Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship

NOTE: Due to the coronavirus pandemic and cancellation of multiple study abroad programs, the Tortuga Study Abroad scholarship will be suspended until further notice. 

Young people deserve to experience the world beyond their college campuses, but not everyone can afford to travel, especially if you’re on a student budget.

The Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship is awarded biannually to passionate students who want to explore the world.

At Tortuga, our mission is to help travelers avoid the cost and hassle of checked luggage with carry-on-sized travel backpacks, including students studying abroad. When customers purchase luggage from us for their trips, they are “paying it forward” by funding scholarships for students like you.

The Scholarship

The winner of the Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship will receive:

The scholarship may be used for tuition, room and board, books, or travel. Funds will be sent directly to the winner’s study abroad program or university. In cases where this is not possible, alternative arrangements will be made.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or currently studying in the US on a student visa
  • Be a full-time undergraduate student in good academic standing at a four-year, degree-granting college or university in the U.S.
  • Have applied to or been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit by your college or university

Please check your eligibility before applying.

Important Dates

Fall 2020 Scholarship (CANCELLED)

Submit your application by April 15, 2020. The winner will be announced on April 30, 2020.

Spring 2021 Scholarship (PENDING)

Submit your application by November 15, 2020. The winner will be announced on November 30, 2020.

How to Apply

Before applying, read all of the instructions and eligibility requirements on this page.

Then, fill out the application linked below. Only one submission per person will be accepted.

The winner will be featured on our blog, social media accounts, and alumni page.

[Application link suspended until further notice. See warning above.]

For any questions, contact us.


All written submissions become property of Tortuga and may be posted on our website, blog, social media accounts, or elsewhere as we see fit.

Other Opportunities

Summer and Winter Term Scholarships

We hope to make these available in the future. For now, the scholarship is limited to the Spring and Fall semesters.

Gap Year

Tortuga is a proud supporter of Travel Access Project — an organization dedicated to helping people experience the education gained from travel outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Travel Access Project provides grants for gap year travel, low cost supported-independent gap years, and free country by country educational resources for travelers of all ages.

Anyone, of any age, from any country, can apply for one of TAP’s Grants for Gap Year Travel, valued at $3000 USD each. Applications open in January each year on their website.

Tortuga provides a travel backpack to every grant recipient.

For questions or more information, check out Travel Access Project.


Winners will be contacted via email. We will announce each semester’s winner on the dates above via our social media accounts and on this page.

Spring 2020

Emily from the University of Texas in Austin who is studying abroad in Singapore.

Fall 2019

Alexis from Grove City College who is studying abroad in Brazil.

Spring 2019

Abraham from Loyola University of Maryland who is studying abroad in New Zealand.

Fall 2018

Emily from the University of Mississippi who is studying abroad in Morocco.

Spring 2018

Will from Harvard University who is studying abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Fall 2017

Brianna from Indiana University who is studying abroad in Lima, Peru.

Spring 2017

Melissa from St. John’s University who is studying abroad in Rome, Seville, and Paris.

Fall 2016

Tanner from Brigham Young University who is studying abroad in Jordan.

Spring 2016

Blair from Florida State University who is studying abroad in England.

Fall 2015

George from the University of Akron who is studying abroad in Italy.

Spring 2015

Ashley from Otterbein University who is studying abroad in Nepal.

More Study Abroad Resources

So you’re going to be living abroad for a whole semester? How do you pack? What should you leave at home? Here are some resources to prepare you for your trip:

About Tortuga

The Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship is sponsored by Tortuga.

Tortuga was founded in 2010 by childhood best friends Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen after a backpacking trip to Eastern Europe. My backpack was too big to qualify as a carry on and was a jumbled, disorganized mess. Jeremy’s shoulder strap broke on the first day due to cheap materials. We couldn’t find the perfect travel backpack, so we made it. Read more about Tortuga.

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