The cost of college degrees varies greatly between countries, but is always worth the investment. Who doesn't want as much financial help as possible, though? Instead of just covering a semester or dorm room, why not just go for the big fish and try to catch a scholarship for your entire studies? That way, whether it's in your hometown or abroad, you can worry less on working overtime at a minimum-wage job and focus more on academics and extracurricular fun. There are plenty of scholarships for international students that can fund entire degrees, whether for undergraduate or graduate study. The trick is that you have to have a killer application, apply early, and know where to look for them. Read on to get the inside scoop on international scholarships!
Students, future or current, apply for all sorts of scholarships. That means that you, dear scholar, are a prime candidate. Not all international scholarships require students to be currently enrolled in other institutions, especially if you are applying for a first-time bachelors degree abroad or have been in the working world and now hope to return to student life for a masters or post doc.
International scholarships sometimes focus on specific subsets of students, like minorities in education abroad or LGBTIQ+ students. First generation students might qualify for unique scholarship opportunities, as will students who specialize in an area of study or skill (such as STEM, a sport, or a musical instrument).
Truth be told, whether you're a high school senior, a current college student, or a career-breaker looking for change, there is an international scholarship with your name on it—you just need to find it and claim it.
As you deep dive into the world of international scholarships, acquaint yourself with academic financial lingo and a general overview of what possibilities exist. Get to know the basic types of financial aid terms, then zone in on what is most relevant to you and apply to scholarships that fall under that umbrella.
- Academic. Whether you're an all-around Einstein or aced every single math test you ever took, show off your GPA and class ranking for some complimentary cash.
- Athletic. Got mad skills throwing a football or kicking a soccer ball? Get a scholarship to earn your degree and play sports for your host university.
- Demographic. Gender, religion, ethnicity…there's a demographic filter for you; take advantage of it.
- Institution. If you are signing up to study abroad through an institution, inquire about scholarship options. Some academic organizations offer financial aid for their applicants.
- Country. Most countries have a website or organization that offers scholarships to students coming to study there. As an international student, you qualify for tuition, transportation, and accommodation financial aid. It's worth the research.
- Need-Based. If you're not a millionaire, you might qualify for a need-based scholarship. Gather up the parental units' bank statements and start filing.
Generally speaking, you can apply for scholarships within 10-12 months of your anticipated departure for school abroad. Starting early with scholarship applications is key, especially when considering funding an entire degree—these scholarships tend to be ultra-competitive, and getting it in early can be the thing that sets you apart. Begin researching and applying ahead of time, and keep at it!
Here are a few tips to keep you on the ball:
- Start Early. Begin the scholarship hunt at least a semester before your intended start date.
- Mark the Calendar. Put all of your deadlines on the calendar and set alerts on your phone.
- Ask a Friend to Read it For You. Or a favorite teacher or another individual that you rely on and can trust. Having a second set of eyes on your work is never a bad thing. Plan for this turnaround as you outline your plan-of-application-attack.
- Aim to Finish Before the Deadline. Murphy's Law proves that you will always get sick and lose all internet connection the night before your scholarship is due. Outsmart it by aiming to get everything done well ahead of the deadline (like, a week!), so that nasty surprises won't affect you.
- Keep Applying. Once your degree program starts, don't stop applying!
Scholarships are prestigious. It's fun to tell future potential employers that the Chinese government funded your entire academic experience in Beijing. It demonstrates that your work ethic is stellar and you take your studies seriously. Bravo!
When you're trying to research your thesis or finish that group project before the deadline, having your financial situation top of mind can be a bummer. Free yourself of future stress by alleviating costs with a scholarship!
Who doesn't want to minimize their tuition costs so that personal money savings can go toward supporting everyday life or a more prosperous future? There are a lot of different types of expenses involved in earning a degree, so why not take the opportunity to have some or all of them covered by a scholarship!?
Possible expenses while earning a full degree abroad will include...
- Paying for tuition. Tuition usually covers classes, textbooks, and some supplies. In some cases, tuition costs might also include extracurricular activities or educational excursions.
- Finding affordable housing. Some institutions offer home stays or match you with roommates in a dorm or shared apartment. Certain scholarships specifically cover housing costs.
- Providing transportation. Though more difficult to find, some scholarships (especially those provided through programs) will pay for airplane tickets.