HOW TO GET INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Are you a scholar? Do you have plans of furthering your education abroad?
It is no secret that studying abroad provides one with the experience of a lifetime. But this is one venture that comes with a cost, and for someone in Nigeria, it can be daunting when you consider the expenses involved. USA, UK, and many European countries are the dream destinations for many Nigerians who wish to study abroad. But the cost of living in these places and the bills of your education often make the idea of studying there seem like a pipe dream. The only means then for a struggling student to make it over there is through the aid of scholarships.
Scholarships provide funding for prospective students to cover their tuition fees and living expenses abroad. They make it easy for students living abroad, and relive the financial burden that they have to shoulder. A large number of scholarships exist, and it takes a certain amount of searching to find the right one. Note, it is not easy to secure scholarships, so you will have to start research early to find the most suitable ones to apply for. You would also need to be patient. Not all scholarship applications go through, but if you put in time and effort, eventually with a strong application, you will surely land a good one.
There are varieties of scholarships for students of diverse academic backgrounds and nationalities. Many of them are funded by governments of the host countries, or governments seeking to foster education of their citizens abroad. Some universities offer scholarships to students from other countries, while some offer grants for their students to study abroad. And some scholarships come from private individuals, charity organizations, international bodies and NGOs.
There is an estimated 100,000 scholarships available for students all over the world. Securing one depends on whether you are ready to put in the work to look for them, and this article will guide you on how to get international scholarships.
Let us explore the following points:
TYPES OF SCHOLARSHIPS
There are different types of scholarships, all varying based on the Here are the most common types of scholarship:
Merit-based Scholarships: These are scholarships usually awarded to beneficiaries who have shown an outstanding performance in their fields of study. Students with an impressive GPA, or those who scored high marks in tests are usually considered for these type of scholarship. You could apply for these types online and take the test to qualify for such scholarships. Even if you are unsure of your academic brilliance, be confident when you study for the tests, and you may find yourself successful afterwards.
Subject Based Scholarships: Some subjects offer scholarships which are directed towards a specialized career path. For example, they may be given to students studying medical courses, business / financial based courses, engineering, science courses, law courses etc. as an incentive to others who may want to pursue a similar academic path.
Need-based Scholarships: These are scholarships which are offered to students based on their financial capability of catering to their academic needs. Simply put, it is for students that cannot afford tuition fees and other academic related expenses, but have high grades and have shown passion for their education. Many scholarships like these have helped less fortunate students pursue their academic dreams. You would need an assessment of your grades, and the financial situation of your family and yourself in order to apply for this type of scholarship.
Student Minority-Specific Scholarships: These scholarships are offered specifically to categories of students. They are designed to provide financial support disadvantaged or minority groups. These include immigrant students, female students in male-dominated fields, students from low income neighbourhoods, students of minority groups (Hispanic, African American, Asian etc.), and students with disabilities.
Some universities offer personal scholarships which may be a combination the aforementioned types of scholarships. Eligible applicants may apply directly to the university.
SEARCHING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Before you begin searching for scholarships, you should first find out what type of scholarship you are going for, and make research on information about such scholarship. This information may be gotten on your university website, or online websites that provide information on scholarships. There are easy ways of narrowing down scholarship opportunities that fit you based on the information on your profile.
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Scholarships are posted on the school or organizations websites, along with the requirements needed for application. First check whether you are eligible for such scholarships by providing the requirements necessary. For scholarships by nationality or minority groups, you may need to understand what kind of people may benefit from that particular scholarship, and whether you are in that category.
A major requirement for scholarships is good grades. You must go through your academic files to know if you meet the cut mark for applying for certain scholarships. This means that you must be devoted to your academics if you ever wish to apply for a scholarship.
For foreign scholarships, you may want to find out your proficiency in the language of the country you wish to apply to. You may need to take some lessons in the language in order to become at least conversational.
Find out the dates of scholarships as early as you can. This is because you will need time to prepare the requirements ahead of the application, as you don’t want to be caught in a rush. You should prepare a schedule plan to help you prepare for any scholarship you have in mind. That way, you will not miss deadlines for application.
WHAT YOU NEED
You may need the following to apply:
Transcript of Grades
Essay on why you are applying for a scholarship, or some other topic.
You may also be required to provide some additional documents, depending on the scholarship you are applying for. Make sure you have copies of all documents, and ensure you check them before you submit. Never submit any fraudulent or falsified documents; many people have been permanently barred from applying for scholarships for such misdeeds.
If you wish to make further inquiries on the scholarship you are applying for, you may contact the scholarship help desk or provider. Information on how you can reach them is often displayed on the scholarship websites.
WRITING A SCHOLRSHIP ESSAY
This is a personal chance for you to convince the application board why you should be considered for a scholarship. Therefore, you will need to be as persuasive as possible in order to stand out among other applicants. Ensure that your essay follows the guidelines correctly, and that you highlight your strengths, ambitions, interests and dreams, and how they are align with the scholarship program you are applying for. Convince them through your words that you are the best fit for that scholarship!
Go through the subject heading of the essay to find the direction you wish to take.
Read the guidelines carefully. Understand the criteria required and get familiar with the broad aspects of the scholarship. That way, you won’t miss any reference you are to add to the essay
Create steps for how you wish to write your essay. If it is to be descriptive or narrative, try as possible best to ensure that your essay relates to the subject of the essay. Do not deviate, such as writing about your life story, when it is not requested. Keep your essay on point and concise.
Your introduction must be captivating enough for the reader to continue. Make your opening argument strong enough to interest them to want to know more about you. Follow the same strength throughout the essay; outline your ambitions, your strengths, and how you hope to use the scholarship to achieve a certain gaol.
Finish on a hopeful note. Do not go beyond the specified word count, or miss any other guidelines. Those may cause points to be deducted.
Go through the essay thoroughly to ensure that mistakes are corrected. You could go through it with a friend or check grammar sites to correct your work if there are any errors you may have missed.
Submit your application before the deadline to avoid being disqualified.
You should apply for as many scholarships as you can. Chances are that you may get selected for one or more out of the many. There is no limit to the number of scholarships you may receive if you are eligible, so don’t limit yourself to only a few. You should also be ready to keep at it even if you are unsuccessful at the first try. Many bright students have given up after rejection, and this has closed the door on what might have been a great academic boost for them. Don’t let the rejections deter you. Keep trying, and you will certainly get it.
SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR SCHOLARSHIP DESTINATIONS:
The US: Fulbright Scholarship, Global UGRAD Scholarship, Knight Hennessy Scholarship.
The UK: British Chevening Scholarship, Commonwealth Masters Scholarship, Oxford Pershing Square Scholarship
Canada: NSERC (Natural Sciences & Engineering) Scholarship, IDRC Research Scholarship, Canadian Commonwealth and Fellowship Scholarship
France: French Government MOPGA Scholarship, OECD Internship Programme for International Students, Ampere Excellence Scholarship
Germany: DAAD Scholarship, Heinrich Boll Scholarship for international students, Bayer Foundations Scholarship
Australia: Australian National University Scholarship, Macquarie Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship, Sydney Scholars Award.
HOW TO GET INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS
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HOW TO GET INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS