Family Experience

The Olmsted Scholar Program is often a family experience, in fact, the Foundation strongly encourages Scholars with families to bring them during their Olmsted experience. Having family in country allows Scholars to experience the full immersion of life in a foreign culture without the concerns of living apart. In addition to keeping families together, spouses and children overwhelmingly benefit from the language, cultural immersion and travel opportunities that come from the program as well.

Olmsted Grants

Scholars and their families are supported in many ways during their Olmsted experience.

Scholars receive their regular compensation from the US military and cost-of-living and housing allowances during the Olmsted program.

Spouse Foreign Language Training Grant

Spouses are also covered for language training. If space is available, many spouses join Scholars at the Defense Language Institute before heading overseas. In addition, the Spouse Foreign Language Training Grant can be used for language training courses, private tutors or purchases of language training books or media. This grant covers spouses up to $5,000.

Overseas Familiarization Grant

Before relocating overseas, Scholars and their spouses have an opportunity to explore their destination city ahead of time. This trip is covered through the Foundation’s Overseas Familiarization Grant and allows Scholars and their spouses time to identify potential residences, children’s schools and other details.

Scholar Annual Grant

Once Scholars and their families have moved in country, they receive the Olmsted Scholar Annual Grant to be used for additional language training, school supplies, travel and cultural events.

Annual Meeting, Reunion and Reception, and Orientation

The Annual Meeting, Reunion and Reception is the Olmsted Foundation’s official event for all Olmsted Scholars and their families. Held on the first Saturday in June, this annual gathering announces the newest Olmsted Scholar Class, provides the latest up-to-date Foundation news and provides Scholars the chance to reconnect with each other and Foundation leadership.

For the newest class of Scholars this weekend is also filled with activities from our Orientation to help prepare them for their Olmsted experience. New Scholars and their spouses attend sessions with real-world advice, information and requirements during their time overseas. The insights gained from these sessions, and meeting “alumni” Scholars make a big difference – from finding children’s schools to the best medical coverage – as Scholars begin their Olmsted Program. Many times, the bonds established during this weekend continue well after Scholars and their spouses finish their Olmsted Program.

The Foundation’s personal and financial support gives Scholars and their spouses the confidence to enjoy the Olmsted experience to its fullest.

Cultural Impact on Scholar Families

Many of the benefits Scholars receive from the Olmsted Scholar Program also impact their spouses and even their children.

Scholars have called their two years overseas a life-changing experience and the best time of their lives. In much the same way that Scholars are impacted by the cultural immersion, spouses and children are positively influenced as they navigate their foreign surroundings amid the daily schedule. They come out of their experience with a confidence to tackle the unknown and an appreciation of the values, beliefs and customs of cultures outside of their own.