How to apply and win a scholarship abroad

How to apply and win a scholarship abroad
How to apply and win a scholarship abroad

Studying abroad can be costly, with tuition, room and board, and living expenses that may even exceed your budget. Fortunately, scholarships can provide students with the essential financial support they need. If you are on this page to learn about how to apply and win a scholarship abroad, then you are on the right page. In this article, we will discuss expressly all that you need to know about applying and winning a scholarship abroad.

Also Read: How to answer scholarship questions

What is a scholarship?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a scholarship is “an amount of money given by a school, college, university, or other organization to pay for the studies of a person with great ability but insufficient money.” Also, some scholarships are more adaptable, allowing all participants to apply regardless of their educational abilities or finances.

Differences between scholarships and student loans

In contrast to scholarships, student loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid, sometimes with interest. These loans can be both great blessings and a curse in disguise. In the United States, student loan debt is on track to surpass 1.5 trillion USD in 2020.

Who can apply for scholarships?

You can apply if you meet the application requirements, but different types of scholarships target different students. Before applying, check if you will be eligible, if the application deadlines are up-to-date, and if the scholarship is open to national students, international students, or both.

If you qualify and wish to apply, here are some of the application requirements:

  • registration or application form
  • letter of motivation or 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 can you apply for a scholarship?

You’ll need to start putting together your documents as soon as you find the scholarship for which you can apply. A typical application looks like this:

  1. Register for the scholarship. Basically, you can do this by completing an online application form.
  2. Check your inbox to ensure you’ve received the confirmation email.
  3. Write a personal statement or essay. There are sufficient examples on the internet but remember to be original and impress through your specific experiences and ideas.
  4. Get official proof of your academic, athletic, or artistic achievements. Translate the documents if necessary — it usually is.
  5. Or get official proof of your low income or nationality (for region-based scholarships). Again, a translation might be necessary.
  6. Proofread all documents for errors and send them to the scholarship provider.
  7. Submit the acceptance letter from the university (or an official document from the university proving you’ve been accepted). You won’t receive the scholarship without confirming that you will actually begin studies.
  8. Wait for the results. If selected, congratulations, you’re a winner! Go ahead and throw a party but don’t spend all your scholarship money on it. Just kidding; the university or college usually receive the money directly to cover your tuition (or a part of it)

How to find study abroad scholarships?

Your favourite university’s official website’s is the best place to start looking for a scholarship. If you can’t find anything relevant, ask a staff member if they can help via email or chat.

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. Therefore, we believe the resources below will be of great help to you:

Also you can make use of the official study abroad pages of some individual countries.

What are the types of scholarships we have out there?

These are the most common types of scholarships you can apply for to study abroad:

  • scholarships for excellent academic results (also called merit scholarships)
  • scholarships for research, artistic, or athletic achievements
  • scholarships for students with low incomes
  • scholarships for under-represented groups (e.g. women, Hispanic and African-American students, citizens from developing countries)

 Scholarships for excellent academic results

It is imperative to be a top student to qualify for these kinds of scholarships. Universities and colleges are the most common sources of financial aid for academic excellence, but they are not the only ones. Check the ‘costs and funding’ page on the official university website to see if your university offers this type of financial aid.

Scholarships for research, artistic, or athletic achievements

Whether you are into sports, arts, or even research, then this is a great scholarship category for you. Athletic excellence scholarships are especially popular in the United States, although they can also be found in countries other than the US. To get financial aid, you need to show off your skills. That could include impressing scouts, showcasing research skills that surpass your age, or creating a work of art that will surely impress critics.

Scholarships for students with low incomes

Universities and other organizations make an excellent investment with need-based scholarships because the future graduates often give back to their community by helping others who face similar struggles. This kind of scholarship is very similar to grants since they support students who want to study, but cannot afford the full amount of tuition fees and living costs.

Scholarships for underrepresented groups

It is the goal of this program to encourage and support individuals from underrepresented groups to pursue education without focusing on costs. Here are a few examples.

  • women
  • Native Americans
  • African-Americans
  • Hispanic-Latino
  • students from developing countries

Scholarships for all international students

Some scholarship programs aim to help international students, but others are provided by non-governmental organizations that welcome applications from any international student. The requirements may still apply to these students, but the rules are broad and general rather than specific to a specific area, minority, or ability.

How to win a scholarship abroad

Invest in thorough research

Preparation they say is key. When planning to apply for a scholarship you must invest quality time in research. This way you are one step away from winning the scholarship opportunity. Here is a list of what we think your scholarship research list must look like:

  • Which country/countries you want to go to
  • To which university/universities and what are their rankings
  • Field of study and which level
  • Examinations required such as; IELTs, TOEFL, GRE and GMAT among others
  • Types of available scholarships for example, those offered by foundations, fellowships, grants, university specific scholarships and foreign government’s scholarships.  
  • Application deadlines
  • Do you need to write additional essays

 Understand the mission of each specific scholarship

Generally, this is the main selection criteria for the scholarship. Understand what the organization offering the scholarship wants before you start applying for the scholarship.

Ask yourself questions like;

  • What is the target group for the scholarship?
  • Which profiles are they looking for?
  • What is their mission statement?

These questions will help you write good essays which fit the criteria of a scholarship.

 Understand the mission of each specific scholarship

This is the major selection criteria for the scholarship. Before starting a scholarship application, you have to understand what the foundation or institution offering the scholarship requires.

Ask yourself questions like;

  • What is the target group for the scholarship?
  • Which profiles are they looking for?
  • What is their mission statement?

These questions will help you write good essays which fit the criteria of a scholarship.

Assess if you meet the eligibility criteria

There is no point in wasting your precious time applying for scholarships you are not eligible for. There are hundreds or thousands of scholarships available each year. Therefore, apply for those you are eligible for. This we believe is the best option for you.

Ensure your application is authentic

Our stories are unique based on where we have lived, studied, and worked. However, we have found that many applicants copy sample personal statements written by successful applicants or opinion based essays from educational bloggers. It is good to know how to convincingly get out your story but do not copy and paste other people’s stories.

Why is it bad to copycat? People in the admission or scholarship board receive many applications and have reviewed many over time. This makes it easy for them to tell unauthentic stories or copy generic statements written by others. Therefore, you should tell your stories your own way rather than copying fancy sentences written by others.

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