When preparing to study overseas, you might notice right away how costs mount up—tuition, living expenses, housing, and study materials can all add up to an intimidating amount. To cheer you up, though, prospective international students can choose from a wide range of excellent scholarships for study abroad to lessen the financial burden of their studies.
How To Get Scholarship Abroad
We have provided answers to all of the frequently asked questions regarding scholarships and how to apply for them in this article. Four main points are covered in more detail below:
- What is a scholarship?
- How to increase your chances of getting a scholarship?
- Steps to getting scholarships
What Is A Scholarship?
To begin with, let’s clarify what a scholarship is. The phrase is most frequently used to refer to financial aid grants intended to assist students in covering the cost of their postsecondary education. Although scholarships are typically one-time financial awards, they occasionally have the potential to be renewed and cover all of the coursework costs for a degree during a semester or academic year. All things considered, scholarships are accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation or level of academic achievement.
All you have to do is impress the jury and win the scholarship once you’ve decided which one to apply for, right? Indeed, it is undoubtedly true that this is “easier said than done.”
Start with a motivation letter
The motivational letter is a section of most scholarship application processes where you can highlight your character, objectives in life, and aspirations. This is your chance to write on the blank page, telling the world about yourself and your dreams. Furthermore, the significance of allowing your ideas and creativity guide you while you write this letter cannot be overstated.
Before you begin writing a motivation letter for a scholarship, you might want to take into account the following advice:
- Give it time. Make a list of the topics you want to cover in the letter first. Make a list of important subjects and get writing.
- Be sincere and creative. Discuss your reasons for selecting this specific academic path as well as your long-term objectives.
- Instead of describing them in generic terms, use your own words.
- Edit your writing or use online resources like Grammarly for a fast grammar check.
- Ask a trusted person to read your work and provide feedback if you get the chance.
You may also read our other article, which explains how to write an impressive scholarship motivation letter for the admissions committee.
Share your personal experience
The jurors are frequently drawn to compelling personal narratives. Individuals who travel, volunteer, engage in a variety of organizations or activities, or pursue their hobbies all have distinctive stories to share. Which life events have had the biggest impact on you? It’s possible that you have been engaging in a fun hobby.
Perhaps you were inspired by a trip to a new nation or a place close to home. Or perhaps you have participated in a local community volunteer program. You can use any kind of personal experience to create a compelling and original narrative for your motivation letter.
Step 1. Ask for Help
First and foremost, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from those in your immediate vicinity. Make inquiries about scholarships and grants that you may be aware of by getting in touch with the study abroad office at your university, your academic advisor, your professors, and the financial aid office.
Step 2. Research
You will receive more financial aid the more scholarships you are able to apply for. Start by looking through the scholarships listed in GoAbroad directory. Other resources, like the NAFSA, also provide lists of scholarships available to students wishing to study abroad. However, this list is not all-inclusive, and you should also look into the many other kinds of study abroad scholarships available, such as:
- Location-Specific Grants/Scholarships to Study Abroad: These grants and scholarships, like the one for students wishing to study in Japan, are designed to entice students to pursue higher education in particular nations or even cities. These scholarships may be offered by your home country’s government, which seeks to promote international relations through the exchange of study abroad students, your university, or the government of the nation in which you intend to study.
- Program-Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: These grants or scholarships are frequently given to students who choose to study abroad through a specific program. Only students who intend to study through that program are eligible to apply. This could be through an independent study abroad provider or through a specific program designed by your university.
- Subject-Specific Grants/Scholarships for Studying Abroad: Students who intend to pursue a particular major or field of study while studying abroad are eligible for a variety of grants and scholarships, including Foreign Language Scholarships. Financial aid can be highly targeted, focusing not only on the subject but also on a specific subject that needs to be studied in a given nation.
- Student-Specific Scholarships/Grants: Certain students are given scholarships based on their own characteristics, including their gender, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. For example, high school students can apply for scholarships specifically designed for study abroad! Programs like the Diversity Abroad Scholarships and the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship are particularly beneficial for students looking for financial aid because there is a need for more diverse study abroad students.
- University-Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: Numerous academic institutions offer merit-based scholarships and grants to students who wish to pursue studies overseas. Don’t limit your search for financial aid to what your home university offers, though! Undergraduate study abroad grants may be offered by various institutions based on your affiliations. Examine the university you will be attending while studying abroad as well. In an effort to attract a more diverse student body, many universities worldwide offer scholarships to international students.
- Organization-Provided Scholarships/Grants: Make sure you thoroughly investigate any nonprofit, chapter, or historical organizations that might offer grants or scholarships to worthy students who meet their requirements. Scholarships for students who identify as LGBT or who are of Italian or Hispanic descent are excellent examples. There are countless options.
- Government-Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad: In addition to guaranteeing that your study abroad semester’s financial aid from your FAFSA will be applied, there are several government-funded grants and scholarships that support students who choose to study or work overseas. The Fulbright Program and the Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships, which are awarded by the UK government to international student leaders who wish to study there, are two excellent examples of this.
