A Speedwell AFS Study Abroad Scholarship offers your child the opportunity to expand their educational and personal horizons while developing important life skills. In addition to the Speedwell Foundation's financial support, a worldwide network of AFS professional staff and volunteers stand ready to ensure the safety and support of every participant.
Encouraging your child to study abroad may be a difficult decision, even with the prospect of obtaining a Speedwell Foundation scholarship to cover the tuition and supplemental insurance. However, the benefits of study abroad make it a compelling program for expanding the personal and educational horizons of the students who participate. The study abroad experience promotes mastery of a foreign language, strengthens college and employment applications and encourages maturity and independence among the students who participate.
Cultural immersion is the quickest and most effective means to learn a foreign language, even if a student has had no prior experience with the language. Being bilingual is is an advantage on both work and college applications, and can provide for a broader understanding of culture, art, history and other interests that can enrich a student's academic career and life experiences. Mastering a foreign language also provides perspective on one's own language and culture.
Cultural awareness and a global perspective are important to colleges who favor applicants who can bring a multi-cultural experience to their campuses. Schools also favor students who have studied abroad because they have demonstrated the self-reliance, maturity and motivation necessary to succeed in college. In many cases, AFS alumni credit the perspective gained from study abroad for giving them a better idea of their education and career goals as they enter their college years.
As evidenced by its personal and educational rewards, the study abroad experience is a challenge that builds character and emotional awareness. Study abroad students hone their interpersonal communication skills as they learn how to relate to people in other cultures. The experience empowers students to explore new interests and opportunities, and encourages flexibility and creativity when thinking about themselves and their futures. Students return from abroad with new friendships, a host family and a network of other AFS alumni; relationships they will carry with them into college and beyond.
Study abroad is an enriching experience with many personal benefits. Students are supported by a strong network of professionals, trained volunteers and AFS-USA partner organizations. For answers to questions you may have about the AFS-USA program, we encourage you to attend an upcoming parent's webinar. The Speedwell Foundation AFS Scholarship application and instructions can be found here on this site.