How to find an international scholarship in 2021

February 15th, 2021 by Al C

Whether you want to start your university or college journey, or further your studies beyond undergraduate level with a higher degree, an international scholarship program might be just the thing you need to make your dream of international education become a reality. An estimated $7.4 Billion is awarded in scholarship funds each year. That might seem like a lot, but less than 10% of scholars are lucky enough to benefit from a scholarship opportunity. It can therefore get quite competitive which is why this article will show you how to find international scholarships the right way.

International Scholarships Search

A scholarship is a financial aid gift that is awarded to someone for them to cover some of the costs of their education at university. There is no need to pay back the money the scholarship providers pay you. 

Thanks to technology and the wonders of the internet, it is now easier than ever to find scholarship programs to study abroad. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities available online that you can take advantage of. You could be searching scholarship sites today and by next month you could be on a flight to Sydney, Sao Paulo or San Francisco. 

Of course, it’s not an easy process, you have to put in the work. But if done right, you should have a fair chance of getting a college scholarship to put towards your tuition fees and education expenses.


1. Figure out what you want and plan for it first 

Planning is the key if you want to do anything right. This is also true if you want to go abroad and study. This is therefore the first step you should take on your scholarship search. 

One thing you will notice immediately when you start your search for scholarships is that they each come with different conditions. While some are micro – scholarships of just a few hundred dollars, others will pay for a full semester abroad, or you may even find full ride scholarships that essentially cover all of your expenses. Some look at your academic achievements, while others require you to have something special besides your grades. 

You should write a list of what you are looking for exactly. This is in terms of location or locations you’d like to study, majors or specific fields of study you are interested in, financial flexibility, culture diversity, and so on. This will make it easier for you to spot the most suitable offers, prioritize the most ideal options and allocate your time and efforts accordingly. 

You’d be surprised how many people miss great opportunities due to being disorganized. 

2. Do your research

Few opportunities come to you without you chasing them down in life. If you want to find the right academic scholarship, you should be ready to dig. There are more than 25,000 universities in the world and around 1.7 Million private scholarships that are awarded each year. Your job is to find the right scholarships and the institutions they can get you into. 

You can break this process into three sections; browser searching, social media searching, and direct inquiry. Google is very broad, so the best way to do your search is to start broad and narrow down to where what you’re looking for.

Broad searches

You can start with a simple “How to find international scholarships,” like you probably did to get to this article. Bookmark or save the offers that look interesting and actionable. 

From here you want to start searching for opportunities that are related to your interests like:

  • Scholarships for studying in USA OR,
  • Scholarships for Medicine students.

You also have to save any interesting offers along with their requirements. 

Specific searching

A detailed search is likely to give you the least options, but it will have the most relevant results. To get the best offers, you have to try thinking outside the box. For instance, Instead of just taking all results, use google and social media platform filters to refine your search. You can start by going to the scholarship search tool at  internationalscholarships.com for a start. They have helped thousands of students around the world so far. 

You can also take a shortcut by filtering your results. For instance, you can filter your results by date to find the most recent offers, considering that you will find the most recent scholarships for international students that haven’t yet been found by other applicants.

How to use google to find international scholarships

Direct inquiry

You can also get the answers you are looking for directly from the source. Through your research, you should be able to find a lot of contacts and connections. This allows you to directly call the institutions you find, contact the scholarship funders or education counselors, and build relationships with other people who managed to study abroad through scholarships. 

After all this, along with asking and searching the right queries, you should have a clear picture of what’s available, what the requirements are, and how it aligns with what you want personally. 

3. Apply as if your life depends on it

At this stage, you start writing your scholarship applications. This will probably take the most effort and time to do. This is where you’ll be writing, searching for documents, drafting and redrafting scholarship essays, and getting sleepless nights. 

As mentioned above, there are different types of scholarships for international students. Knowing each type will increase your chances of writing an application that convinces whoever is reading it. It’s easy for the administrators to tell when an applicant has done their research and when they haven’t. So make sure you write a separate application that is specific to each program.

Here is a brief breakdown of the main types of scholarship available each year:

  • Academic and merit-based scholarships

Based on your GPA (Grade Point Average) or other test scores such as the SAT, ACT or similar which you may have to take to qualify. The requirements will vary depending on the provider. 

  • Special Interest or Field-of-Study Awards

Based upon your chosen academic subject or sometimes a particular area of interest such as Arts or Drama

  • Need-Based Scholarships

These are awarded to students in the most financial need of assistance. 

