Are you interested in studying abroad but unsure how to pay for it? You’re not alone, believe it or not! Studying abroad can be costly, but fortunately, there are ways to avoid the high costs. While fundraising and summer work are options, did you know that scholarships and grants are available expressly for students who desire to study abroad? Yes, study abroad scholarships are commonly accessible from a variety of sources. Our A – Z Guide of Study Abroad Scholarship article will guide you through.
While many scholarships are extremely competitive, there are many others that may be easier to obtain than you believe. Your chances of receiving funding to study, volunteer, or intern abroad may not be far higher than you think; all you have to do is discover the openings, tell an honest, captivating story, and click “apply!”
The secret is to know where to look for study abroad scholarships as well as how to apply for them. They may not totally cover your study abroad fees, but they will help you reduce your spending and make your study abroad experience more affordable.
Studying abroad implies stepping outside of your comfort zone, embracing a new culture and way of life, and returning home with wonderful memories – all while remaining on track with your school requirements and graduation plans.
One of the most effective methods to grow intellectually, better your resume, and connect with the world (and yourself) on a deeper level is to study abroad. You’ll discover all you need to know to start your study abroad adventure right here.
For students, studying abroad is a game-changer. Many others believe that it was the best decision they’ve ever made. It can change the trajectory of your life, but even if your path remains unchanged, the global perspective you receive is priceless.
Why Study Abroad
Students who study abroad are more likely to excel academically, develop their world views, and prepare for a job with a lasting influence. An international education improves academic performance by combining coursework and textbooks with practical experiences.
If you want to be competitive in a job market that rewards applicants with foreign work experience, you should study abroad. Global exposure is not only important for a well-rounded education and a successful job; it is also an effective step toward being a better global citizen.
While studying abroad may be one of the best experiences of your life, you’ll quickly discover that the long-term benefits of studying abroad are much better. In today’s globalised world, studying abroad prepares you to flourish beyond borders (and impress future employers).
International travel encourages language acquisition and cross-cultural immersion, broadens your network, and can even lead to job chances.
When and Where to Study Abroad
While there is no perfect time to study abroad, some school years and semesters are more popular for students seeking an international academic experience. Once you’ve decided which academic year to spend abroad, you must decide when to go. Students can study abroad for one semester, the entire school year, or during the summer.
The Where: With over 200 countries to select from, how do you decide where to study abroad? Scholarinsure is constantly researching, reviewing, and compiling lists of study abroad possibilities to provide you with the most up-to-date recommendations on the best places to travel around the globe.
How Much Does it Cost to Study Abroad?
The cost of studying abroad varies substantially based on the length of your studies, the city in which you choose to study, and the type of housing you have. Full study abroad programmes are obviously more expensive than taking a single semester or course abroad, and there is a significant difference between needing finances to study abroad for free and only needing to cover a portion of the cost. It is critical to plan your studies ahead of time in order to determine how much financial assistance you will require.
Aside from tuition, there are various other factors to consider. The cost of living in your new city will be the most important consideration. How much does lodging cost on average? Is meals usually expensive? Do you intend to eat and drink in pubs or restaurants? Do you wish to travel while you’re in another country?
Other factors to consider include the courses you study, visas, and potential earnings outside of class. Do your classes necessitate the purchase of costly materials? What are the costs of obtaining a visa or a residence permit? Will you have any side jobs?
On average, students spend $5,000-$15,000 per semester to study in some of the world’s most popular countries. Despite it often being a more economical decision for university students, study abroad still isn’t cheap.
The cost associated with study abroad is an important factor in deciding whether or not to go abroad. So, whether you’re looking for funding for an entire program or just for a semester overseas, you can apply for scholarships to achieve your dreams.
What is a scholarship?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a scholarship is “an amount of money given by a school, college, university, or other organisation to pay for the studies of a person with great ability but little money.” I will add that some scholarships are more flexible, allowing all students to apply regardless of their academic abilities or finances.
Differences between scholarships and grants
Both scholarships and grants are types of gift aid, which means students do not need to pay the money back. But grants are usually need-based, and often go to young people who cannot afford the costs of their studies. In contrast, most scholarships are awarded based on academic, athletic, or artistic abilities.
