Don’t let the costs of studying abroad get you down. A common misconception about studying abroad is that it’s unaffordable, but guess what? There are literally thousands of scholarships and scholarships for study abroad. I, Just waiting for you to apply them! And who doesn’t love free money? We all get those heart-eye-emoji vibes just thinking about it.
You may have to make some sacrifices in the months leading up to your summer/semester/year abroad (say no to splurging on dessert and cut back on post-Christmas purchases), but be smart with your money before you study abroad. it’s just a stepping stone on the path to bigger and better adventures. Smart savings tactics combined with financial aid (like study abroad scholarships) mean you can *finally* reach your travel goal, as long as you’re willing to work on the application!
Here are 10 surefire steps to get the best study abroad scholarships (But don’t think that means they’re easy to study abroad scholarships!). Since you’re busy juggling school, work, family, and friends commitments, we didn’t want to waste YOUR time with outdated ideas or strategies to help you win those prizes. We wanted to cut to the chase. Without further ado, here is our basic advice on how to study abroad with a scholarship.
Step 1. Ask for help
First of all, don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help. Contact your university’s study abroad office, your professors, financial aid office, and academic advisors to ask about scholarships or grants they may be aware of.
If possible, go to these offices in person 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 will also be impressed with your clear determination and initiative in coming to discuss financial aid in person. The hardest part of obtaining study abroad scholarships is simply searching for them, so be sure to ask the professionals if they know of any!
Step 2. Research, Research, Research
It can’t be said enough: do your research! The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will receive. You can start by exploring this scholarship directory. There are also a number of other resources, such as NAFSA, which compile a list of scholarships for foreign students. , but this list is not exhaustive and there are many different types of study abroad scholarships that you should also explore, including:
- Location-Specific Scholarships/Scholarships to Study Abroad: These scholarships or grants are created to encourage students to study in specific countries, or even certain cities, as scholarships specifically for students who want to study. study in Japan. You can find these scholarships awarded 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 student exchange abroad.
- Specific Program Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants: These scholarships or fellowships are often offered to students who choose to study abroad through a particular program. This could be the independent study abroad provider or through a particular program designed by your university, and only students who plan to study through that program qualify to apply.
- Scholarships/Fellowships for Specific Study Abroad: Many scholarships or fellowships are awarded to students planning to pursue a certain field of study or major abroad, such as Foreign Language Scholarships. This financial aid can be incredibly specific, focusing not only on the subject but also on a certain topic to be studied in a particular country.
- Student-Specific Scholarships/Scholarships: Some scholarships are awarded based on students, due to factors such as gender, race, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation. For example, there is a specific study abroad scholarships for high school students. ! With a demand for more diverse students to study abroad, programs like the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship or Diversity Scholarships Abroad are especially helpful for students seeking financial aid. There are scholarships to study abroad for minorities, you just have to find them!
- University-provided study abroad scholarships/grants: Many universities offer merit-based scholarships or grants to apply generally to any student wishing to study abroad. However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university! Study abroad scholarships for college students may be available from different institutions depending on their affiliations. Also, look at the university you will be studying at while you are abroad; Many higher education institutions around the world offer international student scholarships to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.
- Organization-Provided Scholarships/Grants: Be sure to do extensive research on nonprofit, chapter, or estate organizations that may provide scholarships or grants to deserving students who meet your criteria. Prime examples include scholarships for LGBT students or students of Italian or Hispanic descent. The possibilities are endless!
- Government-funded scholarships/grants to study abroad: Aside from ensuring that your FAFSA Financial Aid will carry over for the semester of study abroad, there are a number of government-funded scholarships/grants that encourage students to study abroad. or work abroad. Good examples of this include the Fulbright Program or the Chevening Scholarships and Scholarships, which are funded by the UK government specifically for international student leaders who want to study in the UK.
Research study abroad scholarships in advance to facilitate your applications
Step 3. Contact the scholarship/funder directly
The best way to find out all the nitty-gritty details of the scholarships you’ll be applying for, as well as up-to-date application requirements, is to contact the sponsor directly – they pretty much wrote the book on how to get a scholarship to study abroad! Not only will this ensure that you have all the correct information, but it will also show the scholarship or donor/funder that you are not afraid to take the initiative and actively pursue the scholarship you are applying for.
