How to Get Full or Partial Scholarships to Study Abroad: A Definitive 8-Step Guide



Did you know that over $100 million in scholarships go unclaimed each year because students don’t apply? In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover little-known sources of funding for international study and learn how to maximize your chances of winning scholarships worth thousands of dollars. Follow our eight proven steps and you could save yourself significant money on your educational goals overseas.

Step 1: Research Scholarship Databases

There are hundreds of scholarship databases that collectively list thousands of opportunities. Some top options to explore include FastWeb,, CollegeBoard, and your target university’s financial aid page. Set aside at least an hour each week purely for scouting new scholarships through database browsing.

Step 2: Target Lesser-Known Awards

While big-name scholarships receive thousands of applicants, smaller awards are often overlooked. Search your state or country of origin for grants aimed specifically at international education. For example, the government of Maharashtra in India offers scholarships for studying abroad. You’re more likely to stand out for niche awards.

Step 3: Consider Alternative Qualifications

Don’t disqualify yourself prematurely if you don’t perfectly match a scholarship’s standard criteria. For example, if the English test is TOEFL, but you took IELTS, still indicate your strong English skills and test scores in your application. Scholarship committees want well-rounded students and may be flexible.

Step 4: Start Early in the Application Process

Time yourself to complete full applications, including multiple essays and letters of recommendation, a few months before deadlines. This allows revising with feedback and avoiding last-minute stress. Admissions officers report early applications are better positioned for success.

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Step 5: Demonstrate Meaningful Engagement

Beyond academics, illustrate how you’ve made an impact through extracurricular projects, leadership roles, volunteer work or employment. Dig deep to convey real passion and share measurable outcomes of your contributions with specific examples and impact metrics.

Step 6: Request Recommendation Letters Proactively

Ask respected mentors, teachers or supervisors for recommendations 8 weeks before the scholarship due date. Provide them with your resumé, personal statement draft and deadline so they have ample time to compose a detailed, customized letter of support. Send reminders two weeks prior.

Step 7: Edit Thoroughly and Proofread Carefully

Perfect spelling, punctuation, grammar and flow should be non negotiable. Have at least two additional reviewers provide comprehensive feedback before submitting. Small errors are easily avoidable but could unfairly diminish your candidacy.

Step 8: Follow Up Professionally After Applying

Email a polite note thanking the committee for their consideration and expressing enthusiasm about the opportunity. You never know how a short, sincere message may positively influence decision makers. And be sure to thoroughly research scholarship winner announcement timelines.

In Conclusion:

International education opens doors to a world of possibilities. With diligent research and following the step-by-step recommendations provided, you too could win scholarship funding to significantly reduce or even completely cover your study abroad costs. Your future is full of potential – don’t delay in getting started on the application process today.


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