Important Things You Should Know Before Applying For Scholarship Abroad

What Do I Need for a Scholarship Application?


Finding scholarships for international students may seem next to impossible, but they do exist. As prospective undergraduate, masters or PhD’s student’s research their options for studying in the abroad, they should be aware of what might land them a coveted scholarship award. A scholarship is a very good way to finance your studies and enables you to fully concentrate on getting your degree instead of worrying about money issues. This article gives you an overview on how to succeed in applying for a scholarship. Don’t let study abroad costs get you down. A common misconception about study abroad is that it is unaffordable, but guess what? There are literally thousands of study abroad scholarships and grants out there, just waiting for you to apply for them.

steps to getting scholarships

Know the admission process

Students should find out the admission process of the universities in the country they are interested in. Each country has certain peculiar processes of admitting students that most of its universities adhere to. They should gather their documents such as degree certificates, personal copies of their transcript, and international passports to avoid rushing things when they get the scholarship.

Before you start preparing your application make sure that you have chosen the right scholarship. Do you match all the eligibility requirements? Carefully check all the scholarship information provided on, but also visit the website of the scholarship provider. Do you match the profile? You will be investing a lot of time in this application and you will want to prioritize.

If you have made sure you have picked the right scholarship, it is time to prepare your application. Most of the time you will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum Vitae (resume)
  • You sometimes need to provide examples of your past work (an essay etc.)
  • Letters of recommendation (work/academic)
  • Language certificate (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, ETC)
  • Certificates of your previous education (first degree, school leaving exams etc.)

Make sure all of the documents you need to apply for the scholarship are in order before you start to write. You won’t want to go back to them after writing your letter, only to discover you are missing an important document. Also, and we cannot stress this enough, start in plenty of time. This will give you the opportunity to make your letter stand out and you will not have to rush with the deadline or waste extra time. You also want to make sure the application forms are filled in neatly and that nothing is missing. Make sure there are hard copies of every document you are sending, because if anything goes missing you won’t want to start all over again.

Asking for Help 

If possible, go in-person to these offices to ask for advice on how to get a scholarship to study abroad, rather than just emailing or calling. Not only will this make it easier for your professors or study abroad office to help you, but they’ll be impressed with your clear determination and initiative in arriving to discuss financial aid in person. The hardest part of getting study abroad scholarships is simply finding them, so be sure to ask the professionals if they know of any.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help. Contact your university’s study abroad office, your professors, the financial aid office, and your academic advisors to ask them about scholarships or grants that they may know of.



The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get. There are also a number of  resources, that compile lists of scholarships for study abroad students, but this list is not exhaustive and there are many different types of scholarships to study abroad that you should also explore, including: 

Type of scholarship

  • Location Specific Grants/Scholarships to Study Abroad: These scholarships or grants are created to encourage students to study in specific countries, or even certain cities, such as scholarships specifically for students looking to study in Canada. You might find these scholarships provided by your university, by the government of the country you plan to study in, or even by the government of your home country, which hopes to foster international relations through the exchange of study abroad students. this is the best method ever. 
  • Program Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: These scholarships or grants are often offered to students who decide to study abroad through a particular program. This could be the independent study abroad provider or through a particular program crafted by your university, and only students who plan to study through that program qualify to apply.
  • Student Specific Scholarships/Grants: Some scholarships are awarded based on the students themselves, due to factors such as gender, race, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation. For instance, there are specific study abroad scholarships for high school students! With a demand for more diverse study abroad students, programs such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship or Diversity Abroad Scholarships are especially helpful for students searching for financial aid. Study abroad scholarships for minorities are out there, you just have to find them! 
  • University Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: Many universities provide scholarships or grants on a merit-basis to be generally applied to any students looking to study abroad. However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university! Study abroad grants for undergraduates can be available from different institutions depending on your affiliations. Also, look at the university you will be studying at while abroad; many higher education institutions throughout the world provide scholarships for international students to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.
  • Organization Provided Scholarships/Grants: Be sure to do thorough research of nonprofit, chapter, organizations that may provide scholarships or grants to deserving students who match their criteria. Prime examples include scholarships for LGBT students or students of Italian or Hispanic descent, blacks only. The possibilities are endless!
  • Government Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad: Aside from assuring that your FAFSA financial aid will carry over for your study abroad semester, there are a number of government-funded grants or scholarships that encourage students to study or do work abroad. Good examples of this include the Fulbright Program, or Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships, which are funded by the UK government specifically for international student leaders looking to study in the UK.

