NAI 2024

St. Augustine, Florida — December 3–6

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Student Scholarships

Deadline: April 19, 2024 12:00 pm EST

The National Association for Interpretation scholarship program is for college students who are studying natural, historical, and cultural interpretation or a closely related field with career aspirations in the field of interpretation. The goal of the scholarship program is to recognize students who have the potential to make an outstanding contribution to the field of interpretation. Scholarships are awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students, and may include conference registration, travel, lodging, and other costs.

The College and University Academics Section has been the coordinator for this national project going on nearly 20 years and is proud to be its supporter.

Each award recipient must be able to attend the 2024 National Conference, December 3-6, 2024, in St. Augustine, Florida. Students will be recognized at a scholarship meal, participate in scholarship fundraising activities at the conference, assist in the Interpretive Career Fair as well as help where needed with conference operations. It is expected that they will submit for their regional or section newsletters or social media an article outlining their experiences at the National Conference.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be members of NAI through December 31, 2024
  • Must be an enrolled student at college or university at the time of application.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the 2024 National Conference, December 3-6, 2024 in St Augustine, Florida.
  • Previous national scholarship winners, NAI national officers, community officers, scholarship committee members, and members of their families are not eligible. If you were a recipient of a virtual scholarship to the National Conference, you have the option to apply for an in-person scholarship if you meet all the other criteria.

To Apply

Before April 19, 2024, submit a complete application to NAI Student Scholarship Committee. Submit all the required materials (incomplete applications will not be considered).

  • The following information: Name, preferred Pronouns, permanent mailing address, phone number, best email address, college or university, major or program area of study, undergraduate or graduate scholarship, advisor’s name and email address, NAI membership number, and your NAI membership expiration month and year.
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one must be from a current professor or instructor). However, if the author(s) of the recommendation(s) wish to send them under separate cover for privacy reasons, that is permitted and can be submitted to Tom Mullin, Scholarship Coordinator at
  • Current resume
  • A copy of your transcripts (unofficial is acceptable)
  • A statement of why you are interested in the field of interpretation. Include how you will benefit from attending the workshop (500 word maximum)
  • A statement of your vision for the future of interpretation (500 word maximum)
  • A budget that includes travel costs (see template provided below)
  • For graduate students only: A statement of your graduate research/major project/internship goals and why you believe it is relevant to interpretation today (500 word maximum)

Budget Template

 Cost Center  Rate Total
Meals and misc. expenses  $55/day $275.00 Meals not included in registration and other misc. expenses. 
Lodging (four nights, including taxes)  $150/2 = $75  $300.00 Based on shared room 
$400  $400.00  Student Member Rate 
Travel  $XXX $XXX Estimated Travel Costs 

Registration and lodging reflect actual costs and will automatically be deducted from the award amount. Award recipients must stay at the designated host hotel and the NAI office will make those arrangements directly. Lodging is based on double occupancy; award recipients will be paired with roommates or may select a roommate from among the other recipients. Travel costs may include airfare, train, bus, shuttle from Airport or mileage if less than a comparable airfare, plus parking, baggage fees, and transfers.

Selection Procedure & Timetable

Applications submitted via the Scholarship Application Portal by April 19, 2024 12:00 pm EST
Scholarship Committee screens applications: Through early May, 2024
Students notified by Scholarship Coordinator: Approximately mid to late May 2024
Student Recipients attend National Conference: December 3 to 6 , 2024 in St Augustine, Florida

Review Criteria

Undergraduate and Graduate student applications are reviewed separately. Applications are reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • Creativity/Sparkle (20 points) - Reviewers are looking for people with "sparkle" who will become the future leaders in our field. (Remember that our field is quite broad and includes a wide diversity of areas and disciplines from front-line interpreters in a local park to international ecotourism, and more.)
  • Potential (20 points) – Reviewers make a subjective judgment on the likelihood the applicant will be a future leader in the field of interpretation.
  • Knowledge of interpretation (15 points) - Scholarship winners should know something about our profession.
  • Vision (10 points) - Reviewers determine if the application articulates a vision that demonstrates higher thinking skills and an understanding of our profession. They assess if the applicant has valid ideas on where our profession is going in the next ten years.
  • Professional experience (10 points) – Reviewers examine what applicants have done already. Recognizing that most students may only have had one or two "real" job experiences, reviewers assess the quality of their work in the field so far.
  • Scholarship (10 points) – Reviewers consider how applicants are doing academically. This is important but reviewers recognize that a very creative interpreter may not be a straight A student.
  • Research Potential (for graduate students only) (15 points) – Reviewers make a subjective judgment on the likelihood the applicant will be a future research leader based on the graduate research statement in the application.

NAI Membership

Click here to become a member of the National Association for Interpretation.

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