Scholarship Opportunities for African Students to Study Abroad

Pursuing higher education abroad can be a dream for many ambitious African students. However, the high costs associated with international study often seem insurmountable. This is where scholarships come in – they can open doors by making formerly unattainable opportunities accessible. In this extensive guide, we highlight 15 generous scholarship programs from top institutions around the world that African students should consider applying for. Read on to discover how you could win full or partial funding to advance your education overseas.

Scholarships Profiled

The scholarships featured here were carefully selected based on their reputation, prestige, and eligibility criteria that are applicable to African students. Each program is thoroughly researched with key facts, deadlines, award details, and application requirements spelled out. Countries represented include the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, China, Belgium, Russia and more. Degree levels range from bachelor’s to master’s and PhD. Fields of study are wide-ranging across STEM, humanities, business and other disciplines. By learning about these scholarships, you’ll be equipped to potentially fund life-changing international education.

The Netherlands: Utrecht University Master’s Scholarships

Utrecht University in the Netherlands offers 20-25 merit-based scholarships annually for master’s students starting in September 2023. Awards cover full tuition and are distributed across six faculties. To qualify, you must apply and be admitted to an eligible master’s program by August 30, 2024. Degrees are taught fully in English, so no Dutch language skills are required. Living costs in Utrecht are reasonable compared to other European cities too. This scholarship is perfect for Nigerian students seeking a high-quality yet affordable European master’s experience.

United States: Obama Foundation Scholars Program

The illustrious Obama Foundation offers a unique one-year global leadership program at Columbia University in New York City. This prestigious non-degree certificate combines coursework, conferences and networking. Applicants must demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to public service. Requirements include an online application form, CV, video statement, English language test (if needed), and short essay responses. Through world-class instruction and experiential learning, you’ll gain insights on social change. Deadline is December 13, 2020. This highly selective program cultivates visionary future leaders from Africa.

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United Kingdom: Chevening and Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

As the UK’s international awards scheme, Chevening offers fully-funded scholarships including tuition, living expenses and flights for one-year master’s degrees at any British university. Shared scholarships through the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK similarly provide merit-based support. Awards target emerging leaders and professionals. Applications closed for 2021-2022 but check future deadlines on the sites. These renowned scholarships give Nigerians an unparalleled UK higher education experience.


Australia: Monash University and Macquarie University Scholarships

Monash University in Melbourne awards needs-based and merit scholarships for African master’s and PhD candidates. Awards  cover partial or full tuition, but living costs are not always included – stack multiple awards. Macquarie University likewise provides generous funding through the prestigious Australia Awards program, but recipients must return home post-study. Both universities offer exceptional research facilities and a diverse campus life in a breathtaking setting – the ideal launch pad for your international career.

Turkey: University Scholarships

Various universities across Turkey offer African international students extensive funding for bachelor’s, master’s and PhD programs taught in English. Full scholarships cover tuition, housing, health insurance and more. Review eligibility checklists and craft strong applications highlighting your potential impact – admission is highly competitive. Deadlines are usually mid-February. This underrated country gives Africans an affordable yet rigorous education with cultural immersion in Europe.


China: Shanghai Government Scholarship

The Chinese government invites top students globally through this prestigious program funding degree studies at participating universities in Shanghai. Awards cover tuition, accommodation, living allowance and more. Undergraduate applicants must be under age 25, masters under 35 and PhD under 40. Fields include all majors – from sciences and technology to arts and humanities. Multiple intake deadlines annually from January to June depend on the school. This scholarship is ideal for Nigerians looking East for cutting-edge programs.

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United States: Fulbright Foreign Student Program

Established in 1946, Fulbright provides funding for international graduate study, advanced research and teaching opportunities in the US. Candidates may apply for master’s or PhD programs across any discipline at leading American institutions. Awards cover tuition, living costs, health insurance and more. Applicants must be citizen-nominated from Africa . Over 4,000 grants are offered yearly but acceptance is extremely competitive – plan ahead with a strong application. Post-award, you’ll join a prestigious global alumni network committed to cultural exchange.

Belgium: Flemish Interuniversity Council Scholarships

This program supports African enrollments in 15 sustainable development-focused master’s degrees at Flemish universities in Belgium. Full scholarships cover registration, tuition and other study costs, with additional living allowance for developing country students. Deadlines vary by institution from early December to March – contact universities directly. Belgium is an innovation hub and gateway to Europe, career networking and internship prospects abound. This funding makes a high-impact yet affordable education available.

Russia: Government Scholarship

The Russian Federation offers scholarships to African students for full master’s degree programs, including free tuition at leading Russian universities and a generous living stipend. You must have an undergraduate degree and proficiency in Russian. Deadline is August 18, 2024. This less popular yet engaging option immerses you in another rich European culture while gaining a marketable global skillset. Networking opportunities with Russian organizations and institutions await graduates.

Turkey: Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees

A unique aspect of EMJMDs is studying at multiple European universities to earn dual master’s degrees. Institutions partner to design integrated curricula addressing global challenges. Scholarships cover full program costs, living expenses and travel between campuses. Candidates with minimum 2.8 GPA and English proficiency are eligible. Programs span disciplines from engineering to business to humanities. Multiple deadlines between October-January – check participating schools. This credential amplifies your continental and intercultural experience.

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Closing Thoughts

This extensive list of international scholarship opportunities should give African students hope that funding high-quality education abroad is very possible. With strategic research and well-executed applications highlighting achievements, drive and goals – you can realize your overseas educational dreams debt-free. Start browsing program details and use the forthcoming application cycles to craft competitive submissions. Remember scholarships are out there – let this be your compass guiding successful next steps on the journey abroad. Always feel free to reach out if any questions arise along the way.

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