Beyond Words - Language Blog

Scholarships and Grants for Language and Translation Students

Obtaining a degree in the field of translation/interpretation can be a grueling and costly process. Top U.S. universities like the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and top-tier schools with degree-seeking programs in this field, like Georgetown and Stanford University, have yearly tuitions exceeding $30,000, and relatively few slots available for highly competitive merit-based scholarships. But before the future translators and interpreters of the world lose hope, it should be noted that grants, scholarships, and fellowships are out there. To help you start your search, we’re providing you with information about some of the most generous funds currently available to language students.

The most coveted scholarships offer full rides to worthy students, usually asking for a period of community service upon graduation. The National Security Education Program (NSEP) offers the Boren Fellowship, which covers up to $30,000 for American students to increase their foreign language proficiency by studying highly-needed languages like Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. The NSEP asks for a one-year commitment to the U.S. federal government in a position of national security upon a fellow’s graduation. Fulbright grants, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, offer the full cost of tuition and living expenses for their scholars. Fulbright scholars typically study/research a foreign language abroad or teach English, but funds are also available for students wishing to conduct research on personal projects abroad. Another initiative funded by the State Department is the Critical Language Scholarship Program. Similar to the Fulbright, it offers students of languages critical to U.S. interests the ability to study for free. Unlike the Fulbright, this program is intended as an eight-week intensive course for undergraduate and graduate students.

In addition to federally-funded fellowships, there exists a staggering amount of money available to students of particular languages. While Spanish and the Asian languages enjoy the largest popularity with scholarship search engines and generous funding, many other languages have niche markets and organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving them and encouraging their expansion. Free scholarship websites like FastWeb and College have proven useful in allowing students to cast a wider net and find more scholarship opportunities.

In general, the more specific a scholarship’s goals and requirements, the less money is disbursed. The American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation offers a scholarship worth $2,500 called the JTG Scholarship in Scientific and Technical Translation or Interpretation. On a quirkier note, the Klingon Language Institute offers a $500 scholarship to students of any language – provided they take a “creative” approach to that language. Many, many more minor scholarships exist, and, every year, tens of thousands of dollars of financial aid remain untouched. While a degree in translation or interpretation can be costly, the burden of funding it can be somewhat alleviated with a little patience and a lot of sent recommendation letters. We hope this helps with your search!

Resources for Language Students

Scholarships, Grants, and Programs
The Boren Fellowship
The Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program
Critical Language Scholarship Program
JTG Scholarship in Scientific and Technical Translation or Interpretation
The Foreign Language Enhancement Program (FLEP)
Phi Sigma Iota Scholarships
Klingon Language Institute Kor Memorial Scholarship

The National Security Education Program (NSEP)
American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation
Institute of International Education

Search Engines
Fastweb: Search for Scholarships, Financial Aid, Student Loans and Colleges
The College Board Scholarship Search
Scholarship Experts
Scholarship Monkey

Related Articles

Top 10 U.S. Translation Schools
Translation Graduate Programs Overview
Paths to Success in Translation: Interview with Aaron Maddox
Paths to Success in Translation: Interview with Mary Maloof


  1. This was very useful. Do you know of any scholarships or grants specific to international graduate students interested in this field? Thanks in advance.

  2. Its good to read about scholarship and grants for language and translation students. I was also a translation student but now I am a teacher. I think this was good to encourage language students.

  3. I have BC degree in translation. I seek any opportunity to continue my studies in MA in foreign countries.I was wondering whether I’M enough qualified to get any scholarship. I’ll really appreciate your kind guidance. Thanks

  4. I am a senior Lecturer in the department of English and Linguistics at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. I teach translation to graduate students. There is a big need, we have very few trained translators. I’m looking for grants to train students. How can institutions like mine benefit from your organization?

  5. I have a calling to the Translation Ministry in Uganda, East Africa. After completing my BA Theological studies at Westminster Theological College/ Seminary Uganda, serving in practical ministry for 5yrs in a local church, schools and in translations. I feel i should go for further studies for MA TRANSLATION & LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. I tHEREFORE SEEK FOR THE STUDY SCHOLARSHIP FOR SEPTEMBER 2012.

  6. I’m a graduate of French and have passion for translation. I’m good at both French and English. I would like to further my studies in translation. I reside in Nigeria. Can you help me with a scholarship for master’s in translation, all expenses paid? Please, reply. Thanks in advance and God bless you.

  7. iam egyptian student and i want to have a scholarship in translation and interpretation from english to arbic is such a course exists and if it exists how can apply to such scholarship thanks

  8. I am an egyptian I want to have a scholarship or grant to enter college to achieve a Master Degree in Computer Science in the United State. How can I apply for such scholarship.

  9. i am a graduate in english.i have also completed all the levels of german from goethe institute with good i want to do my masters in translation in german from germany or US.please suggest scholarships.thank you!

  10. i need scholarship fund for translation or interpreting studies
    to improve science in Asia especially Bali

  11. Dear sirs,

    Iam a sudanese man obtained MA IN general Translation from Juba Universty in 2008 ,seeking to find scholarship or grant in translation.would you please help me .

  12. At the moment I am graduated in French translation in Iran and i also study my english language.I desire to obtain a master degree in the field of translation in USA. would you please suggest me the scholarships programs? thanks in advance

  13. I am a graduate of English and Kiswahili…..have also done a diploma in French at Alliance Francaise. I am interested in translation, kindly suggest a translation schorlaship.

  14. It is a pleasure for me to write to you for the first time .in fact ,I am a teacher of english in a secondary school here in Kinshasa.I graduated from INSTITUT SUPERIEUR PEDAGOGIQUE DE LA GOMBE ,ISP. in English since 2011.

    I wish to pursue my post university studies in an English speaking country,such as USA or England but I do not have any financial support.So, I would like you to help me to find a scholarship of Master in Language ,management, or translation that can allow me to reach my goal.

  15. im a graduate in translation (french & english) seeking to pursue my m.a. Im therefore for a scholarship to help me fulfil my dream. Thank u for your consideration

  16. I obtained an MA in General Translation from Bahry University (previously Juba) Sudan , and hope to find an opportunity to pursue my studies in Translation of Interpretation PHD

  17. i am bajju and speaks jju language in nigeria. i did a comparative study of aspects of jju language and french at masters level. i would want to continue this work in order to help keep my language to prevent it from disappearing.

  18. I am currently translating the Bible into my local language called Teso in Western Kenya. I have a BA Degree in Translation studies from Pan Africa Christian University in Kenya. I am requesting for scholarship for Masters in Biblical studies at African International University (AIU). This will equip me better for translation tasks in other communities. Thank you.

  19. I am a retired educator and would like to get a certificate in court interpretation. I need to know of a school or program that is well-regarded and if there are scholarships available for someone in my situation.

    • ITS awni Hasan from Jordan.I am interested in Arabic English German Chinese translation .Please,feed me back on this domain .

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