Step 3. Contact the Scholarship/Grant Funder Directly
Contacting the funder directly is the best way to find out all the specifics of the scholarships you want to apply for and the most recent requirements for applications; after all, they are the ones who essentially wrote the book on how to get a scholarship to study abroad! You will be demonstrating to the scholarship or grant funder/provider that you are not afraid to take the initiative and actively pursue the scholarship you are applying for, in addition to ensuring that you have all the necessary information.
Step 4. Tweak Your Resume
After you’ve made a list of the study abroad scholarships you want to apply for, the next step is to focus on getting those scholarships. Your resume makes up a big portion of this! Make sure to highlight any experiences you’ve had abroad, keep your list of recent campus events up to date, and keep it to one page. Writing clearly and succinctly is crucial.
Cover letters and resumes go hand in hand. In some cases, they are an essential component of an application since they provide you with the one opportunity to argue for yourself in favor of receiving a scholarship. But you can’t just attach a letter describing how great of a student you are. Pay attention to how you intend to apply the lessons you learned overseas to your life at home and on campus.
If you are applying for a study abroad scholarship offered by an international university, make sure to find out how resumes and cover letters are typically formatted in that nation. If you are comfortable enough with the language, you may even try writing them in the language of the nation you will be studying in.
Step 5. Check Your References
We do not refer to your bibliography, sorry. The majority of study abroad scholarship essays and applications call for personal references from people you’ve collaborated with in the workplace or classroom. For most students, this entails contacting their instructors and requesting help. Always ask your professors far in advance so they have time to prepare, whether you’re asking them to write you a recommendation letter or to serve as a reference.
Selecting instructors or employers with whom you have had experience is also crucial, as it ensures that they are familiar enough with you to offer a recommendation. To put it another way, unless you have a solid relationship with your Spanish 101 professor from two years ago, don’t ask him or her to write your recommendation letter.
Speak with people in positions of authority who not only have the potential to recommend you for a study abroad scholarship, but also have relevant experience with the program. For example, get in touch with the academic advisor of the campus club you belong to if you are applying for a leadership scholarship overseas. Speak with your political science professor if you plan to apply for a scholarship in international relations. But whoever you contact, remember that you are asking them to take time out of their busy lives to assist you, so treat them with respect (and a follow-up, formal thank you note never hurts either).
Step 6. Mark Your Calendar
It can be challenging to remember all the deadlines and application requirements if you are applying for multiple scholarships or grants in addition to the study abroad program. Make a calendar specifically for your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline clearly marked. This may seem like common sense. Applying for multiple scholarships, or even just one, requires organization.
Step 7. Apply
Even though it might seem exhausting, submit your study abroad scholarship applications as soon as you can. It will take a lot of time and patience to complete this, but every little bit helps. Considering how much legwork you’ve already done, your process ought to go easily. Smaller prizes also mount up and, in the end, will make your summer, semester, or year abroad considerably more affordable and stress-free!
Additionally, make sure to personalize your apps whenever you can, and resist the urge to just copy and paste data between apps. Scholarship providers are aware when you have read up on the principles of the scholarship program or the foundation. You will have a far higher chance of mastering the art of figuring out how to study abroad with scholarship if you personalize each application.
Step 8. Take Your Time & Take it Seriously
Applying quickly to several applications can make it seem as though you are applying to more than one can handle. On the other hand, you ought to approach applications for study abroad with the same gravity as you did for university admission. Read and abide by the guidelines when applying for study abroad scholarships, and give yourself enough time to finish all of your applications without feeling pressured to submit them by the deadline. If you do not feel hurried, you will produce higher-quality work, which will increase your chances of receiving more financial aid!
Step 9. Have the Grades
This may sound simple, but you frequently need to have good grades in order to be eligible for a scholarship to study abroad. While not all grants and scholarships demand high grade point averages or grades, many of them do. This is merely a request from the scholarship providers to ensure that the recipient student is committed to their study abroad program. To demonstrate to scholarship providers that you intend to take your study abroad experience seriously as more than just a chance to travel, but also as an opportunity to broaden your academic horizons, it’s critical to put in the work and earn good grades prior to your time abroad.
Step 10. The Proof is in the Passion
A personal essay is required for most, if not all, study abroad scholarship applications. You may begin to experience intense flashbacks to the anxiety your college application essays brought on, but don’t panic! This is your opportunity to shine in these applications. In your application essay, make sure to express your enthusiasm for studying abroad and the nation you will be visiting.
Scholarship donors and providers want to know that their funds are going to a deserving cause and that the applicant recognizes the value of the opportunity. Thus, don’t be afraid to speak your mind; share your experiences and justify your merit for receiving the scholarship that will pay for your study overseas experience.
Ultimately, the most crucial thing to keep in mind is that you will undoubtedly see results if you invest the same time and energy into applying for study abroad scholarships as you would for any other academic scholarship. In the event that you are not awarded as many scholarships as you had hoped, you still have options for financing your study abroad experience, including using crowdfunding platforms like FundMyTravel or even hiring locals to tutor and babysitter while you are away (which is a great way to get a deeper understanding of the culture you are studying in).