Beyond Boundaries Award – Challenge Your Limits!


What is the Beyond Boundaries Award?
The Beyond Boundaries Award is a financial award of $2000 or more to be used to help fund a Maymester/summer study abroad experience. The goal of this scholarship is to help students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in study abroad to make an overseas experience possible.  Traditionally underrepresented students include but are not limited to the following:

  • students with significant financial need
  • students from diverse ethnic backgrounds
  • students with disabilities
  • first-generation students (those whose parents have not obtained a college degree)
  • students in fields of study underrepresented in study abroad (ex. Sciences, Engineering, Math, etc.)
  • students in the Gamecock Guarantee program at USC

 All USC students participating in a credit-bearing summer program are eligible to compete for this award. The number of scholarships available varies from year to year.

When can I apply for the Beyond Boundaries Award?
You must apply by the posted deadline, prior to the Maymester/summer term you plan to study abroad. You may apply for the award multiple times; however you can only receive the award once. You cannot delay or defer the award; it must be used for the Maymester/summer listed on your application. The award must be used for the specific program outlined in your application. Please note that recipients of the Passport Travel Grant cannot also receive the Beyond Boundaries Award.

Student Eligibility Requirements
In order to be considered for a Beyond Boundaries Award, an applicant must:

  • Be in the process of applying or have already applied to an approved Maymester/summer program (proof of acceptance must be provided to the Study Abroad Office before funds are released)
  • Be a full-time, undergraduate, degree-seeking USC-Columbia student
  • Be earning at least 3 credits for his/her study abroad experience
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Submit completed application materials to the Study Abroad Office by the posted deadline


Study Abroad Program Requirements

The USC study abroad website (www.studyabroad.sc.edu) lists a number of pre-approved study abroad programs.  Students wishing to take part in a program or study in a country that does not appear on this list must contact the Study Abroad Office and speak with an advisor regarding program approval.  Both credit-bearing service learning and credit-bearing internship programs that include structured, on-site supervision may also meet program requirements.

The following types of programs meet requirements for the purpose of applying for a Beyond Boundaries Award:

  • USC Global Classroom Programs
  • USC Global Direct Summer Programs
  • Global Partner Programs
  • Study abroad programs sponsored by another university
  • Direct enrollment in an approved foreign institution 

Independent study or independent research activities abroad do not meet the scholarship eligibility requirements.

Scholarship Disbursement
You will receive notification of your award within a few weeks of the application deadline.  The actual award funds are disbursed at the start of Summer I or Summer II, depending on your program dates.  In order to access the funds, you will need to go to VIP and apply the award to your student account. 

If you are taking part in a USC Global Classroom Program, the award will be applied toward your tuition costs.  Any remainder will be issued to you in the form of an overage check.  If you are taking part in a Global Direct Summer or Global Partner Program, an overage check will be issued to you after funds have been applied to any outstanding balance you may have on your account.  The overage check will be sent to your permanent address. Make sure your address is correct in VIP. Please note that you are responsible for submitting the T-1 form to the Financial Aid Office and for covering any deposits or payments due before the disbursement of the scholarship.

Follow-on Service Project Requirement
To help expand the impact of the Beyond Boundaries Award and promote study abroad among traditionally underrepresented students, all recipients will be required to participate in a follow-on service project upon their return from abroad.  This service requirement may include presentations to student groups or organizations or participation in scheduled study abroad events specifically targeting underrepresented students.  Details will be finalized in conjunction with the award recipients at the beginning of the fall semester following the summer during which recipients will have studied abroad.     

To Apply
Your application will be evaluated based on the quality of your Statement of Purpose, your academic reference, your GPA, and your level of financial need. Indicators of financial need may include federal and state need-based grants and loans, as well as extenuating financial circumstances reflected in your statement of purpose.

Following is a checklist to help you maneuver through the scholarship application process. Please click on the links below to access the forms required for the Beyond Boundaries Award Application. You must submit a completed application by 5:00pm on February 15th. All forms must be typed, then printed, and submitted to the Study Abroad Office. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered; essays may NOT be handwritten.

A Complete Beyond Boundaries Award Application will Include:

All application materials are due by the posted deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered; essays may NOT be handwritten.