Seeing how much it would cost, studying abroad may seem a little too out of hand to some people. When, as a matter of fact, funding for studying abroad is not that complicated these days. There are many scholarship opportunities out there that are waiting for you to be taken. Although getting a scholarship is competitive, it doesn’t mean that there is no hope for you to get one.
Got your hopes up, yet? You must be wondering “how can I get scholarship to study abroad?”. Good thing you came to the right place. Here is a step-by-step instructions on how to apply for study abroad with scholarship.
Step 1: Choose a destination
First and foremost, you will need to know and be sure of where you want to study. Choose which country you want to study abroad in, and pick the university along with the study program that you think is right for you. Make sure your choice supports your career or what you want to be, if you don’t have a job yet.
You can ask around for advice if you’re not sure where you want to study. Ask anyone you can trust that you think may know something about studying abroad. It can be your friend, family, teacher / lecturer, supervisor, or your academic / research advisor. Do some research on the internet, too, to help you feel sure about what you want and where you want to study. There are many search engines for study abroad destinations and programs that may be helpful to you. Use the study abroad search engines to narrow your choices.
Step 2: Do some research
When you’re narrowing down your choices, search for all the details related to studying in each of your choices, such as:
- cost of living
- types of possible experiences you may get while staying in the country
- the climate (will or will you not be able to handle the coldness, etc.)
- what universities your choice of country has
- university location (in the city or in the suburb), size, type (public or private, have religious affiliation or not, etc.)
- programs and courses offered at the university, what type of program is offered (research or coursework), etc.
- cost of study
- requirements to study at the chosen university and in the study program
Step 3: Decide where and what to study
Once you have gathered all the information you need, compare one from each of the other options you have. Look for one that suits you the most – one that offers the program and courses you’d like to study, is situated in the kind of environment you think is comfortable for your study, and where all the requirements can be met.
To be sure on where and what you want to study abroad, it is recommended that you contact the student counselor at the university and/or program you are interested in, to gain more information and have all your necessary questions related to the study answered.
Make sure you meet all the requirements and prepare necessary documents before you start your application for your study at the chosen university.
Step 4: Search for scholarships
Once you have made your choice on where and what to study abroad, you may start a research on how you can afford your study financially. You can look up for scholarship, grant or award opportunities on the internet. Your home country may offer scholarship opportunities through the government, foundations, organizations or companies. International scholarships from the chosen country may also be available to you.
Many universities have their own scholarship or financial aid schemes. These scholarships may vary from university-specific scholarships, faculty-specific scholarships, to program-specific scholarships. Other scholarships such as student-specific scholarships may be available to you based on gender, race, nationality, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation.
When you’re looking for the right scholarship for you, pay attention to the details and make sure you know what kind of scholarship you’re looking for. Consider the following details:
- Type – Is it a full or partial scholarship?
- Amount – What and how much will the scholarship cover for your study?
- Duration – How many weeks, months or years will the scholarship cover for your study? Is it renewable?
- Availability – Is the scholarship available for your study program / degree? When will it be open for applications?
- Requirements / eligibility – Have you met all the requirements to be eligible for the scholarship?
- Application deadline – Will you have enough time to prepare for your scholarship application? Mark the dates on your calendar!
You may choose more than one scholarship to apply for, so you can have a bigger opportunity to get one. Because of some scholarship providers will not allow you to receive any other scholarships once you get one, it is safe that you make a list of priorities, in case you get accepted for more than one scholarship.
You can ask for advice when choosing the right scholarship for your study. Discuss this with your family, academic advisor and/or supervisor at work. Contact the scholarship provider if you have any inquiries.
Step 5: Prepare to apply
Read the entire scholarship application guideline / manual and study the criteria, eligibility, required documents and application procedure for the scholarship. Once again, make sure you are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Prepare your academic certificate and transcripts, language proficiency test result (such as TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, TOEIC, ILCE, ECL, STAMP, EJU, JLPT, etc.), other standardized test scores such as GRE and GMAT, reference letter(s) / letter(s) of recommendation, resume / CV (curriculum vitae), copy of your passport / ID, and of course, your completed scholarship application form. Some scholarships may require an essay (study objective, statement of purpose or letter of motivation), portfolio (usually for art, design and other similar study programs), certificate(s) of achievement(s), parents’ financial information (including tax returns), and a medical report or health evaluation form.
Step 6: Submit your application
Carefully check your scholarship application form and other supporting documents before submitting them to the scholarship provider. Make sure you have provided all the information they need about you.
Once you are certain that you didn’t miss any blank spaces on the application form, and have all the required documents sorted in one envelope / folder (or uploaded, if online) with the application form, you may submit your application and wish for luck. Please make sure that you submit your scholarship applications before the deadline.
A short advice for major matters
If you want your scholarship application to be successful, you must remember to put in enough time and effort when applying for the scholarship. Don’t rush your work! Make enough time to complete your applications before the deadline. The longer, the better.
Consult the letter of recommendation with your referee so they can get the idea of what to write on the letter. The recommendation letter should explain why you deserve a scholarship to study abroad, yet should be rational and true.