Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.

International Experience Scholarship



Many birds migrate to warmer climates during Seattle’s winter months in search of food. Each year Seattle Audubon organizes an international birding trip to find these and other birds at destinations along our ‘Pacific Flyway.’ These trips combine the spirit of conservation with tropical birding, through visiting protected areas, engaging local guides, and observing on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Experiences like these can shape how we look at the world and provide an appreciation for places outside of our normal surroundings. They can especially help to kick-start or cement a career in the environmental field. The Seattle Audubon International Experience Scholarship is designed to break down financial and logistical barriers that many college students and early-career professionals face, making international travel possible.



The scholarship includes the following:

  • Round-trip airfare from Seattle to the destination country
  • Ground costs associated with the trip, including transport, accommodation, and meals
  • Stipend for associated travel costs, such as passport fees, travel insurance, vaccinations, and supplementary outdoor clothing or gear 



To be eligible for this scholarship you must meet the following requirements:

  • College/university student or early-career professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of travel with a demonstrated commitment to the environmental field (such as Wildlife Biology, Ecology, Zoology, or similar field of study)
    • Current students must have approval from their academic advisor to apply. Please note that trips typically take place during the academic year
  • From a community historically underrepresented in the environmental field
  • Have had no previous experience with wildlife-viewing or fieldwork outside of the United States
  • Live within, or attend a university or college located within, Seattle Audubon’s service area (see map in Appendix 1 at end of application)


Post-trip Requirements

After the trip, the scholarship recipient will be required to provide a public report on their experience. The report can be presented as a written blog, vlog, or photography essay/portfolio. The format, scope, and due date of the report will need to be approved by Seattle Audubon prior to travel.


Next Opportunity

Seattle Audubon’s 2020 international birding trip is heading to Costa Rica! Our journey will transport us through cloud forests and mountains, lowland dry forests and rivers, seeking the neo-tropical gems of Central America. Our expert local guide will lead us through a diversity of habitats seeking as many species as we can find. We’ll also learn how local groups are protecting birds and their habitats for the future.

Please note: The trip requires walking on uneven ground in forested areas and navigating stairs and other access barriers. Applicants should evaluate their own ability to participate.


Travel Dates

April 18 – 30, 2020



To apply for this scholarship, please complete an application form (either via electronic form or Word document). The application includes a required description of why you believe you are the best candidate for this scholarship and how it will support your future career path. Note: If preparing your personal statement in written form poses a barrier, please contact Toby Ross to discuss alternate formats. All other portions of the application must be submitted in writing. 

Submit your application via email to Toby Ross, tobyr@seattleaudubon.org, or mail to the address below. You may also hand deliver your application to The Nature Shop located at the address below. One scholarship will be awarded. The scholarship recipient will be notified by November 30, 2019. All information submitted in this application will be kept confidential.

Download a print application form. or Complete the application online.


Deadline for application to be received

November 1, 2019


Address for mailed or hand-delivered applications

Seattle Audubon

International Trip Experience/Toby Ross

8050 35th Ave NE

Seattle, WA  98155


Questions?  Contact Toby Ross at 206-523-8243 ext.102 or tobyr@seattleaudubon.org

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.
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