Thanks to the generosity, in the USA, of former Gordonstoun Alumni, former Gordonstoun International Summer School students and their families and also friends and enthusiasts of the philosophy and ethos of the Founder, Dr. Kurt Hahn, the Gordonstoun American Foundation offer one to three scholarships to the Gordonstoun International Summer School each year.

The Gordonstoun International Summer School courses take place in July and August each year and it is hoped that the successful candidates will extend their international experience and understanding of boys and girls from different countries and cultures. Youngsters aged 8-16 who are American citizens or permanent residents of the United States are invited to apply. Candidates for the Gordonstoun American Foundation Scholarships will be evaluated based on both merit and need. Evidence of good character and strong school performance should be provided by letters of recommendation from the student's school. Parents or guardians must provide evidence of need by completing a financial disclosure form (attached to application form).

For further details and an application form please contact:
Jenny Needham
Secretary, Gordonstoun American Foundation

Recent GAF scholars:

Leela: from New York

I was so excited about receiving the GAF Scholarship and traveling to Gordonstoun. However I was nervous on arrival as I did not know anyone and felt far from home. The first night I was homesick but the next day the girls in my house, Hopeman were so kind and supportive we all made friends very quickly.

I had chosen Computer Science as my educational class and I learnt how to photo-shop pictures and how to make videos which was awesome. The SAs for this class were great and made learning easy and fun. As well as new academics, I played a lot of sports: basketball, badminton, tennis, soccer, cricket and did some yoga too. Playing the Highland games brought team spirits high and our clans came together through them. Games like the sack race and three legged race were fun but tossing the Khyber was something traditional to Scotland and brought something very special and laughter to the day.

One of the highlights of my whole experience at GISS was the West Coast adventure. First we went to Kilbowie where we were put into groups for activities. I would not have thought that the challenges that were met could be so thrilling nor imagine the friendships that were developed over going through these activities together. I abseiled, kayaked to island and then jumped off cliffs into freezing cold water. It was the first time I had done any of these remarkable activities and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have tried them. At the end of the day we gathered to socialize in the games room where we played hard core air hockey competitions. After three days of these activities we went sailing on the school boats around the Hebrides. Each morning we had an early start, we were lucky with the weather and the scenery was beautiful! I learnt sailing techniques and how to steer the boat which was fantastic. We saw beautiful sunsets, seals and other sea creatures. Many people swam in the afternoons and at night we played cards on the deck or sometimes learnt dances from each other’ cultures.

Soon after arriving back at school we were given a recreational day trip to Inverness! The town was lovely and I got some things for the weekly Wednesday night discos! Days of learning and fun rolled into each other with delicious food provided by the refectory, which building was gorgeous, and meal times were always something to look forward to. We practiced on the obstacle course for the final games where we swung across tubs of water on a rope scrambled under them and climbed walls.

Another excellent department of the GISS was the theater and music departments. In drama we could chose a movie, play or book to re-enact. My group chose the Hunger games and I played Katniss on the schools amazing stage with professional lighting and everything. It was fun to watch all the twists the other groups cleverly came up with for their scenes. The music making department brilliantly showed us how to play instruments of our choice. For the first time I played the piano and we performed a song, for the SL's and SA's, by my favorite band “Imagine Dragons” called “Demons”.

The Final Dinner was sad as we all knew it was only a matter of time till we had to say goodbye to our friends, and GISS would come to an end. The prize giving was wonderful and I was so thrilled to receive the first given out prize! The friends I made from all over the world were truly deep and I have kept in touch with so many people since coming back home.

My Summer in Scotland at Gordonstoun was better than I ever could have imagined. I am so grateful to everybody for making my experience at GISS so memorable. I want to express my sincere thanks to the GAF Board for giving me the privilege of being a scholarship thank the American Foundation especially to George, Shirin and Jenny for meeting me in New York with my Aunt Tanya and for all of your dedication to the school so as to make this possible for me. This was a wonderful experience for me which I will always cherish. When I am old enough I hope to apply to be a student helper so I can aid other children in this fantastic experience.

Kathryn: from Virginia

The Gordonstoun International Summer School was the most fun, most exciting and most challenging summer school/camp I have ever been to in my life. Some of the people that I met there became the closest friends that I have ever met in such a short time, and I hope to keep in touch with them because they are so nice. I have even tentatively planned a visit to my home from one of my friends I met from Saudi Arabia. I always thought that here in America we had a large variety of cultures, especially in the Washington DC area, however, I found out about so many more people from other cultures that I never knew about. Everything at the Summer School made me feel that I was striving to achieve my best. I even won an award for 'Best Senior Girl in the Computer Class' when before attending Gordonstoun I was never good with computers. This gave me a real sense of pride and gave me a great foundation for my future computer studies. I genuinely appreciate this wonderful opportunity and life experience and have gained a lot of self awareness from attending the Summer School and it has helped me to appreciate and respect others. I loved this camp so much and it really helped me grow as a person.

Marko: from California

My summer at Gordonstoun was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It wasn’t just because of the great buildings, the history, and the people whom I met but how everything was set up. It was if all I had to do was show up with a smile on my face and everything else was taken care of for me. The staff did a great job with handling all the students, and they made my stay very pleasant. I was thinking of the best way to describe my time at Gordonstoun. I know that it was fun, exciting, entertaining, and motivating but that just doesn’t say enough. I feel confident in saying that if someone took a video of my every moment I spent at Gordonstoun everyone would be compelled to watch it all. Between the friends I made, the many activities I participated in, the discos every Wednesday night, and the ambience that Gordonstoun provides, I would have to say that my stay there was as if I was in a fairytale. It is hard to say what my favorite part of Gordonstoun was, but I think I would have to say it was sailing on the yachts. Just being able to do something like that in such surroundings, while having fun with my friends and learning how to sail made me feel good. I know if given the opportunity, I would have spent more time on the boats because I felt free, and as if I commanded the sea. I believe that anyone else who reads this would want to spend a summer at The Gordonstoun International Summer School. I assure you that no matter what, your stay there would be exciting, fulfilling, and simply a treasure of lifelong memories.

Devan: from California

"The activities were amazing, some of my favorites being clay pigeon shooting, sailing, kayaking, archery and abseiling. GISS somehow provided an atmosphere where there was considerable challenge both with activities and new kids, yet it felt very comfortable and supportive. I made close friends with kids from Norway, Germany, Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.

Mary Beth: from Dallas

"At GISS I learned that there is more to the world than just my little corner - there are lots of different kinds of people from all sorts of backgrounds and that's great! These people all came together to share an experience, I am so grateful that I was there to share it with them."

Alexa: from New York City

"I was welcomed with friendly open arms - the instant camaraderie that was exteded by everyone helped me feel right at home and I was encouraged to try all sorts of new things."

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