USC has extended the suspension of its study abroad programs. More details here. Africa Student Fund will be on hold until the university issues updated policies and guidelines on university-related travel. 

Africa Student Fund

The USC Africa Student Fund is a scholarship intended to support undergraduate student travel to African countries for study, research, service-based learning and internships. Students who have identified a project or program are invited to apply with this funding in mind. Winners may receive full or partial funding to help cover airfare costs associated with their proposed project or program.

Since its inception in 2010 with an inaugural gift of $100,000 from Adam Clayton Powell III, the Africa Student Fund has supported students representing various USC Schools in their travel to African countries.


Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and be enrolled as an undergraduate student with at least one semester of coursework remaining at USC (graduating seniors in their final semester are not eligible).

The Africa Student Fund is open to all majors and disciplines. Students must propose an itinerary with a minimum in-country stay of 10 days, though funding preferences are given to applicants who intend to stay in-country for three weeks or longer. Students must hold a valid passport (U.S. or international) at time of proposed travel.

Dates & Deadlines


Typically, the online application is available in October and February each year. A select group or recipients will be chosen during each application period.

Please note: Africa Student Fund will be on hold until the university issues updated policies and guidelines on university-related travel. 

Award Details


The online application process includes:

  • 2-page Personal Statement
    • Your personal statement should address the following:
      • What is the purpose of your travel?
      • How have your previous academic, leadership and/or professional experiences prepared you for this opportunity?
      • How will this opportunity contribute to your overall USC experience and future professional goals?
      • What deliverables do you intend to produce as a result of this opportunity? (e.g. capstone project, published research paper, portfolio, conference presentation)
      • If you are part of a study abroad program, what are your plans for civic engagement and/or community impact outside of the classroom experience? (Note: Simply participating in a pre-arranged study abroad program is not competitive enough for funding)
  • 1-page Resume / C.V. 
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation 
    • Letters should be written on official USC letterhead by USC faculty or staff who are either directly involved in your travel experience or can speak to how your trip to Africa will contribute to your future learning.
  • Verification Documents OR Affiliation Letter
    • If you are participating in a study abroad program or internship, you must provide official documents verifying your acceptance into the program.
    • If you are conducting an independent research or volunteer service trip, you must submit a letter of affiliation from the individual(s) or organization in the host country. The affiliate(s) should confirm that they will support you during your time abroad (e.g. access to research facilities, lodging, supervision, etc.)

The Africa Student Fund awards travel stipends to African countries of up to $2,000 per student. Funds are intended for travel expenses only and primarily allocated towards airfare. Awardees can receive their travel funding in one of two ways:

  1. Reimbursement: Arrange and pay for travel out-of-pocket, and then receive a reimbursement check after you return from your travels. The benefit of requesting a reimbursement is that you have more flexibility with your travel planning.
  2. Travel Arrangement through USC: Work with AHF staff to book your travel through USC Travel Management. The benefit of this method is that you would not have to pay upfront on your own, but you may have less flexibility with the travel itinerary when booking through a third-party agency.
After The Trip

Within one month of their return to the United States, award recipients are required to submit the following:

  • 2-page reflective essay detailing the value of their experience in Africa.
  • Thank you note addressed to Adam Clayton Powell III, who endowed the fund.
  • Travel receipts for awardees who opt to receive reimbursement.

