How to Get a Scholarship to Study Abroad
There are numerous blog posts and resources on How to Study Abroad with a Scholarship. You could travel abroad by volunteering to work on a project abroad, or through internships, scholarships, exchange programs, and a variety of other options. This blog post focuses on how to travel abroad by earning a degree.
Let’s get started…
How to Get a Scholarship to Study Abroad
Choosing a Strategy Early to Get a Scholarship to Study Abroad
To avoid many unforeseen events, you should plan your trip ahead of time, preferably a year or two in advance. By planning ahead of time, you will have more time to prepare materials for your application, research scholarships, and meet deadlines.
It is important to write down your goals before getting the scholarship. Why do you want to study abroad? Is it because the courses you want are not offered in your home country? Do you want to start your own business in another country? Is it possible to relocate to another country? Or perhaps you simply want to experience life in another country
Choose a Location and a Program
Choose where you want to study as well as what program or field of study you want to pursue. Because scholarships are available in different countries and universities, your choice may have an impact on your scholarship options.
Search for scholarships available only to international students. Scholarships are available from the organizations listed below.
- Government Scholarships: Many countries offer international students scholarships, such as the Fulbright (USA), Chevening (UK), and DAAD (Germany).
- University Scholarships: Most universities provide scholarships to international students. Examine the websites of the universities that pique your interest.
- Private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) scholarships: Many NGOs and foundations offer scholarships to international students. Examples of these organizations include the Rotary Foundation, the Soros Foundation, and the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.
- Find Scholarships online: Use websites such as Scholarship.com, ScholarshipPortal, or Studyabroad.com to find scholarships that match your profile.
- Review Eligibility Requirements: Carefully read the eligibility criteria for each scholarship. Scholarships may have specific requirements related to academic achievement, field of study, nationality, or other factors.
- Prepare Required Documents: Start preparing the necessary documents, which typically include:
- Transcripts and diplomas.
- Letters of recommendation.
- A statement of purpose or essay.
- Proof of language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS).
- Passport-sized photos.
- Any other specific documents required by the scholarship provider.
- Write a Strong Personal Statement: Craft a compelling personal statement or essay. This is your opportunity to explain why you deserve the scholarship, your career goals, and how studying abroad aligns with those goals.
Letters of Recommendation: Request letters of recommendation from professors, mentors, or employers who know you well and can attest to your abilities and character.
Apply to Multiple Scholarships: Apply for as many scholarships as you’re eligible for. Competition can be stiff, so diversify your applications to increase your chances.
Meet Deadlines: Pay close attention to application deadlines. Submit your applications well in advance to avoid last-minute issues.
Prepare for Interviews (if required): Some scholarships may require interviews as part of the selection process. Prepare for these interviews by practicing common interview questions and conducting mock interviews.
Remember that studying abroad is much more than just getting a degree: it will be your new home, you will make new friends, build a network, and maybe meet job recruiters. When you are picking a university, ask yourself the following questions.
- Academic Fit: Does the university offer the main courses i want?
- Financial Need: Do they provide financial aids in case I need one?
- Student Life: Can you picture yourself staying there for up to 4 years?
- Career Development: Do the career paths of school inspire and excite you?
- Admission Chances: Do you stand a good chance of getting admitted based on your academic performance?
Check the funding options
You have very few options as an international student to finance your academics, these options includes graduate assistantships, fellowships, finance aids, students loans and other options.
Before you even choose an option, discuss it with your parents or evaluate your current financial status, How much can you/family afford for your studies abroad? Do need to pay other bills apart from your tuition fees? What about your living expenses? How much do you have for emergency funds?
Check here for the list of fully funded scholarships for international students
Prepare application documents for your scholarship abroad
Application Form (e.g., Common App, UCAS):
This is the formal application document required by most universities. It serves as the first step in expressing your interest in a particular program or institution. Different regions may have their own application systems (e.g., Common Application in the U.S., UCAS in the UK).
Transcripts & Predicted Grades:
Your academic records, including transcripts and any predicted grades if you’re still in school, are crucial for universities to assess your academic qualifications. They provide insight into your past performance and potential.
Personal Statement (required for US universities):
Particularly common in the United States, a personal statement is an essay where you showcase your personality, aspirations, and reasons for wanting to study a specific program. It helps universities understand you beyond your grades.
Motivation Letters and Supplemental Essays:
A motivation letter and supplemental essays are additional written materials in which you shows your motivations, goals, and frequently respond to specific questions posed by the university.
Letters of Recommendation:
These are letters written by teachers, professors, or mentors who can confirm your academic abilities, character, and potential. Strong letters of recommendation can help boost your scholarship application.
Resume and Extracurricular Activities:
Your resume summarizes your work experience, volunteer activities, leadership roles, and other noteworthy accomplishments. Extracurricular activities demonstrate your breadth and engagement outside of the classroom, highlighting your interests and passions.
Remember to carefully follow each university’s specific guidelines and requirements, as they may differ.
Apply before the deadline
Each university sets its individual deadline for the submission of all required documents. While most countries offer online submission options, in some cases, physical mailing might be necessary. Therefore, it’s important to factor in shipping times when planning your application.
We are done, you are now ready to get a scholarship to study abroad.