Studying abroad, away from your home country is a dream for most students. This is because you get the opportunity to travel and live in a foreign land, and get to know different cultures. Most times, people want to study abroad because they believe they can get better quality of education than that which is offered in their country, or that they can become experts in a specific field, which that foreign country is known for. However, studying abroad has proven to be very expensive, but, not to worry, some scholarships can lift most or all of the financial burden off you.
Here are steps to take if you are looking for how to get scholarships to study abroad.
Decide on the Course of Study You want to Pursue
The first step to studying abroad (or anywhere for that matter), is finding a suitable course of study. Make up your mind on what you want to pursue and build a career on. If it is your first degree, be sure of what you want to do, and what you are passionate about. If it is for post-graduate studies, you might want to be in line with what you studied during your undergraduate days. If you are not sure of the course you want to study, you can visit an academic counsellor, share your interests and passion with them, and they can assist you with courses that fit into your passion. You do not want to misuse the opportunity to study, on a course you may not find relevant in the future.
When you are sure of your chosen course of study, you can proceed to the next step.
The second step to take when looking for how to get scholarships to study abroad is to research for available scholarships in your chosen course of study. You can join our group or visit our YouTube Channel to learn more about how to research for scholarship and get updates.
Another important area to research is the country you want to study. You might want to consider countries that offer standard education and options to work while studying. Countries where you can develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally. Some countries do not offer that, so it is crucial to look out for countries with the best deals for foreign students. As a piece of additional advice, search for countries that offer the opportunity to be able to move with ease to any other country of your choice, after studying.
Here is a list of countries that offers the best students’ policy, and gives a plethora of choices on how to grow in your career:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Do proper research and pick a country of your choice to channel your focus on it.
Get admitted into an institution
Now you are certain about your intended course of study and possible countries to consider, it is time to get started on the scholarship process, by getting admission into an institution.
The first step to getting started is applying for admission at Universities, in the countries you have streamlined, offering your course of study. An important prerequisite to be eligible for a scholarship is to have admission at an institution. You may not get a scholarship without first getting admitted into an institution. This is because most scholarship programs require an admission letter into a University, from applicants. The good news is, you do not have to wait until you get admission to start applying for scholarships, you can do both concurrently, as they all have different timelines.
Make your application outstanding to give yourself the chance to be considered for admission.
Lookout For Targeted Scholarship Opportunities
There are scholarship opportunities that target specific areas. For instance, there may be scholarships targeted for applicants from your area, and in your course of study! Keep your eyes open for such scholarships as you may meet all the requirements, and they may be looking for an individual just like you.
Below are examples of targeted scholarships, to give you an idea of what they are:
Scholarships for students from developing countries
Some scholarships are targeted to students from developing countries, if you are from a developing nation and your country is listed as one of the targets, you have automatically ticked one requirement, and you should look further into it.
Scholarships for students in specific fields
Some scholarships target students in specific fields, maybe as an endeavour to encourage students to pursue a career in that field as it may be dying off, or the specified field is generally really expensive to study, and it is an endeavour, to make students who are willing to study in that field but are unable to afford it, to pursue their dreams. You may want to find out if there are scholarships available specifically to your field of study.
Scholarships for under-represented or minority groups
These scholarships are there to encourage inclusion. For example, in tech, there are scholarships for interested women, this is to close in the gap because there are more men in tech than women. Other scholarships are there for African-Americans and Hispanics. If you belong to any of these groups, it would be advantageous to use the opportunity for your good.
If you plan on going abroad for research work, you can find scholarships under this category. Just meeting the specific requirements is the major prerequisite to apply.
Scholarships for Athletic or artistic achievements
If you are an athlete with awards to your name, you can find scholarships for athletes all around the world to study in foreign countries. You can also find scholarships as an artist with astonishing works.
Scholarships for Outstanding Students
If you graduated with honours, an outstanding result, you can find scholarships with specificity in grades. There are several scholarships that target students with outstanding grades. You are in luck here, if you graduated with honours.
Note, not all scholarships are specified, you just need to meet certain requirements and have decent grades to get them.
Check Requirements and Eligibility Criteria
When you find scholarships, you must check that you meet the requirements and eligibility criteria, some requirements are fixed, and you must meet them. For example, those with specified requirements like we stated above, like your nationality and field of interest. If you do not meet them, keep searching for those that you meet and apply.
Do not feel discouraged if you go through several scholarships, but still do not meet the requirements. Keep searching, and you will definitely find one suitable for you.
Once you have identified a scholarship or scholarships (it is advisable to apply for more than one scholarship at a time) where you meet the requirements, you have to start the application process. It is crucial to apply early because they may be lots of applications, and they may want to consider those who meet the requirements and applied early.
You must make yourself stand out. There will be thousands of applicants, and the scholarship will be available for a limited number of applicants. Your application must be unique, for you to be considered. Your scholarship essay must be exceptional, it must be proofread, not just by you, but by others who have an eye for quality writing. This will aid you to correct some errors or unnecessary information. Be concise with your writing, yet exhaustive. You do not have to use too many words, or cumbersome words to try to impress them, you also do not have to leave out relevant pieces of information. Your aim is to communicate, succinctly, why you should be considered for the scholarship.
Your personal essay must show that you are passionate about studying your course of choice. The scholarship providers want to know that they are channelling their funds to assist individuals who deserve them, and one way for them to get to know you, and if you are deserving of the scholarship, is through your essay. It is a chance to sell yourself, and convince them that you need the scholarship.
These qualities may seem obvious to many, but you’d be surprised how often they are overlooked. Reading instructions when applying is one of the most important steps to take, you do not want to submit the wrong document, or miss out on submitting a document, just because you did not carefully read instructions. If you do miss some documents, you can email the scholarship board, but I am sure, you do not want to undergo that stress, and it may prove futile in the end.
Remember, you have no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply for, just make sure you are ready to put in the work where required. In addition to researching online, you can also ask your family, friends, and acquaintances who are outside the country, or who are studying with scholarships, for information on how to get one. Check out the groups here on SetLinn and connect to people already studying abroad to learn from their experiences.