You have to do your research on these as you can find grants and awards from institutions that are looking for someone like you already. Submit your applications in time and be sure to follow the application process to the letter. In-fact, just try to do everything way ahead of time so you don’t have to rush at the last minute. 

4. Stay alert for responses

My athletics teacher always said, “Even if you’re far ahead of the others, you’re not a winner before you cross the line.” 

Online meetings and communication

These days a lot of universities, colleges and sponsors like to see you or at least talk to you before they decide if you’re the right person and that you meet the eligibility requirements. Thousands of people might apply for the same funding as you, so award administrators are right to do their due diligence and make sure before a decision is made.

Sometimes they do background checks on social media. This means that you have to make sure all of your online profiles communicate the message in your application. You don’t have to start making big changes on your profile, but your application should not have information that can be easily contradicted. 

Quick responses

Always be on the lookout for replies that come in. This will help you to respond quickly. The last thing you want is to lose your chance because you responded too late. As they say – the early bird catches the worm.

5. Choosing an offer

If you get an offer – congratulations! If you get more than one offer and have to decide between them you’ve done a fantastic job of all the steps above! 

When choosing between options, you have to go back to the beginning and think about why you applied in the first place. Is there an offer that already aligns with what you were looking for?

For example, was there a specific international university you wanted to attend, or a particular experience you wanted to have? Maybe you had a specific goal or destination in mind. 

You need to do your research here as well. Talk to admission counselors, ask questions of your peers, find related institutes, contact the embassy for the country you want to go to, and get a full picture of all your offers. 

Once you have made a choice, don’t just ignore any other offers. Contact them to let them know that you are grateful and inform them that you have made other plans. After all, they were willing to help you. 

Good Luck!

The last piece of advice that I’ll give you is that going to a different environment and experiencing new things is amazing. Just make sure you don’t get too carried away and forget about your main priorities. Have a healthy balance between everything that you do. 

With all this, I’m sure you now have a clear picture of how to find international scholarships. 

All the best in your pursuit.


How to find international or study abroad scholarships for 2021

August 27th, 2020 by Al C

Who Provides Study Abroad Scholarships?

Scholarships can come from many different sources and you’re typically eligible to receive more than one form of financial support. Review the guidelines for each scholarship or award to see what opportunities you qualify for.

How to find international or study abroad scholarships for 2021

There are various sources of funding for the financial aid, such as:

  • Schools and Universities
  • Governments
  • Organizations
  • Businesses and Foundations
  • Private donors

Sponsoring institutions may be run or influenced by people who have studied abroad themselves and because of that they truly understand the value of experiencing an international education.

The availability of scholarships for international students will vary from country to country. Whichever scholarships you apply for, remember to be patient and persistent – as the application process and decision-making can take time. That being said, scholarships are an excellent way to help you finance your study abroad dreams.

What Can a Study Abroad Scholarship Cover?

Depending on which of the many scholarships you decide to apply for and who is sponsoring it, the terms of the scholarship, and what it can be used to pay for (and what it can’t be used for) can vary greatly.

Most scholarships are supposed to cover your basic cost of studying. This might include the cost of tuition, registration fees, books, and other school-related costs. With some scholarships, a portion of living costs may also be covered, such as the cost of food and accommodation (sometimes referred to as “room and board”.

Some international scholarships are much less strict. They will award you a sum of money which you can put towards your studies however you feel is appropriate depending on your circumstances. Of course that doesn’t mean you can just spend the money on whatever you like, it should all be used to fund your education – not for social activities or any other purpose. The difference is that you’re more in control of your own budget and can use the financial aid as you see fit.

It’s important to think about when the study abroad scholarship money will be released to you. Funds are most commonly paid out in a lump sum before the start of the fall semester, but in some cases, may be paid out in instalments over the course of the year. In the case of a study abroad scholarship that is paid out in instalments, in order to keep receiving the payments you may be required to maintain a certain level of academic merit.

Scholarships can be either paid to finance office of the school or to the student directly. Your school or the sponsoring organization will have their own procedures for when scholarship funds will be awarded. You should ask in advance so that you’re able to work out your budget effectively.

Scholarships for Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, there may be different funding options for you, so remember to explore all the options.

How to Find Scholarships to Study Abroad in 2021

For huge numbers of students, the idea of studying abroad is incredibly exciting and interesting. They want to experience a different culture first-hand, work on their communication skills in a foreign language, or just explore the world as an international student.

