How to Get a Scholarship to Study Abroad

how to get a scholarship to study abroad

How to Get a Scholarship to Study Abroad – Getting a scholarship to study abroad doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require you to research and apply yourself in order to stand out from the crowd of other students who are also vying for the same scholarship award as you.

Scholarships are an excellent way to cover part or all of your tuition and expenses without taking out loans, it can also get you thousands of dollars in free money! Scholarships are available to students studying abroad from many sources, including businesses, nonprofits, universities, government organizations, and even individuals.

This guide will cover how you can get a scholarship abroad so you can achieve your dream of studying at international universities while paying minimal tuition fees.

What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based on various criteria, which can include financial need, academic merit, diversity and inclusion, athletic skill or a specific talent. Many organizations offer scholarships to students who study abroad, so be sure to do your research!

Types of Scholarships

There are many types of scholarships available to students in general, not just ones who want to study abroad. This section will be breaking them down for your understanding.

  • 1. Merit Aid Scholarship

Merit aid scholarships are awarded to students based on their personal and academic achievements. There are many different types of merit aid scholarships, so it is important to research the options and requirements thoroughly. Some common sources of merit aid scholarships include colleges, universities, private organizations, and corporations.

  • 2. Need-based Aid

Need-based aid is scholarships and financial aid that is given out based on a student’s family’s income. This type of aid is usually given by the government or colleges themselves. Usually, you will have to fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for need-based aid. 

There are also private scholarships that are need-based. These are usually given by organizations or companies.

  • 3. Identity-based Scholarships

Identity-based scholarships are awarded to students based on their personal, cultural, or ethnic identity. These scholarships can help cover the cost of tuition, travel, and other expenses associated with studying abroad. If you’re a student of colour, a first-generation college student, or a member of another underrepresented group, there are likely scholarship opportunities available to you.

  • 4. Government Scholarships

Aside from sponsoring the need-based scholarships, the government also offer scholarships independently. These type of aids tend to be fully funded and covers all student’s basic needs and some expenses. People who are eligible for this are usually undergraduates, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students.

  • 5. Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships are types of scholarships that are awarded to student-athletes by colleges and universities in order to attract talents. In order to be eligible for an athletic scholarship, you must first meet the academic requirements set forth by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Secondly, you must also be able to demonstrate your athletic abilities through your high school or club team performances.

  • 6. Activity-based Scholarships

Activity-based scholarships are scholarships that are based on your ability to participate in a certain activity, usually sports or academics. There are many different types of activity-based scholarships, but they all have one thing in common: they require you to be good at something specific.

  • 7. Military Scholarships

Military scholarships are one way that the government helps soldiers and their families pay for college. Military scholarships are a great way to help fund your education. They are available to both active duty and reserve members of the military, as well as their spouses and children. The amount of money you can receive depends on your need and the availability of funds, but it can be a significant amount that can help you pay for tuition, books, and other expenses.

How to get a Scholarship to Study Abroad (Application Process)

Once you’ve found a scholarship suitable for you, the next step is to apply if you’re eligible. The following are the typical scholarship application process:

  • Obviously, the first step is to look for scholarships. You can find scholarships through your school, online, or by talking to someone who has already received a scholarship to point you in the right direction.
  • Once you have found a few scholarships that you are eligible for, the next step is to fill out the application. Make sure you answer all of the questions and follow all of the instructions. 
  • You will be required to write an essay about yourself, this is your chance to tell the scholarship committee who you are and why you deserve the scholarship. Get official proof of academic results and athletic or activity-based achievements. Sometimes, you might submit official proof of low income or nationality, it depends on the type of scholarship you’re applying for.
  • Make sure to cross-check and proofread all your documents before submitting, one single mistake may cost you the whole scholarship.
  • Then, submit the acceptance letter issued by the university you got accepted into. This will stand as proof that you will begin your studies if you are awarded the scholarship.
  • Now, just sit back, relax and wait for the result. You will be notified if you’re the lucky winner or not. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

With the highly competitive rate of scholarships nowadays, it can be difficult to get a scholarship abroad, but it’s not entirely impossible.

First, detect a scholarship program and make your research to see if you’re eligible or not. Remember that most scholarship providers have specific criteria that need to be met in order for someone to win the award! Make sure your letter is compelling and informative so that they understand why they should award you with a scholarship.

Even though requirements may vary depending on the type of scholarship you are aiming to get, the organization granting the scholarship or the country you currently reside in, the general requirements are:

  • Academic references/ letters of recommendation
  • Certificate and transcripts of your secondary education
  • Proof of English-language proficiency (e.g. a TOEFL/IELTS certificate, for schools in English-speaking countries) or other language tests
  • Admissions test results (e.g. GMAT/GRE results, for graduate programs)

Final Words

Applying for scholarships can seem daunting,  various thoughts about whether you will be deemed qualified or chosen will fill your heads. But don’t let that stop you from going after your dreams of studying abroad!

Start by doing your research and finding scholarships that fit your unique circumstances. Once you’ve found a few good options, get organized and start filling out those applications! Remember to be creative in your essay responses, and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.


  • – What is a Scholarship?
  • – Types of Scholarships
  • – How to get a scholarship to study abroad (Application Process)

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