Step 4. Tweak your resume
Once you have compiled your list of study abroad scholarships that you plan to apply for, now you have to work towards the scholarships. A big 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 flip a page. Writing concisely is important.
Cover letters go hand in hand with resumes, and are sometimes a crucial part of an application, as they may be your only chance to make a case for why you deserve a scholarship award. However, you can’t just send a generic cover letter about what an amazing 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 study abroad scholarship from an international university, be sure to research how that country organizes their resumes or cover letters, and if you are confident enough in your language skills, you can try writing them in the language of the country in which you are applying. what would you study!
Step 5. Check your references
No, we are not referring to his bibliography. Most essays and study abroad scholarship applications require personal references; that is, someone with whom you have worked, whether in a professional or academic setting. For most students, this means reaching out to teachers and asking for help. When asking a professor to be a reference, or to write you a letter of recommendation, always ask them well in advance so they can prepare.
It’s also important to choose professors or employers you’ve interacted with, so they know you well enough to recommend you. In other words, don’t ask your Spanish 101 teacher who you took a class with two years ago to write his letter of recommendation (unless his relationship with you is solid ).
Reach out to personalities who you think would not only be happy to recommend a study abroad scholarship but are also relevant to the scholarship itself. For example, if you are applying for a leadership scholarship abroad, contact the academic advisor of the campus club you are a part of. If you are applying for an international relations scholarship, please contact your political science professor. Regardless of whom you address, though, always be respectful and understand that you’re asking them to take a break from their busy schedules to help you (and a follow-up, written thank you never hurt either).
Step 6. Mark your calendar
If you are applying for a number of different scholarships or grants, in addition to applying to the study abroad program, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different application deadlines and requirements. This may seem obvious, but make a specific calendar for your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline clearly marked. Staying organized is crucial when applying for more than one scholarship (or even just one!).
Step 7. Apply, Apply Apply!
It may seem exhausting but apply for study abroad scholarships as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This bit will require a considerable amount of time and patience, but every little bit counts. Since you’ve already done a lot of work, your process should run smoothly. Even the smallest prizes add up and will ultimately allow you to have a much more affordable and less stressful summer, semester, or year abroad!
Also, be sure to customize your apps whenever possible, and avoid the temptation to just copy and paste from one app to another. Scholarship providers know when you’ve researched your foundation’s values or the focus of a specific scholarship. Customizing each app will give you a better chance of becoming a pro at figuring out how to study abroad with a scholarship.
Step 8. Take your time and take it seriously
It can be easy to feel the need to rush through applications, especially if you’re applying for a number of them. However, he should treat study abroad applications as seriously as the applications he completed for acceptance to his university. Read and follow the study abroad scholarship instructions, and give yourself enough time to complete all of your applications without feeling like you’re on a deadline. If you don’t feel rushed, you’ll get a better quality job, and a better quality job means a better chance of getting more financial aid!
Step 9. Have the grades
This may seem rudimentary, but to obtain a scholarship to study abroad, it is often necessary to have good grades. Not all scholarships or grants require stellar grades or GPAs, but many do. This is simply because providers want to know that the student receiving their scholarship is serious about their study abroad experience. It is 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 is not only an opportunity to travel but also an opportunity to broaden your academic horizons.
Step 10. The proof is in the passion.
Most, if not all, study abroad scholarship applications require a personal essay. You might start having vivid flashbacks of your college application essays and the stress they caused, but never fear! In these apps, it’s your chance to shine. Be sure to let your passion for studying abroad and the country you are going to study in be included in your application essay.
Scholarship funders and providers want to know that their money is being used for a good purpose and that the student applying appreciates the opportunity they are being given. So don’t be afraid to express yourself; tell your story and explain why you deserve the scholarship that will allow you to study abroad.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is to put in the time and effort when applying for scholarships to study abroad. , as much as you would for any other academic scholarship, and you are sure to see the results. Even if you don’t receive as many scholarships for your study abroad experience as you would have hoped, there are other options for financing your time abroad with crowdfunding websites, such as Fund My Travel or even finding tutoring and babysitting jobs while you’re abroad (a great way to immerse yourself in the culture you are studying in!).
One last tip on how to study abroad with a scholarship.
Try not to get bogged down in all the money stuff and forget the real reason for all the work: the incredible, life-changing experience of throwing yourself into another world beyond your comfort zone, and all the adventures that go along with it.