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How to get a Scholarship to Study Abroad

Updated on Oct 14, 2019 2867 views
How to get a Scholarship to Study Abroad

Do you dream of studying abroad and instantly cringe at the thought of how much it would cost?

Well, you’re not alone. And yes, study abroad programs can be costly but there is a way you can turn your dream into a reality and study in some of the best cities overseas.

It’s no secret that studying abroad not only exposes you to new experiences, diverse cultures, or a foreign language, but it also opens up numerous opportunities for advancement.

Besides taking side jobs, saving up, or fundraisers, you can apply for scholarships that are offered to students who want to study overseas. What’s more study abroad scholarships, whether general or specialized funding schemes, are available from numerous sources such as individual universities, government agencies, charitable enterprises, and external funding enterprises.

However, the trick is to know where to look and how to apply for scholarships.

Typically, finding the right program, crafting a stellar application and planning in advance may get you a scholarship to study abroad. Read on for tips on how to get a scholarship to study overseas.


How to Study Abroad on Scholarships:

  • Ask for Assistance
  • Conduct your research
  • Contact the scholarship funder directly
  • Revamp your resume
  • Check and make sure your references are correct
  • Apply
  • Submit an application


  1. Ask for assistance:

It can be very challenging to search through all the international scholarships available, but you could reach out to your professor, academic advisor, financial aid office or even the study abroad department of your university and find out about the scholarships they may know about as well as their advice for applying for them. Remember, the hardest part of getting the right scholarship is in finding them in the first place, and asking for help will surely get you one step closer.


  1. Research:

There are various types of study abroad scholarships to apply for, and doing research will help you narrow down your search and focus on what you actually qualify for. You can begin by exploring various online platforms that provide details about scholarships such as NAFSA, scholarship portal, FastWeb, March25 Scholarship Search, IIE Passport, Scholarships for Study in Australia, among others. Some of these scholarships include:

  • Destination specific scholarships

  • Program-specific scholarships

  • Organization provided scholarships

  • Subject-specific scholarships

  • Government-funded scholarships

  • Student specific scholarships

  • University provided scholarships


  1. Contact the scholarship funder directly:

The most effective way to get all the details about a scholarship you want to apply for, as well as the current application requirements, is by contacting the funder directly. Not only will this ensure that you get the right information on how to get the scholarship overseas but it will also ensure that you obtain the correct information and communicate to the scholarship funder that you are not afraid of taking the initiative.


  1. Revamp your resume:

Once you’ve identified the list of study abroad scholarships that you wish to apply for, the next thing you need to do is to tweak your resume. Ensure that you highlight all relevant qualifications such as prior international experiences, recent campus activities, among other useful information. However, be sure to be concise and stick to one page unless you have more qualifications that can convince somebody to flip the page.

In addition to your resume, ensure that you have a cover letter as well. Cover letters play an integral role in the application process, as they provide you with an opportunity to present your argument on why you deserve to be awarded a scholarship. However, do not send a generic cover letter. Instead, focus on highlighting how you intend to translate your study abroad program into your life on campus as well as back home. You can learn how to write a good cover letter using the tips in this article.

Additionally, some scholarships may require a personal essay, which is another opportunity to shine by demonstrating your passion for studying abroad and the country you wish to study in. Consider this as an opportunity to convince scholarship funders or providers that their money is being used for the right purpose and that you, as the recipient, appreciate this chance.


  1. Check your references:

With most study abroad scholarship applications or essays, you’ll be required to provide personal references—somebody you’ve worked with within an academic or professional environment. Generally, this means contacting your professors or former employers to write you a good recommendation letter. Remember, it’s vital to ensure that you reach out to people who you’ve personally interacted with because they’ll be in a better position to recommend you and help you sell your skills. Be sure to contact your references in advance so that they are prepared.


  1. Apply:

Whether you are applying to just one or several scholarships, it’s imperative to plan and ensure that you have all the details concerning the deadlines and application requirements. The best way to do this is to create a calendar specific to the study abroad scholarship application.

When it comes to the actual application process, ensure that you customize the application as much as possible. Consider the values of the foundation of the individual scholarship that you’re applying for. Do not rush the application process, take your time, and ensure that you follow all the instructions and meet all the requirements. Generally, you should take the application process seriously and don’t wait until the last minute.

As you craft your application letter, ensure that it is unique and stands out. Some scholarship programs may be very competitive, and you’ll need to demonstrate how your educational background, interests and personal profile make you the ideal candidate to be awarded the scholarship.


  1. Submit your application:

Always strive to apply for a scholarship before the deadline. This will give you plenty of time to ensure that you’ve met all the application requirements. Additionally, you get to proofread your essay, resume, and cover letter for any mistakes and make the necessary corrections in due time.

Additionally, save a physical copy of your scholarship application on your computer or even your email. This way, just in case you’re invited for an interview, you can go through your application in advance as you prepare. Doing this will specifically be helpful if you are applying to several scholarships.



While the whole process may seem challenging, try to focus on the big picture, which is to get a study abroad scholarship. Apply the tips discussed above, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goal.


About Fazreen Razeek

Fazreen Razeek from Edarabia has served the digital industry for over 5 years. He collaborates and works alongside agencies, event organizers, and suppliers to develop and execute their marketing strategies. He is extremely passionate about education technology and also writes for various local and international publications. A graduate with High Distinction from the Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia, Fazreen holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Marketing & Management.


Further Resources:

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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