Differences between scholarships and student loans
Unlike scholarships, student loans are a form of financial aid that needs to be paid back, sometimes with interest. Student loans can be both a blessing and a curse in disguise. In the US, for example, student loan debt has reached an eye-watering 1.5 trillion USD in 2020.
Types of Study Abroad Scholarships
So now you know what is scholarships and the differences between scholarships and grants and students loan, you should know what types are available before learning how to apply for one. Scholarships will have varying qualifying conditions and will cover a variety of costs associated with the study abroad programme.
With careful planning and study, you’ll be well on your way to earning financial aid for your studies abroad, whether in the form of merit-based scholarships, need-based scholarships, specialised degree scholarships, or other aid that you qualify for. Check out some of the numerous sorts of international student scholarships listed below to choose the one that’s best for you!
When you think of a scholarship, you probably think of merit scholarships. Academic proficiency is necessary to be eligible for a merit scholarship. Your grades are the most visible evidence of your academic accomplishment. Merit scholarships, on the other hand, aren’t only based on your GPA. Some institutions may also consider any particular capabilities you may have, such as athletic abilities or musical abilities.
A merit-based award is almost exclusively intended to finance tuition prices. It depends on the university’s budget, your grades, or your financial need whether it pays only half or full tuition.
Program or Field Specific Scholarships
Program-specific scholarships are typically associated with a specific level of study, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or with a specific programme, such as an engineering or nursing programme. For example, a university may provide master’s degree scholarships to any of its master’s students, or the engineering faculty may provide engineering students with particular scholarships for master’s degrees in engineering.
Scholarships for certain programmes may be granted directly by the school or by a private donor linked with the university, such as an alumnus who has established a scholarship foundation. Sometimes these scholarships are included in your university entrance package, and you don’t even have to apply for them.
There are also several scholarships for international students within this category. Some universities may target students in specific fields to boost their own international student population in specific programs.
Need-based scholarships, as the name implies, are given to students who have proved that they have the financial needs to undertake a study abroad programme. If the student is still supported by their parents, the scholarship provider will look at their income and ability to pay tuition costs. They may also consider your citizenship and residence status, the number of people in your family, tax returns, and work. They will examine the income of the student if he or she is a self-supporting student.
Need-based scholarships are intended to aid students and their guardians who are unable to afford tuition and other study-related expenses. These grants are separate from merit scholarships, and depending on the programme or university, you may be eligible for both merit and need-based scholarships. Check with your financial aid advisor to determine what kinds of overseas scholarships you are eligible for.
If you are a member of a minority group, take advantage of the scholarship opportunities that are set up expressly for you. Most colleges seek to ensure that all students have equal access to education. As a result, they provide scholarships to members of underprivileged groups who would not otherwise have the same possibilities as more privileged students.
Eligible groups include women, racial or ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community.
Scholarships for all international students
Not all scholarships target this or that group of students. Some private institutions or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) simply want to contribute to higher education and allow any international students to apply for their scholarship. These students still have to meet the requirements, but those are very general and broad, not focused on a specific region, minority, or ability.
What Will a Study Abroad Scholarship Cover?
The use of scholarship funds varies widely depending on which international scholarships you obtain and who provides them. Most are intended to cover your essential educational expenses. Tuition, student fees, books, and any other school-related expenses are included. In some situations, a portion of your living expenses, such as food and lodging, may also be reimbursed.
Other study abroad scholarships are less stringent. These may provide you with a large sum of money that you can apply to your study in any way you deem fit. That doesn’t mean you can or should spend your money on whatever you want; it’s all supposed to pay for your education.
When learning how to apply for a scholarship, make sure to read the terms and conditions. There may be conditions imposed by the donors or organisations, such as the scholarship being viewed as an educational investment rather than a gift that allows you to study abroad for free. As a result, there are frequently conditions connected. It is customary for overseas scholarships to require that you maintain a certain grade or performance level during your studies in order to continue receiving financial help.
