Comprehensive Guide to Scholarships for International Students

by Louisa Afful
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Welcome to this guide designed to help international students find scholarships to fund their university education at any level. Here, you’ll find information on the cost of scholarships, where to find them, how to apply, and tips for successful applications.


Table of Contents

  1. What is a Scholarship?
  2. Where to Find Scholarships
  3. Types of Scholarships for International Students
  4. Tips for Getting University Scholarships
  5. Country-Specific Scholarships
  6. Global Scholarships
  7. Specialized Scholarships
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Scholarships


What is a Scholarship?

A scholarship is a financial award granted to students to help cover the costs of university education, such as tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs, and academic materials. Scholarships can be based on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, research areas, leadership potential, or financial need.


Where to Find Scholarships

  1. University Scholarships:Offered by universities based on grades, extracurricular activities, or financial need.
  2. Academic/Merit-based Scholarships:For students with high academic achievements.
  3. Performance-based Scholarships:For students excelling in sports, arts, or music.
  4. External Scholarships:Provided by businesses, charities, or higher education associations.
  5. Government Scholarships:Funded by governments for international students, often specific to certain countries or regions.
  6. Country/Region-based Scholarships:Aimed at students from specific countries or regions, funded by various sources.


Types of Scholarships for International Students

  1. Partially Funded Scholarships:Cover only part of the expenses; students may need to find additional funding sources.
  2. Fully Funded Scholarships:Cover all expenses, including tuition, accommodation, and living costs.
  3. Research Grants:For students conducting in-depth studies in specific topics.
  4. Work-study Programs:Allow students to work while studying to earn money for their education.
  5. Undergraduate Scholarships:For students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
  6. Postgraduate Scholarships:For master’s, doctoral, and PhD students.


Tips for Getting University Scholarships

  1. Research:Explore different scholarships offered by governments, universities, companies, and charities.
  2. Eligibility:Ensure you meet the criteria for each scholarship.
  3. Academic Performance:Maintain high grades.
  4. Extracurricular Activities:Engage in activities related to your degree.
  5. Network:Connect with current students, alumni, school counsellors, or university admissions officers.
  6. Documents:Gather all necessary supporting documents, such as acceptance letters, proof of financial need, English language test results, and academic transcripts.
  7. Personal Statement:Write a compelling statement about your achievements and goals.
  8. Recommendation Letters:Secure strong recommendations from teachers or professionals.
  9. Proofread:Review your application thoroughly before submitting.
  10. Multiple Applications:Apply to multiple scholarships to increase your chances.


Country-Specific Scholarships

Scholarships in the UK

  • Chevening Scholarships:Fully funded scholarships for master’s courses at UK universities.
  • Rhodes Scholarship:Supports postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
  • GREAT Scholarships:Funding for students from 15 countries to study in the UK.

Scholarships in the US

  • Fulbright Foreign Student Program:Prestigious scholarships for international students.
  • MPOWER Financing:Offers scholarships for refugee, DACA, and international students.
  • Scholarships at HBCUs:Various scholarships at historically black colleges and universities.

Scholarships in Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia Awards Scholarships:Fully funded scholarships for students from Africa and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Monash International Leadership Scholarship:Covers tuition fees for students at Monash University.
  • Pinnacle Foundation:Scholarships and mentorship for LGBTQIA+ students in Australia.

Scholarships in Canada

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships:Financial assistance for doctoral students.
  • MPOWER Financing:Scholarships for refugee, DACA, and international students in Canada.
  • John M.Kerr Memorial Bursary Award:Support for 2SLGBTQIA+ students in Alberta.

Scholarships in Europe

  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Scholarship:Funding for studies at multiple universities across Europe.
  • DAAD Scholarships:Scholarships for students to study in Germany.
  • NL Scholarship:For international students from outside the EEA to study in the Netherlands.


Global Scholarships

  • Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Programme:Funding for students across Africa.
  • World Bank Scholarship Programme:For students studying development-related topics.
  • Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme:Limited scholarships for postgraduate education.
  • Google Generation Scholarships:For students studying computer science, gaming, and technology.
  • IELTS Prize:£3,000 towards university tuition fees for IELTS test-takers.


Specialized Scholarships

  • Scholarships for Refugee Students:Financial aid for students with refugee status.
  • Scholarships for Students with Disabilities:Support for students with additional needs.
  • Postgraduate Scholarships:For master’s, doctoral, and research degrees.
  • STEM Scholarships:For students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Scholarships

  1. How do scholarships work?Scholarships provide financial support based on various criteria to cover educational costs.
  2. How to apply for scholarships?Find the right scholarship, complete application forms, and submit required documents.
  3. Where can I find scholarships?Online databases, university websites, and government portals.
  4. What do scholarships cover?Tuition fees, accommodation, travel, and living expenses.
  5. Do scholarships cover all expenses?Some do, but many cover only partial costs.
  6. What are the eligibility requirements?Varies by scholarship, including academic, extracurricular, and financial need criteria.
  7. How to write a great scholarship application essay?Clearly express goals, achievements, and why you deserve the scholarship.
  8. What documents are needed?Application form, academic transcripts, recommendation letters, personal statement, CV/resume.
  9. Is there support during the application process?Yes, university international offices and school counsellors can provide guidance.
  10. Are there government scholarships?Yes, many governments offer scholarships for international students.
  11. How competitive are scholarships?Varies; prestigious scholarships are highly competitive.
  12. Can I renew a scholarship?Depends on the scholarship; some are renewable based on maintaining academic performance.
  13. Are there scholarships for community college students?Yes, many scholarships are inclusive of community college students.
  14. Are there scholarships for high school students?Yes, some scholarships are available for high school students preparing for university.


By following this guide, international students can find and apply for scholarships to help fund their studies abroad, reducing the financial burden and making their educational dreams a reality.



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