David L. Boren Awards for International Study

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Boren Scholarship Essay Guidelines

·         The essays are the most important part of the application. Each essay has a maximum length of 800 words. Essays should be single spaced, except when spaces separate paragraphs. 

Essay One

Please discuss the following points in one integrated essay, giving equal attention to each point.

  • Explain the significance of your proposed country, region, and language to U.S. national security. The Boren Awards recognize a broad definition of national security, but you should make a specific, detailed, and focused argument.
  • Describe how the country, language, and overseas program you selected will help you achieve your career goals, including your plans to fulfill the federal service requirement. If appropriate, you may also include relevant past academic,extracurricular, volunteer, internship, and professional experiences. Be specific.

Essay Two: Study Abroad Program Description (both the preferred program and alternate, if applicable)

  • Describe the study abroad program’s course of study and related cultural activities, as well as the administrative and support services provided (i.e., facilities, housing, resident director, etc.). 
  • Describe the language component in as much detail as possible, including the number of classroom contact hours and informal language study opportunities outside of the classroom.
  • Describe your past experience in studying or speaking the language (or another language if relevant), as well as your plans for continuing to study and/or speak the language following your Boren Scholarship.