It is also critical to consider when the funding will be awarded. Scholarships for studying abroad are often given out in full at the start of the semester, although in other cases, they might be paid in installments over the course of the year.
The funds may be sent directly to the student or the university. Each school or organisation has its own protocols for when scholarship money is distributed, so make sure to ask ahead of time so you don’t end yourself with a large bill and no means to cover it.
Who Provides Study Abroad Scholarships?
Study abroad scholarships can come from various sources, and you are usually eligible for more than one. Check the eligibility requirements for all study abroad scholarships to discover whether you qualify.
There are several different sources, such as:
- Private donors
So, while researching how to get a scholarship to study abroad, look into the profiles of prior scholarship recipients and contact them for guidance. Scholarships for international students will also differ from one country to the next.
Whatever form of scholarship you choose, remember to be patient and persistent! Scholarships are a wonderful method to fund your study abroad plans. Continue reading to find out more about the various scholarship sources.
Universities are eager to assist their students in locating study abroad scholarships and international awards. Admissions offices may give scholarships and grants immediately when you apply, or they may need you to apply for financial help in advance.
It is advisable to seek international student scholarships through a college or university’s academic counsellor or financial assistance office. The advisor will be able to recommend various types of scholarships based on your academic performance, athletic abilities, particular talents, or financial need. Full-tuition or partial-tuition scholarships may be available through a specific university.
Check the school where you intend to study abroad if you are doing a short-term study. If a scholarship from your home university is insufficient to pay all fees, they may provide further financial assistance. Check to see whether your new university offers scholarships for international students if you’re studying for an entire degree programme at a university overseas. Schools frequently give financial aid as an incentive to international students in order to achieve quotas. This means that at some colleges, it is absolutely possible to study abroad for free!
Don’t neglect government scholarships when seeking for information on how to get a scholarship to study abroad! International students might get financial aid from the federal or state governments.
In addition, foreign governments may offer international grants or global scholarships for international students to study in their country. It is helpful to contact the country’s embassy for more thorough information on available grants and scholarships from governments.
Private and Individual Donor Scholarships
Many companies, foundations, community organisations, and clubs offer study abroad scholarships. These private scholarships might be provided by institutions such as labour unions, religious groups, public organisations, or clubs. These ‘external’ or ‘private scholarships’ are often one-time grants that vary in value and have specific qualifying restrictions specified by the donor.
Individual donors, on the other hand, are people who have established a private fund for students to get financial assistance. Depending on the donor, these study abroad scholarships is either on academic merit or financial need.
To find international scholarships through individual donors, a bit more searching is usually necessary. Sometimes these scholarships are advertised, but more often than not you will have to seek them out on your own.
Who can apply for scholarships?
Anyone who meets the application requirements can apply but different types of scholarships target different students. Always check if you can apply; if the scholarship application deadlines are up-to-date; and if the scholarship is open to national students, international students, or both.
These are some of the most common application requirements for study abroad scholarships:
- registration or application form
- personal essay
- letter of recommendation
- letter of acceptance from an academic institution
- proof of low income, official financial statements
- proof of extraordinary academic or athletic achievement
How to find study abroad scholarships?
The official websites of your favourite universities are the best place to start searching for a scholarship. If you don’t find anything relevant, contact a representative via email or chat and see if they can help.
The next step is to look for financial aid in other places on the internet. But it’s not always easy to find reliable information and not all websites have up-to-date content. Here are a few resources that can help you find the right scholarship programme:
- Scholarinsure.com – our own database where we list several scholarship opportunities
- Scholarships for Development – website providing financial aid programmes especially focused on students from developing countries
- Official EU scholarship page – list of scholarships available for studies in Europe
The official study abroad pages of individual countries also offer information about scholarships:
- official info about scholarships in Austria
- official info about scholarships in Denmark
- scholarships in France
- scholarships in Germany
- scholarships in Sweden
- scholarships in the Netherlands
- scholarships in the UK
How to apply for a Study Abroad Scholarship
So, what comes next? If you’ve done your research and made a list of possible sources of financing, it’s time to learn how to apply for a scholarship! Many students consider this to be the most difficult phase, but it does not have to be. Most study abroad scholarships will have strict application requirements. Given how difficult it might be to obtain a scholarship, make sure you follow all of the rules and double-check your work. Making a good first impression is the first step toward making your study abroad ambitions a reality.
