How to Apply for Scholarships for International Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students – Complete Guide

Many educational institutions and universities give free scholarships and grants to international students studying abroad in countries like UK, Austria, Australia, China , Canada , the United States etc. This includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit and privately-owned–for-profit post-secondary institutions, and both undergraduate and postgarduate scholarships.

Any hesitation about studying abroad is typically related to the cost. However, what most students don’t know is that they can actually get a grant from their school in addition to the scholarship they have if permitted. In fact, for some students, particularly those who pay out-of-state-tuition, studying abroad can sometimes be cheaper than studying in your locale depending on where you come from.

A study abroad scholarship is a monetary award for students to use toward the expenses of their program such as travel, course, credits, books and lodging. Students must apply for scholarships and some can be very competitive while others are underutilized.

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There are several types of study abroad scholarships to apply for such as;


These awards are based on a student’s academic, artistic, athletic or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant’s extracurricular activities and community service record. It’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.


These are scholarships for applicants who initially qualify based on factors such as gender, race, religion, family and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship.


These are scholarships awarded by a country to students planning to pursue a study abroad program in that particular country. They are awarded as an incentive to study in that country instead of elsewhere. Check with government-sponsored travel websites of the country where you wish to study to see what scholarships are available.

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Program-specific scholarships are offered by individual study abroad programs and/or the colleges and universities where they may be associated to qualified applicants. These scholarship are often given on the basis of academic and personal achievement, but qualifications will vary based on the particular scholarship. Check with your study abroad program and university to see what scholarships are available.


Subject-specific scholarships are awarded by study abroad programs or institutions to students based on their particular major or field of study. These scholarships may require the recipients to enroll in subject-specific courses while abroad or conduct subject-specific research while abroad, but it’s important to note that qualifications will vary based on each scholarship.

Answers to all your questions about study abroad scholarships

Ask Questions

That you are here right now means, you have already taken the first  step to getting your self a scholarship that will help you in your pursue of a study abroad degree.  

Contact your university’s study abroad office, your professors, the financial aid office, and your academic advisers to ask them about scholarships or grants that they may know of.

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.

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The hardest part of getting study abroad scholarships is simply finding them, so be sure to ask the professionals if they know of any or better still go online and visit scholarship portals.

Do your Research

do your research! The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get. You can start by exploring our data base Low Tuition Universities and International Scholarships. 

There are also a number of other resources, such as NAFSA, 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. the bottom line here is to do the needed research to meet up with your demand.

  • Location-Specific Grants/Scholarships to Study Abroad
  • Program-Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants
  • Subject-Specific Grants/Scholarships for Studying Abroad
  • Student-Specific Scholarships/Grants
  • University-Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants
  • Organization-Provided Scholarships/Grants
  • Government-Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad

Write  a Coherent Resume

Once you’ve compiled your list of study abroad scholarships that you plan on applying for, you now have to work on actually being awarded the scholarships. A huge part of this is your resume! Be sure to highlight any international experience you’ve had, update all of your recent campus activities and try not to go over one page. Writing concisely is important.

Cover letters go hand-in-hand with resumes, and are sometimes a crucial part of an application, as they can be your one chance to make an argument for why you deserve to be awarded a scholarship. However, you can’t just send in a generic cover letter about wonderful of a student you are. Focus on how you plan to translate your lessons from abroad into your life on campus and at home.

If you are applying for a scholarships to study abroad provided by an international university, be sure to research how that country typically organizes their resumes or cover letters and, if you’re confident enough in your language skills, you could try writing them in the language of the country you will be studying in!

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Don’t underrate the power of a recommendation

Most study abroad scholarship essays and applications require personal references; that is, someone you’ve worked with either in a professional or academic setting. For most students, this means reaching out to professors and asking for their assistance. When asking a professor to be a reference, or to write you a recommendation letter, always ask them far in advance so that they may prepare.

It is also important to choose professors or employers who you have interacted with, so that they know you well enough to recommend you. Reach out to authority figures who you know not only would be happy to recommend you for a scholarship for studying abroad, but are also pertinent to the scholarship itself.

For example,If you are applying to an international relations scholarship, reach out to your political science professor. However, regardless of who you reach out to, always be respectful and realize that you are asking them to take time out of their busy schedules to help you.

Keep A Calendar

Staying organized is crucial when applying to more than one scholarship (or even just one!). 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.

 Start Applying: Apply if you are eligible

you don’t need to wait for the whole traffic lights to turn green before your start your journey ,if you do so; you might never start the journey . this is a popular saying , when you are ready to study abroad  with a scholarship you don’t need to wait, you just need to start applying as many scholarships that you are eligible for or that patterns to your field of study.

Also, be sure to customize your applications whenever possible, and avoid the temptation to simply copy and paste from one application to another. Scholarship providers know when you’ve done your research on the values of their foundation or the focus of a specific scholarship.

Customizing each application will give you a much better chance of becoming a pro at figuring out how to study abroad with scholarship. here is a list of scholarships that everyone is eligible to apply.

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Apply for A student Visa

One thing you shouldn’t  waste time immediately you have been accepted in any institution , is the processing of your student visa. However, to find out the exact type of visa you need and therefore, the appropriate application form, go to the embassy or consulate of your intended study destination in your home country (this must be where you legally live or where you are a national). 

The application process for a study abroad student visa can be confusing because it’s different for different countries. With that being said, if you follow these basic guidelines as well as those from the state department of the country where you’re going to be studying, you should have no trouble.

The visa for this category presupposes that you are going to stay in any of the country as a full-time student for at least 3 years. Because if your course is for just 3 months or less, a normal visitor visa is all that is required

Standard Visa Application Materials:

  • A letter from your abroad institution on their own letterhead stating that they are sponsoring you.
  • Written proof that you have a certain amount of money in a bank account with your name on it with which you will use to live.
  • Proof that you have some way of paying your tuition.
  • Obtain your biometrics.
  • Your passport.
  • Passport quality photos.

Take Your Time & Take it Seriously

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.

Read and follow the directions for scholarships to study abroad, and leave yourself enough time to complete all of your applications without feeling like you’re under a heavy-hammer deadline. You’ll turn out better-quality work if you do not feel rushed, and better-quality work means a better chance for more financial aid.

Don’t wait until the last minute

 You may pride yourself on working well under pressure, but waiting until the last minute can leave you in a bind. For one thing, you might need transcripts or recommendations – allow plenty of time to pull together all the required elements for the application.

Contact the Scholarship/Grant Funder Directly

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.

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Don’t forget to check the details before submitting

For many scholarships, you can apply online or via email. But once you hit send, you can’t make changes.

If you are applying online, check that you have entered all the information correctly before you submit. If you are emailing your application, be sure you have the correct address. And always double check that you’ve entered your own email address correctly.

Also make sure your email address is appropriate – not a novelty or nickname address like You can always set up a separate scholarship email address. This may also be a good time to edit anything from your social media accounts that could be construed as offensive or distasteful.

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