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.


In order to receive the Africa Student Fund, you must:

  • Have minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student
    • Open to all majors and disciplines 
  • Have at least one semester of coursework remaining at USC after your proposed travel
    • Graduating seniors in their final semester (that will complete their degree before the start of their travel) are not eligible
  • Submit a request before the start of your travel, in alignment with the appropriate application cycle
  • 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.
  • Hold a valid passport (U.S. or international) at time of proposed travel.
  • USC-sponsored travel health insurance is a requirement for all students traveling abroad.

Dates & Deadlines

There are no upcoming events at this time.


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

There are two application cycles. You must apply in the appropriate cycle:

  • [Application Cycle 1] Applications submitted in the Fall (November deadline) are for Winter Break and Spring study abroad consideration only.
  • [Application Cycle 2] Applications submitted in the Spring (March deadline) are for Summer and Fall study abroad consideration only.

Award Details


The online application process includes:

  • Personal Statement
    • Your personal statement should address the following:
      • How has your background such as personal history, professional experience, academic and leadership experience, etc. shaped you, and how has it informed why you are applying to this award?
      • How does your proposed experience connect to your future goals?
    • Format:
      • maximum one page single-spaced, Times New Roman 12-pt font
  • Statement of Grant Purpose
    • Your Statement of Grant Purpose 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?
      • 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? Why do you want to gain a better understanding of the peoples and cultures in your host country? (Note: Simply participating in a pre-arranged study abroad program is not competitive enough for funding)
      • If you are participating in a Maymester, Julymester, or other faculty-led research, what specific contributions will you make as an individual to the project?
    • Format:
      • maximum one page single-spaced, Times New Roman 12-pt font
  • 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. Recommenders should email the letter to Academic Honors and Fellowships at by the deadline.
  • 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.)

Note: If you are applying for a project you are attending as a group, each member needs to fill out their own application for funding. Funding is provided to individuals, not groups.

Apply by Sunday, March 10, 2024 at 11:59PM (PST)


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.

The Africa Student Fund is processed as a reimbursement. Students will book their own flight and then receive a reimbursement check after returning from their travels.

After The Trip

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

  • Reflective essay detailing the value of their experience in Africa.
    • Please include as part of your reflection:
      • What knowledge and skills did you gain from your experience?
      • What did you learn about yourself and others from this experience?
      • How did this trip challenge you intellectually, personally, professionally, etc?
      • How has this experience transformed how you see the world?
      • In your application for funding, you told us about your future goals and aspirations. Have those changed at all as a result of this experience?
    • Format:
      • 1-2 pages single-spaced Times New Roman 12-pt font
  • Thank you note addressed to Adam Clayton Powell III, who endowed the fund.
  • Travel receipts for awardees to receive reimbursement.

Award Recipients

Student Name / Group NameYearCountryProject / Program Description
Bryneé Evans2022-2023South AfricaStudy abroad through CIEE
Madeline Sellinger2022-2023UgandaResearch with the USC Global Research, Implementation, and Training (GRIT) Lab
Laura Findlay2022-2023EgyptInternship with the Ramesses III (KV 11) Publication and Conservation Project at Luxor in the Valley of the Kings
Nada Dalati2022-2023South AfricaPSYC 499: Health and Mental Health Research in South Africa and Mauritius
Abby Kim2021-2022UgandaCommunity-based participatory research study empowering youth in northern Uganda as public health ambassadors in their own communities.
Elijah Bakam2021-2022SenegalField research evaluating aid organizations’ decisions of where they work within Senegal and the Sahel region of Africa, specifically considering the political factors which may influence the provision of aid to certain country contexts and subnational places or populations.
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