Although applying for study abroad scholarships might be time-consuming, the effort is often worth it. In any case, you can use our application preparation advice.
1. Make a Checklist
To begin, it is critical to organise. Make a list of all the scholarships for overseas students you intend to apply for, and then write down the requirements for each one. It will be much easier to acquire all of the relevant documentation and documents if you know what you will need ahead of time. Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays are frequent requirements for different study abroad scholarships.
You can also keep track of how much each scholarship is worth and rank them from most eligible to most difficult to obtain.
2. Gather the Necessary Documentation
The important components of your study abroad scholarship application are transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation. However, double-check to ensure that no other steps are missing. Also, keep in mind that requesting and receiving transcripts and recommendation letters from schools can take a long time. Plus, you’ll want to take your time composing the essay, so start as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline!
A transcript is a record of your academic grades and is a common component of an application for scholarships. There are two different types of transcripts: official and unofficial. Official transcripts are issued directly from the university and need to be sealed and directly delivered to the recipient. Unofficial transcripts are printouts of your grades and achievements and are not sealed or issued directly. Make sure you carefully read which type of transcripts are required for your application and plan enough time for delivery along with the application deadline.
– LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
A letter of recommendation’s objective is to provide scholarship sponsors with insight into your qualifications through the eyes of someone who knows you personally. It’s ideal to get a reference from someone you know professionally or intellectually, as they have more clout. Some scholarships, however, do not specify, so if you do not have a professional reference, ask someone you know personally. It is always best to notify the person you wish to ask ahead of time so that it will not be a surprise when someone contacts them to inquire about your accomplishments.
One of the most crucial components when looking at how to get a scholarship to study abroad is the required essay. Instead of stressing over it, consider the essay as your chance to explain to scholarship providers why you truly deserve their financial support. But first, take note of whether or not they have given a specific prompt or have asked for any specific information. If so, make sure you answer it and provide whatever information they request.
Don’t forget to proofread before handing in your essay. If possible, it’s great to have someone take a look over it as well, especially if it’s a professor or someone who has written a study abroad scholarship essay before.
3. Review and Submit
After you’ve done all of the essential steps, give your application one last look before submitting it. This way, you can ensure that you followed all of the directions and included all of the necessary papers.
Remember that each study abroad scholarship application has its own deadline. There are thousands of overseas scholarships with deadlines in the spring and summer, as well as thousands more with deadlines in the fall and winter. The trick is to never stop looking for fresh scholarship options, even after your first year of university has begun.
Each international scholarship application has its own set of documentation requirements. Allow yourself ample time to organise yourself and finish your application. this will allow you to avoid stress while producing the best application possible!
4. Wait for the results
That’s all there is to it! You’ve learned how to get a scholarship to study abroad, increasing your chances of having the trip of a lifetime. Whether you end up being able to study abroad for free or at a significantly lower cost, reward yourself with the knowledge that your time and effort will not be in vain when you are living and learning abroad, around new international friends, and living in a whole other culture. Also, if successful, congratulations, you’re a winner!
How to win Study Abroad Scholarships
1. Work hard on your study abroad scholarship applications
2. Make a list of everything you qualify for
3. Understand the organization’s goals and values
4. Understand how they evaluate candidates
5. Consider studying critical languages and going to less commonly-visited countries
6. Essay tip: avoid generic statements at all costs
7. Include a plan for giving back
8. Get stellar recommendations
9. Double check eligibility and application requirements
10. Apply! Apply early!!!
Try not to worry about the money issues and lose sight of the main reason for all the effort: the incredible life-changing experience of immersing yourself in a world outside your comfort zone and all the adventures that come with it. Staying prepared, working hard, and following these recommendations will help you get a study abroad scholarship and, eventually, achieve your dream of studying abroad.