Award Recipients

Student Name / Group NameYearCountryProject / Program Description
Madina Zermeno2019-2020MoroccoInternship with Jossour Forum des Femmes Marocaines
Destyni Freese2018-2019BotswanaStudy abroad through CIEE
Madison Boll2018-2019South AfricaStudy abroad at University of Capetown for film studies
Allison Kuo2018-2019GhanaInternship with the National Board of Small Scale Industries (NBSSI)
Anya Kushwaha2018-2019BotswanaStudy abroad through CIEE
Andrew Ho2018-2019South AfricaEmzingo Global Impact Fellowship program
Sophia Lopez2018-2019UgandaProblems Without Passports IR 370 global health fieldwork
Lisa Misraje2018-2019MoroccoIndependent research and site visits studying orphanage systems
Nell Murray2018-2019UgandaProblems Without Passports IR 370 global health fieldwork
Ava Ritchie2018-2019UgandaProblems Without Passports IR 370 global health fieldwork
Emily Yin2018-2019UgandaProblems Without Passports IR 370 global health fieldwork
Brooke Helstrom2017-2018BotswanaStudy abroad at University of Botswana and independent research on the intersection of faith and environmentalism
Linqi "Elly" Yang2017-2018UgandaService trip with NGO Spark Microgrants to work on the implementation of a food market at a local village
Caroline Chen2016-2017South Africa, Nigeria, KenyaIndependent research studying the effects of mobile telecommunications infrastructure investment on the development of digital economy in Africa.
Julianna Coleman 2016-2017SenegalFrench 499: Research on cross-cultural study of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Christina Troester2016-2017SenegalFrench 499: Research on the intersection of literature and film in articulating women’s rights
Summer Zofrea2016-2017SenegalFrench 499: Research on Girls Scouts of Dakar (Guides de Dakar)
Project Malwai2016-2017MalawiService trip that partnered with local hospitals to transport crucial medical supplies
Sameera Khurana2016-2017South AfricaInternship with nonprofit that facilitates architectural and spatial design strategies through community engagement
Sofia Deak2016-2017MoroccoStudy abroad through AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies Program and volunteer work with local refugee communities.
Sonia Blough2015-2016South AfricaStudy abroad and research project on visual representations of post-apartheid South African culture
Gabrielle Cohen2015-2016South AfricaMixed methods research project comparing and contrasting mental health and wellness at the University of Cape Town & USC
Brittany Fleck2015-2016South AfricaStudy abroad and blog exploring the healthcare system, value nutrition & physicality play in health & wellness, and how aging is perceived
Nikita Johri2015-2016UgandaService-based internship with Spark and the Ocitoaka Community
Jasper Leong2015-2016GhanaOrphanage service trip with the Nyame Adom Foundation
Grace Marotta2015-2016South AfricaSEPELA field program and photo project researching primate behavior
Maria Jose (MJ) Plascencia2015-2016South AfricaResearch project on the role of Jazz music played in the Apartheid District Six Community
Moira Turner2015-2016South AfricaStudy abroad and ethnographic research project on race, history, and culture within University protest spaces
Sarah Wood2014-2015South AfricaStudy abroad program at University of Cape Town
Audrey Emerson2014-2015TanzaniaDocumentary detailing the lives of three women uplifting their communities
Michael Sturgis2014-2015South AfricaVocal instruction in Voice Feminization
ASB Uganda2013-2014UgandaService collaboration with Global Health Network and communities of the Oyam District
Rachel Cowman2013-2014KenyaVolunteer at Heshima Children’s Center with a focus on occupational therapy
Jorge DeAvila2013-2014South AfricaZulu practicum and research project on HIV in disadvantaged communities
Alice Lee2013-2014UgandaPhotography project on a Acama, a retiree of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and his family
Ashley Lukashevsky2013-2014South AfricaStudy abroad and research on arts and social movements
USC Globe Med2013-2014GhanaCare Net Ghana maternal health project
Rohit Khanna2012-2013UgandaMedical Supplies for Rural Communities
Bisrat Woldemichael2012-2013EthiopiaHeritage trip and research on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS
Ayushi Gummandi2011-2012South AfricaN/A
Erica Patel2011-2012KenyaVolunteer at Wema Children’s Center Orphanage
Anu Ramachandran2011-2012TanzaniaResearch on HIV Education in Rural Tanzania – Support for International Change
Daniel Alvarado2010-2011MozambiqueResearch project on the impact of Portuguese colonial urbanism and architecture
Silva Sevlian2010-2011EthiopiaHeritage trip and documentary in her mother’s homeland
Emily Taymor2010-2011SenegalPre-production for HIV Film on Arranged Marriage