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How To Get Scholarships To Study Abroad

Written by Muhammad Aqib
Government Scholarships for UAE Nationals to Study Abroad

Studying abroad isn’t cheap, and a scholarship can potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Although scholarships are difficult to obtain, their benefits are huge and applications are worth your time.
In this guide, I share useful information and tips to help you apply for a scholarship more easily. You will find answers to the following questions:

How to find scholarships?
What are the scholarship requirements?
How to apply for scholarships?
How to prepare the application?
What is the scholarship application process?
How to find scholarships to study abroad?

1. University website

The university website is an excellent resource for finding scholarships. They usually refer to their scholarships or relatives from other associations. You can check the Admissions, Student, and Scholarship pages to search for information.

2. Online portals

If you can’t find any information, you can also look online.

You should regularly visit scholarship portals to update information about scholarships in the region or country you are interested in.
Official scholarship of the European Union

Scholarships for studying abroad can also be found on the official website of each country.

United Kingdom

3. Google search

You can also search Google for basic keywords about the field you want to study and scholarship programs for that field. You will definitely find a lot of useful information.

If you want to search for scholarships online effectively, you can check out a few suggestions.

Go to internet search engines like Google and enter keywords like “Undergrad/Master/Ph.D. scholarship in [field]” to find scholarships related to your field
You can also type “scholarship, grant study in [country name]” to find websites that post information about scholarships. You can change keywords to expand your search options.
Visit the websites of organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union and see if they have scholarships for your field of study.
You can find information about scholarships on the websites of foreign ministries and embassies.

4. Research opportunities

If you study engineering, biomedicine, or information technology, you can find research professors related to your field through university websites, research institutes, or scientific articles.

You can then get their email, write letters and ask other research students about their projects.

Read more: How to choose where to study abroad?

What are the scholarship requirements?

So what documents do you need for a successful application?

Each scholarship program has different requirements and you must meet and meet these requirements to have a chance to succeed.

Here are some of the most common scholarship application documents.

Scholarship Application Form
Copy of passport/ID
Copies of certificates or diplomas
Evidence of academic, social, or sporting success
curriculum vitae
Cover letter
Letter of recommendation (work/academic)
Official Financial Statement
Acceptance letter from the university

How can you apply for a scholarship to study abroad?

After choosing a scholarship, you should prepare the basic documents. The standard application process includes the following steps:

  • Complete the online application form
  • Look for a confirmation email
  • Write a cover letter or essay. It depends on the requirements.
  • Get a transcript and official proof of academic, social, or athletic success. If necessary, you should translate the documents.
  • Get official financial statements.
  • Check these documents at least a few times and send them.
  • Submit your university acceptance letter. If you cannot confirm your studies, you will not receive the scholarship.
  • Wait for the results.

How to increase your chance of getting a scholarship?
Get a high score

Depending on each scholarship program, they may have a different grade point average (GPA) requirement.

A high GPA is important if you intend to apply for a scholarship in college or high school because you have little or no opportunity to participate in scientific research.

Engineering, biomedical, information technology, master’s or Ph.D. scholarships may require a lower GPA, but require candidates to have experience and research capacity demonstrated by quality research (articles published in prestigious international journals).

Participate in research

An impressive curriculum vitae (CV) will be great when applying for a scholarship.

Participating in research groups will help you become familiar with research and academic work.

Depending on the specifics of each field, you will gain new experiences and learn more techniques that are very useful for your future study abroad and career.

Additionally, participating in scientific research will help you make like-minded friends, meet professors, and find scholarship opportunities.

You should know that letters of recommendation from these professors play an important role in your scholarship application.

Improve language skills

Depending on your study destination, you may need to learn a new language. If the course is taught in a specific language, you should master it before joining.

Those who intend to apply for scholarships in English are usually required to have a TOEFL or IELTS score.

For example, the UK Government Scholarship (Chevening Scholarship) requires applicants to have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

To get the certificate, you should take the foreign language exam in advance, at least 3 to 6 months. If you cannot fulfill the request, you can repeat it and you will not miss the deadline.

Participate in other activities

Participating in volunteer organizations, NGOs, or short-term training can help your resume stand out and add weight to your scholarship application.

Social activities, unions, and volunteering will prove to the scholarship selection committee that you are a dynamic person, able to work in groups, and have certain skills.

What is the scholarship application process?

While each scholarship has its own application process and eligibility criteria, here are the basic steps that most scholarships follow.

1. Announcement of scholarship information

Scholarship organizations will publish scholarship information in mass media such as newspapers, the Internet, the organization’s website, or scholarship-specific websites.

You can learn information such as

field of study
scholarship values ​​and conditions
application deadlines
where to send applications

2. Receipt of scholarship applications

The Scholarship Applications Department will accept applications by post, email, or the online application system.

Currently, most scholarships usually require candidates to apply online or via email systems for the convenience of the candidates. However, some universities are still applying for places.

3. Review of scholarship document

After receiving the application, the scholarship selection committee will evaluate the applicant. In this round, they will select the best candidates (Shortlist 1) who will advance to the next round.

Preliminary Interview (Round 1)
After the application round, the scholarship selection committee will select outstanding candidates for the first round of interviews. This round is usually interviewed by phone, email, or skype, sometimes in person.

The interview can be just a simple interview, or sometimes candidates are asked to prepare a short report about themselves, such as the reason for choosing a particular scholarship or career planning.

After this interview, outstanding candidates will be selected for the next round (Shortlist 2).

2nd round of interviews (personal interview)
If you are selected, you should be prepared for a second interview.

This interview usually covers deeper issues like your academic ability and research skills.

The interview can be conducted online or you will be invited to an interview directly at the place of study. For example, Singa Scholarships for PhD students in Singapore often invite candidates to the training institution for face-to-face interviews and fully cover the costs.

4. Decision step

After the interviews, the scholarship committee selects a list of scholarship recipients (Final list).

They will also select a provisional list. If for any reason any candidate is removed from the final list and/or eliminated, the most outstanding person from the reserve list will be replaced.

About the author

Muhammad Aqib

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