How to get a scholarship to study abroad

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Full scholarships (also known as full-ride scholarships) are the holy grail of funding opportunities, covering almost everything for the full three or four years of university. Your tuition and living expenses will be covered by the provider, allowing you to focus on your studies and social life without worrying about money. Sounds great, right?

Sadly, not many of these dream scholarships are there. Full scholarships are rare, and those available are very competitive. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply for them – read on to find out how to increase your chances of being awarded one of these coveted scholarships.

Know where to look

First things first, where do you actually go to find a full scholarship? Your first port of call should be the official website of your chosen university, as they may offer their funding opportunities for students in your area or subject, or possibly list external scholarships. are for which you can apply.

As well as your university, you can also check out sites like or, as well as our own Scholarships to Study Abroad page, which has funding opportunities at various study destinations, subject-specific scholarships and specific Scholarships are listed for student groups.

Prepare in advance

If you know you’ll need a full scholarship to help you to attend university, it’s important to start preparing as far in advance as possible. This is especially important if you find you need to attend an interview – some universities conduct special ‘scholarship weekends’ in which 50-100 students will be invited on campus to interview with a faculty member, answering questions on their goals and motivations and how this fits in with that university and course.

If you need to attend a scholarship interview, you should treat this as you would any other formal interview, dressing smartly and coming well-prepared with good answers for their possible questions, as well as having a few questions ready to ask them when invited to at the end of the interview. Find out how to answer common admission interview questions.

Work hard and keep motivated

While some full scholarships will be based on financial need rather than academic excellence, some will take both into account, or will be awarded only to exceptional students. It goes without saying that you should work hard in your studies, but if you want to get this full scholarship you will need to really try, as the majority are awarded to the highest achieving students.

In some cases, universities may automatically consider applicants for full scholarships using your regular university application, with high grades being important. Although pushing yourself academically can be mentally exhausting, try to motivate yourself by keeping your goals in mind, and give yourself occasional rest breaks (especially exams During and after the season of !).

Make yourself stand out from other applicants

With so much competition to get a full scholarship, it’s crucial to stand out from the applicant pool by showing a genuine commitment to bettering yourself as an individual. This means doing a few extracurricular activities to show scholarship providers, demonstrating your hobbies and interests outside of the classroom, and examples of times you’ve been involved with the local community, perhaps for a good cause. By participating in voluntary work. .

Leadership skills are also highly valued by scholarship providers, and you can demonstrate this by volunteering to lead projects in your extracurricular activities or community work.

Another thing that can really set you apart when it comes to scholarship applications is a glowing report of your academic and personal qualities through your letters of recommendation, so it’s important that your academic mentors Build strong relationships with – if a mentor knows. If you are right, they will be able to provide a more personal and accurate reflection of you in their letter.

Read the application instructions carefully

This may seem obvious, but you don’t want to ruin your chances by accidentally missing a document or piece of information that was mentioned in the scholarship application instructions. Be sure to read the application guidance carefully and frequently, so that you are less likely to miss anything, and email the provider if you need clarification on anything.

Submit an exceptional scholarship essay or cover letter

Another thing that goes without saying, but your application essay/cover letter absolutely needs to be of excellent quality. This means making sure it is clear and concise, formatted correctly, grabs the reader with a strong introduction, focuses on your key theme or topic, and is flawless. There is spelling and grammar. Don’t rely on proofreading it hundreds of times to make sure it’s perfect – ask a friend to go over it and check for typos and any sentences that don’t read as well.

Be realistic

And finally, as we touched on earlier, the unfortunate truth is that there aren’t many full scholarships out there, and they’re highly competitive, meaning that many candidates who would meet the full scholarship requirements are and beyond it they disappear. . Don’t let this put you off applying, but be realistic about your expectations.

And remember, there’s no limit to how many scholarship applications you can send, and there’s usually no limit to how many scholarships you can be awarded, so you can choose between two or two. More can build up their full scholarship using smaller scholarships. (Of course, be sure to check with the providers you can apply for and receive funding from other sources).

If you get rejected, try not to let them get you down – pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and don’t stop trying in life until you get what you want.

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