Mistakes Can Work Against You


Not writing your own essay and waiting until the last minute to apply for scholarships are mistakes international students should avoid, experts say.

“Students should avoid the temptation of plagiarizing essays or even full sentences from the Internet or from past submitted essays,

Also, The best way to know all the nitty-gritty details of the scholarships you will be applying for, as well as up-to-date application requirements, is to contact the funder directly — they practically wrote the book on how to get a scholarship to study abroad! Not only will this ensure that you have all the correct information, you will also be showing the scholarship or grant funder/provider that you are not afraid to take the initiative and actively pursue the scholarship you are applying for.


Apply for as many scholarships as you can and Improve your GPA and make your application easier

A lot of people are clamoring for the same scholarships as you are, and therefore it can be competitive at times. Therefore, you will need to apply for as many scholarships as you can in order to increase your chances of earning one. Most students who wish to hunt for scholarships in foreign universities need to have a high-Grade Point Average (GPA) and an English certificate is required. You need to take care of your academic transcript, the final score must be between 8.0 and 9.0. These criteria will make it easier for you to apply for your scholarship and your pass rate will be higher. A GPA of 7.0 will be an excellent opportunity for students applying for postgraduate scholarships. GPA scores are only part of the scholarship requirements, not the only requirement. In order for your application to be reviewed, you need to prepare a lot of papers and certificates. This may seem rudimentary, but in order to get the a scholarship for studying abroad, you often have to have good grades. This may seem rudimentary, but in order to get the a scholarship for studying abroad, you often have to have good grades. Not all scholarships or grants require stellar grades or grade point averages, but many of them do. This is simply because the providers want to know that the student receiving their scholarship is serious about their study abroad experience. 

Not all scholarships or grants require stellar grades or grade point averages, but many of them do. This is simply because the providers want to know that the student receiving their scholarship is serious about their study abroad experience. It’s important to put in the work and get good grades before your time abroad to show scholarship providers that you plan to take your study abroad experience seriously as not just a chance to travel, but also an opportunity to expand your academic horizons.

Mark Your Calendar

A Calendar is a chart or series of pages showing the days, weeks, and months of a particular year, or giving particular seasonal information.
If you are applying for a number of different scholarships or grants, as well as applying for the study abroad program itself, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different deadlines and application requirements. This may seem obvious, but make a calendar specific to your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline clearly marked. Staying organized is crucial when applying to more than one scholarship (or even just one).

Know how to apply

Each scholarship will have a different deadline or application requirements. Once you have found a study abroad scholarship for which you can apply, start preparing your documents. Register for the scholarship, usually by completing an online application form.  Therefore, it’s important to take the time to read each application and make sure you are fully prepared. Build yourself a schedule of dates and requirements for each scholarship, so you can be sure to get everything you need on time. Scholarship providers know when you’ve done your research on the values of their foundation or the focus of a specific scholarship. Scholarship providers know when you’ve done your research on the values of their foundation or the focus of a specific scholarship.

Also, It may seem tiring, but apply for study abroad scholarships as quickly and thoroughly as you can. This bit will require considerable amounts of time and patience, but every little bit counts. Since you’ve already done a lot of legwork, your process should run smoothly. Even smaller awards all add up and ultimately will allow you to have a much more affordable and less stressful summer, semester, or year abroad! Customizing each application will give you a much better chance of becoming a pro at figuring out how to study abroad with scholarship.

Take Your Time

You need to think about your finances for at least 18 months before you hope to start your course. But once you have been accepted onto the course, you may only have a short window of time where you can apply for a course-specific scholarship. It can be easy to feel the need to rush through applications, especially if you are applying to a number of them. However, you should treat study abroad applications just as seriously as the applications you completed to be accepted into your university. You’ll turn out best quality work if you do not feel rushed, and best quality work means a better chance for more financial aid!

So don’t miss your deadline; keep in touch with the University’s international office. Keep a record of all your documents. You need proof of funds to get your visa sorted and that includes the scholarship offer or agreement. Don’t despair if all your applications are denied. There are other ways to finance your education.

Don’t give up on your dream

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is to put in the time and effort when applying to study abroad scholarships, just as much as you would for any other academic scholarship, and you are sure to see the results.

Try not to give up because of down in all the money matters and forget the real reason for all the work: the incredibly life changing experience of throwing yourself into another world beyond your comfort zone, and all the adventures that come with it.