There are so many determined youth in the country with dreams of studying abroad and big ambitions. You might be one of them, with a desire to do something exceptional or maybe just to experience new challenges and push your boundaries and explore.
Most commonly faced barrier for someone like you is the ‘financial support’ or ‘availability of funds’ one might say. Subsequently, it costs you as high as 1 crore rupees or as low as 10 lakh rupees depending on the course, country and city you choose to study in. It’s almost heartbreakingly demotivating for a middle class /lower middle class student. So the most important question is- how do we fulfill our dreams of studying in the country of our dreams?
Well I’ve got some good news for you. SCHOLARSHIPS! When I say scholarships you might be already aware of a few scholarships and think- “oh they’re highly competitive and maybe not my cup of tea” right? But there’s more to it.
You might have heard of the lavish scholarships offered by Harward, Stanford, Yale or any ivy league schools. And if you do have a resume impressive enough to get there with straight A’s and spectacular extra-curriculars or are a star-kid congratulations to you!
And if not then here’s some information for you: There are numerous other scholarships programs and grants that will still help you achieve your dreams! Infact USA is the no.1 country to offer the most generous scholarships to attract young talented minds.
Factors to consider
- Which is country best known for the course you want to apply?
- Future employment opportunities for the degree of that country/state.
- Part-time job availability and pay per hour. Also the restrictions to work for students in the state.
- Return on investment.
- Acceptance rate and level of competition.
Once you’ve figured out the answers for above, you can move on to filtering out the scholarships in that region. Since, there different types of scholarships. Mainly the following:
• Need Based Scholarship:
Need based scholarships are provided to any student whose family income is below a certain sum (eg.: $15000). And mostly the income bar for such scholarships is pretty high for a middle class family to attain. If you check the guidelines of such scholarships you’ll be able to find the limitations and eligibility.
• Academic Excellence Scholarships:
An academic excellence Scholarship is awarded to those students with a great academic record. Now, you don’t necessarily have to have 99% to get this kind of scholarship. It also depends on where you apply for such scholarship and what course it is. If the competition is low for your chosen course in the college then your chances of getting the grant get better.
• Athletic Achievement Scholarship:
As the name speaks for itself, it is awarded to students who have great athletic/ sports achievement. Preferably a national or international level player in a prominent sport.
The above mentioned types of scholarships are offered either by the government, the institution itself or NGO’s etc. You will definitely have to put in the hours to research and find out the scholarships that are suitable for you and where you have a high chance of scoring it. It’s all available on the internet and all you have to do is work with your key factors, narrow it down and put in efforts to research them where you can most accurately fit in the criteria that the host is offering. And the end results will definitely be worth it!
Furthermore, here is a little more information about the different countries that you will need while trying to zero down to one.
As mentioned before, USA is the no. 1 country to offer generous amounts of scholarships to talented students. These include partial, fully funded or tuition fees waivers. Some scholarships are offered by the government in the form of exchange program. Example: Fullbright.
And then there are Universities that offer scholarships to attract students that stand out and have a calibre to make it big some day. University of Texas Dallas, Michigan State University, Washington and Lee University, Woodford college are few among the many institutions that offer huge scholarships with relatively high acceptance rates. There are hundreds of other such institutions that do the same.
The very popularly known Chevening Scholarship is ofcourse most prominent. Besides, the British Council offers various scholarships. If you personally are a member of British Council the you shall be aware of these scholarships. If not you can just log on to britishcouncil.org and you’ll be able to find out all about it.
Swansea University, University of Strathclyde, Liverpool John Moore University, Ulser University are a few Universities that offer full/partial scholarships.
Canada with it’s impressive P.R policies and visa acceptance rates has been attracting many students lately. Institutions like Humber College, University of Waterloo, University of Manitoba, Carlton University etc offer intriguing sum of scholarships for their top applicants.
The Canadian Government also has launched Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for research based courses. Also, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, funded by the provincial government.
The Australian Government offers “Australian Awards”. It is an excellent scholarship opportunity which is absolutely fully funded for research based courses. You can get to know more about via www.studyinaustralia.gov.au
And, institutions like Macquarie University, University of Sydney, University of Wallongong and many more also provide handsome amounts of scholarships and study grants to students based on their profiles and what course they want to study.
There’s a reason why I saved the European countries for the end. Throughout my research I have found that European countries and institutions are the most generous providers of scholarships. Yes! They strongly believe – “Education should be available for all and not just be a privilege for the rich”. I know! If only it was an universal rule!
Next advantage being the ‘Schengen Visa’ which is applicable to almost all the countries of the EEA. This being a biggest plus point for someone who’s got ‘wanderlust’ as they call it. Among all of the study destinations in Europe the ones that top my list are Germany, France and Italy.
Being one of the most popular destinations for Indian students, Germany attracts students of all fields and majors. One of the popularly known scholarship to study here is DAAD. Offering a wide range of courses mainly for the research based and doctorate. To find out more about DAAD scholarship and the courses it includes you can check out www.daad.org .
There are other amazing scholarships like Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarship, Deutschland-Stipendium National Scholarship Program, Konrad- Adenauer- Stiftung Scholarship etc. All of these will help you cover most expenditures to study in the country.
The public universities of France are world renowned. There is Eiffel scholarship that is although highly competitive, charpak Scholarship (only for Indian nationals). If you diligently work on your applications with a decent profile and grades it’s the best opportunity you can get. It helps to have a background of work experience, foreign internships or internships in a popular MNC. The perfect way to find out about these is via campusfrance.org
Institutions like ESSEC, Sciences Po, Skema etc provide too good to be real scholarships to their top applicants.
Studying in Italy, to say the least will cost you the minimum. The public universities’ fees start from as low as 800 euros. You might be able to get through even without a scholarship. If not, the Italian Government provides need based scholarships of about €5000/academic year to each student that are socioeconomically backward. This is administered by the Italian ministry of foreign affairs.
There are other scholarships based on the region you study and the course you intend to take up. University of Bocconi, University of Pasay and University of Bologna are among the universities that grant popular scholarships.
THE ERASMUS MUNDUS SCHOLARSHIP
It is the most open handed scholarship! Throughout this scholarship period, you will be studying in multiple cities/ countries each semester to pursue your degree. Without a doubt it is absolutely fully-funded. So much so that you might even be able to do a little bit of extra traveling of your own if you are good at managing your funds. In this Scholarship There are about 100 courses included. You will be able to gain more information about it on ec.europa.eu.
So this is some of the information to consider while planning to apply for studying with a scholarship abroad. Hard work in terms of getting decent grades, internships, work experience, extracurricular etc and building a spectacular SOP will take you to place, literally! It’s best if you start your preparations a year and a half before applying. Wish you all the very best.
(P.S : There are a few other countries and alternatives to scholarships as well which shall be discussed in the upcoming articles)