How to Land the Study Abroad Scholarships of Your Dreams
Affordability is often the number one concern of students interested in studying abroad, yet most students have no idea how much financial support is available to students who want to go abroad! If you are contemplating a study abroad program because of financial concerns, check out GoAbroad’s Directory of hundreds of study abroad scholarships. Every student can find the financial aid they need to study abroad, just select from the drop-down menus above and click Search!
If you are just starting your search and feeling overwhelmed by financial assistance opportunities or searching for the best way to sift through financial aid options, then follow GoAbroad’s Step-by-Step Guide to getting study abroad scholarships:
1. Visit your Study Abroad and Financial Aid Office.
This should be the very first step you take in searching for financial assistance to go abroad. Start with your university, because quite frequently there are scholarship opportunities specifically offered to students interested in participating in study abroad or other international programs. But even if your university doesn’t offer study abroad scholarships, your Study Abroad and Financial Aid Offices will both have plenty of resources and potential scholarships to share with you to get you started.
2. Understand your Financial Aid Options.
Make sure you know the difference between a grant, fellowship, scholarship, and all other forms of financial support, before you start an application. Each type of aid will garner different expectations for applications and of potential awardees, and therefore you should approach each uniquely and for different reasons, depending on what type of program you plan to pursue abroad.
- Check out this GoAbroad Article about Funding Options for definitions of various financial aid types
- For detailed information about Student Loans, visit GoAbroad’s Study Abroad Loans Directory
3. Take into Account your Degree Level.
You can narrow down your search immensely by making sure each scholarship you find is applicable to your current or prospective level of study before getting too invested in the application process. Review the requirements of each scholarship to see if it is open to Undergraduate, Masters, or Ph.d. students. Remove scholarships from your search if they do not apply to your level of study or degree type.
4. Consider your Desired Location.
Financial aid opportunities are often focused on providing funding for individuals interested in studying in a particular destination or academic institution. If you are sure you want to study abroad in Italy, for example, see if there are specific scholarships that you are uniquely eligible for. Some scholarships for study abroad prioritize individuals who want to study abroad in certain regions of the world too.
5. Look for Scholarships Related to your Area of Study.
This will instantly narrow down the pool of applicants you are competing with. Subject-specific scholarships will also provide you with the chance to emphasize your career goals and how they align with the program you hope to participate in when it is time to fill out scholarship applications. Scholarship providers who focus on certain fields or majors, usually do so because they have a dedication to the field, so the individuals who review your application will appreciate your drive to explore the particular field on an international level.
6. Exhaust your Resources.
Expand your scholarship search beyond a Google search for “scholarships”. Look into private foundations, program providers, companies, and other institutions that provide financial support to individuals who want to study abroad, or go abroad in general. Most importantly, search through GoAbroad.com’s Scholarship Directory thoroughly!
7. Research Scholarship Providers.
Make sure you know how scholarship programs started, why the provider is dedicated to distributing scholarships, how they review applications, who selects award recipients, and who they have given scholarships to in the past. This essential background information will give you an immediate upper hand. Knowing who will be reading your application materials and what their goals and hopes for scholarship awardees are, will allow you to speak to these important characteristics of the scholarship more effectively, and therefore help application evaluators feel more connected to your desire to go abroad and more driven to provide you with the financial support you need.
8. Take your Time Filling out Applications.
Treat filling out an application like filling out an exam. Scholarship applications must illustrate why you are the best potential awardee and how you will fulfill the purpose and goals behind the establishment of the scholarship. Read through all the application materials carefully, so you don’t miss anything. Have someone review your application before you submit it, especially your essays, to make sure they feel you have effectively conveyed why you should be chosen as the scholarship recipient.
Most importantly, take time to eloquently develop each answer for all open-ended or essay questions, these answers are your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants and freely express why you want to go abroad.
9. Meet Scholarship Expectations.
Last but not least, make sure your application materials are neatly organized and submitted correctly before the application deadline!