Colourful fresco by Masaccio from the Brancacci chapel

In this post we’re going to show you some brilliant scholarships and grants to help fund your gap year. Like many people, we believe in the life-changing benefits of a gap year and experiential education which is why we’ve been running our AHA Trenchard Cox Scholarship for over 20 years and have recently introduced our Musical Scholarship. In fact, if you add in all the awards we have made, we’ve funded almost £100,000 worth of making travel dreams come true!

But we also know that many grant-giving bodies don’t have the wherewithal to promote their awards. Keep reading to find out what grants, scholarships and competitions you could apply for to help fund your gap year. Don’t forget to ask if your school or university have any travel or gap year awards because we will match fund up to a maximum of 10% of the course fees for a 6-week or 2-week AHA course.

We’ve found some unusual ones, so make sure you read all the rules of eligibility – whether it’s where you live, what age you are or if your name is Graham, it pays to read the small print.

For educational travelCanaletto

The USA Gap Year Fairs Student Ambassador Scholarship

  • $2,000
  • for students who have demonstrated outstanding motivation and determination to pursue gap year experiences
  • AHA supported one of the 2018 winners, Lauren Anderson, to attend our Autumn Gap Year Course

The Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Awards Trust

  • £50 – £1,000
  • aged 17 – 24, particularly those with a connection to the City of London
  • taking part in projects abroad designed to broaden your experience, develop self confidence and improve career chances
  • grants made annually late spring, late autumn

Travel Access Project

  • $3,000
  • any age, any citizenship
  • for travel or educational costs
  • for an independent gap year combining education and adventure
  • applications open January 2020

The Sir Philip Reckitt Educational Trust

  • must be resident in Norfolk, Hull or the former East Riding of Yorkshire
  • for the cost of travel, residence and attendance at conferences, lectures and educational courses
  • must apply at least 6 weeks prior to departure

Get paid to write your next essay

Renaissance painting showing man at desk

Pro Privacy Scholarship

  • $2,000
  • must be graduating high school senior or an undergraduate, graduate, or professional college student
  • 500 to 1,000-word essay on “What are the risks of microtargeting? From targeting addictions to political ads?”
  • deadlines 30 April and 30 October annually

BeArt Preset Scholarship

  • $2,000
  • undergraduate, a graduate, or a high school senior from anywhere in the world
  • 700-word essay on “How will a BeArt-Presets Academic Scholarship help achieve your education & career goals?”
  • deadline 1 April, 2020

GoTranscript Scholarship

  • $1,000
  • students in last year of school or first year of university/college
  • 500 to 1,000-word essay: “Share a story about how language has helped you express your voice”
  • no deadline, Spring and Autumn scholarships offered until 2022

Surfshark Scholarship

  • $2,000
  • any age, any citizenship
  • open to students high school, undergraduate school, or a graduate school (or your country’s equivalent) in the US, Canada, the UK, an EU country, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa
  • 700 – 900 words on “Are privacy and security the same thing?”
  • Deadline, 1 November, 2019

Interested in visual communication?

Toulouse Lautrec posters

Discount Displays Scholarship

  • grants total up to £500
  • open to anyone attending a UK based educational institute
  • design a pop up stand that promotes the student’s relevant course and appeals to prospective students while taking into consideration the brand and identity of their university
  • deadline, 31 December, 2019

Display Wizard Graphic Design Scholarship

  • grants total up to £500
  • open to students taking part in an art, graphic design, visual communication, creative advertising or marketing course at a UK-based University or College
  • design two display stands for your University or College that focus on the creativity your course inspires and a 250-300 word description which explains the inspiration for your designs
  • deadline, 1 May, 2020

Grants you weren’t expectingCrop of Caravaggio's Basket of Fruit painting

From The Vegetarian Society for vegetarians and vegans under 26, a grant of up to £500

From The University of Roehampton, a Scholarship of £1,500 for talented eSports players (yes, they mean computer games)

From The Graham Trust, a Scholarship of up to £500 for those attending higher education in the Glasgow area … if their surname is Graham!

From The Bulkeley-Evans HMC Scholarship

  • 20 – 25 scholarships of £200 – £800 plus 1 or 2 of £1,000
  • open to students at HMC schools only
  • majority of awards go to boys and girls involved in projects in poorer countries or the poorer areas of other countries
  • financial need, assessed from the report from the Head, the statements in the application form, and the breakdown of expenses and methods of raising money

Grants for volunteering and/or adventurous travel

Painting of a view of mountains and a lake

The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust

  • up to 250 grants of £300 available
  • must be travelling with a recognised organisation

The Timmissartok Foundation

  • for individuals seeking adventure in foreign lands – all nationalities, all ages
  • for unique projects by people who are ‘not afraid to try’

From InterExchange, the Christianson Grant

  • up to $10,000
  • open to US citizens aged 18 – 28
  • to create and carry out their own meaningful service projects abroad
  • work, internship or volunteer abroad for at least 6 months

The Young Explorers Trust

  • under 19
  • taking part in expeditions or other adventurous activities
  • a variety of awards available, including The Derbyshire Youth Exploration Awards for young people who live or are at school in Derbyshire or Yorkshire

Vivian Fuchs Youth Award

  • aged 11 – 19
  • from the Captain Scott Society, dedicated to the spirit of adventure
  • £500
  • the Society is particularly interested in character building or unusual exploits

Volunteer Forever Scholarship

  • this platform allows you to set up your own fundraising page for volunteering, interning, and also runs a scholarship if you choose one of their programs
  • for $500 – $1,000, each quarter, to 2 winners
  • open to US, UK, EU, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
  • application form and essay “What motivates you to volunteer, study, teach, intern, or work abroad? How do you plan to tie your past experience with your trip and your future goals?”, c. 600 words
  • deadline 31 December, 2019

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas for finding a scholarship or grant to help fund your gap year, whatever you’re planning to do. If you want to investigate further, try these sources of information:

The Scholarship Hub

The Directory of Grant Making Trusts – from your nearest UK library!

The Gap Year Association



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