Don’t let the cost of studying abroad get you back off on your desire of quality education. A common misconception about studying abroad is that it is unaffordable and very expensive an also for the rich, but guess what? There are literally thousands of study abroad scholarships and grants out there, just waiting for you to apply for them!
And who doesn’t love free money? Smart saving tactics mixed with financial aid (like scholarships to studying abroad) mean you’ll be able to *finally* achieve your travel goal — just as long as you’re willing to put in the work of applying!
1. Ask for Help
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help. Contact your university’s study abroad office, your professors, the financial aid office, and your academic advisors 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.
The hardest part of getting study abroad scholarships is simply finding them, so be sure to ask the professionals if they know of any!
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2. Research on scholarship opportunities
It cannot be over emphasized: do your home work (research)! The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get. At Africa studying abroad, you will find many scholarship opportunities which you can take the advantage and archive ur aim.
There are also a number of other resources, this list is not exhaustive and there are many different types of scholarships to study abroad that you should also explore, including:
The Location: These scholarships or grants are created to encourage students to study in specific countries, or even certain cities, such as scholarships specifically for students looking to study in Japan.
You might find these scholarships provided 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 the exchange of study abroad students.
The Program: These scholarships or grants are often offered to students who decide to study abroad through a particular program. This could be the independent study abroad provider or through a particular program crafted by your university, and only students who plan to study through that program qualify to apply.
The Subject: Many grants or scholarships are awarded to students who plan to pursue a certain field of study or major while abroad, such as Foreign Language Scholarships. This financial aid can be incredibly specific, zeroing in on not just the subject, but also a certain subject to be studied in a particular country.
The Student: Some scholarships are awarded based on the students themselves, due to factors such as gender, race, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation.
The University: Many universities provide scholarships or grants on a merit-basis to be generally applied to any students looking to study abroad.
However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university! Study abroad grants for undergraduates can be available from different institutions depending on your affiliations.
Also, look at your desired university of study abroad; many higher institutions throughout the world provide scholarships for international students to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.
Organization: Be sure to do thorough research of non-profit, or heritage organizations that may provide scholarships or grants to deserving students who match their scholarship criteria.
3. Contact the Scholarship Funder Directly
The best way to know all the nitty-gritty of the scholarships you will be applying for, as well as up-to-date application requirements, is to contact the scholarship provider directly.
Not only will this ensure that you have all the correct information, you will also be showing the scholarship or grant provider that you are not afraid to take the initiative and actively pursue the scholarship you are applying for.
4. Arrange Your 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 the wonders 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 scholarships to study abroad provided by an international university, be sure to research more on 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!
5. Apply now
It may seem tiring but apply for study abroad scholarships as quickly and carefully as you can.
This will require considerable amounts of time and patience, but every little bit counts. Since you’ve already done a lot of homework, your process should run smoothly.
Even smaller awards all add up and ultimately will allow you to have a much more affordable and less stressful summer, semester, or year abroad!
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.
6. Smart and steady
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!
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is to put in the time and effort when applying to study abroad scholarships, just as much as you would for any other academic scholarship, and you are sure to see the results.
Alternatives to scholarship
Even if you do not receive as many scholarships for your study abroad experience as you would have hoped, there are other options to fund your time abroad with crowd funding websites such as FundMyTravel or even by finding tutoring and babysitting jobs while you are abroad (an excellent way to immerse yourself in the culture you are studying in!).
Preparation and Staying organized, working hard, and following these tips will lead you to score a study abroad scholarship, and will ultimately lead you to achieve your goal of studying abroad as African and beyond.