Depending on the destination you choose and the type of program you enrol in, it can either be really expensive or could even save you money. But finding a study abroad scholarship to study abroad can reduce the overall cost, otherwise for some, the dream of studying at a school overseas may be out of reach.

To find scholarships to study abroad, first think about the destinations and courses that you are interested in. Contact the schools that you would like to attend to see what aid is available for international students, and use the IEFA.org scholarship search for the latest list of available scholarships.

Related Content

Studying in the United States vs. Canada

Financial Aid For International Students in the US: Explained

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Reeves Law Group Scholarship

April 24th, 2015 by Jonathan Frankel

lawIf you’re a US citizen studying abroad through an accredited US law school check out The Reeves Law Group Scholarship. The Reeves Law Group is awarding $2,500 to one winner who applies by the December 15, 2015 deadline. To apply for this scholarship you must submit a brief narrative that includes who you are and what you’re interested in. You must also submit a 750-1000 word essay (or PowerPoint presentation) on the following topic:

“My dream contribution to society as a lawyer.”

Along with an essay the following must also be submitted:

  • Unofficial transcript (Applicant must submit by mail an un-opened copy of official transcripts if elected as a finalist)
  • Letter from admissions confirming deposit on school letterhead
  • Official enrollment verification form
  • Acceptance letter on school letterhead

The winner be based upon “who best conveys a strong desire and goal of using the legal system to fix or improve a problem in society.”

Last year’s winner, Heather Marzenski, received this award because, “Heather’s application was sincere, heartfelt and very deserving,” said firm founder Robert Reeves. “Not only does she run multiple fundraisers throughout the year to make up for the budget shortfalls that directly impact students in her classroom, but she collects used clothing and shoes outside of school to assist these same families. She also does all of this while working multiple jobs, finishing her Master’s degree, and caring for her own family, which includes a two-month newborn.”

This year’s winner will be notified by phone, email or mail prior to January 15, 2016 and must show proof of enrollment before disbursement of the award.

If interested, find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for the Reeves Law Group Scholarship.


Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship

August 14th, 2014 by Jonathan Frankel

Portrait of a boy with the map of the world painted on his face.Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship
Deadline: December 19

Trying to get ready for your study abroad journey and find more financial aid? If so, apply for the Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship. Tortuga Backpacks specializes in carry-on sized bags for travelers who are preparing for city adventures and wants to give back to one lucky traveler. This biannual award is once again open for you to apply if you meet the necessary criteria!

To be eligible to apply for this scholarship you do not need to be attending a specific school or studying a certain field- however, you must be a US citizen or US permanent resident studying abroad- or be a student visa holder. You must also be a full time undergraduate student in good standing with your college or university, be attending a degree granting college or university in the US, and have applied for a study abroad program that will help you receive credit toward your degree.

Before applying, students should read all instructions and eligibility requirements on the Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship to ensure they are eligible to apply.

If you meet the criteria of eligibility and want to apply, complete the application form found at the link in the Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship listing before the deadline of December 19th at 11:59pm PST.

The Scholarship winner will be announced January 5th through the Tortuga Backpacks blog and social media accounts. One winner will receive $1,000 for their study abroad journey.

Tortuga Backpacks was founded in 2010 by childhood best friends Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen after a backpacking trip to Eastern Europe. Their mission is to “to help people take amazing trips.” Read more so you can enter to win before December 19th for a chance to win!


Bridging Scholarship

October 4th, 2012 by Jonathan Frankel

Bridging Scholarship
Deadline: October 10

US citizens who are currently enrolled in a college or university in the United States and that plan on studying abroad in the Spring are still able to submit their application for the bridging scholarship. This award grants at least 20 students a stipend of either $2,500 (for the semester program) or $4,000 (for the academic year program) to be used towards travel and living expenses associated with their study abroad trip.

Applicants can be working towards a degree in any field; however, they must be studying abroad in Japan. To apply for this award students will need to complete the application, write a short essay of 500 words or less pertaining to why they want to study in Japan and submit an official college or university transcript and letter of recommendation.

This award is sponsored through the US-Japan Bridging Foundation. The foundation has provided awards since 1999 to assist students with their studies in Japan. Funding for this award comes from a number of private foundations and individual donors.

Students who would like more information on the bridging scholarship can visit here. Applicants please keep in mind that October 10 is not the postmark date; applications must be received by this date.

 

* Global studies a colorful closeup photo courtesy of Shutterstock


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