic goals
      • How the selected program will help you reach your goals
      • What you hope to gain from the selected learning abroad program
  4. Ask ONE University of Houston faculty or staff member to submit a letter of reference on behalf of you to Only digital copies will be accepted. This letter of reference should be no longer than one page and should include the following information: the applicant's name, the applicant's level of academic achievement in general, why the referee believes the applicant will be a successful participant in the selected learning abroad program, and an evaluation of the applicant in two or more of the following categories:
    • Communication Skills
    • Common Sense & Judgment
    • Ability to Work Independently & In Groups
    • Adaptability & Flexibility
    • Cultural Awareness

Students participating in a faculty-led program cannot receive a letter of recommendation from the faculty or staff member leading their program abroad. If multiple letters of reference are received, the IES Committee will review only the first letter that is received.

Students should submit the above documents from lines 1-3 in a single email to Paper copies of application materials will not be accepted. Letters of Recommendation should be sent directly to by the recommender. 

Review of applications will begin after application deadline and will take several weeks.

Award Notifications

Depending on the volume of applications, we hope to have award notifications for the spring 2020 cycle to all applicants by the end of March 2020. 

Funding Note:

Fund dispersal typically takes place 8-10 weeks after the application deadline, but may take longer.