The Ultimate Guide to Scholarships for Study Abroad

Freedom Writers

How can I get a successful scholarship?

Studying abroad can be a life-changing yet costly experience. Fortunately, a wide array of scholarships and grants can make international study more affordable. With some research and strategic preparation, you can uncover funding to turn your study abroad aspirations into reality.

How can I get a successful scholarship?
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1. Start Early

Begin your scholarship search early, ideally 12-18 months before your planned program dates. This gives ample time to identify prospects, obtain letters of recommendation, and perfect applications for multiple award cycles. Don’t wait until the last minute!

2. Cast a Wide Net

There are diverse scholarship sources beyond just your university. Research national awards like Fulbright and Gilman along with third-party programs like Fund for Education Abroad. Check out government scholarships, corporate/professional association awards, study abroad organizations, and niche scholarships related to your identity, field of study, or destination country. The more prospects you identify, the better your chances.

3. Choose Locations Strategically

Consider affordable destinations and programs to reduce costs. For example, studying in certain European cities is generally pricier than Latin America or Southeast Asia. Programs offering university integration rather than just study centers also maximize value. If set on a specific pricier location, focus more intensely on scholarships to offset higher costs.

4. Highlight Your Passion and Fit

Convey your intrinsic passion for studying internationally, beyond just professional benefits. Why does this particular program, country, and timing feel right for you? How will you make the most of this immersion opportunity? Share specific academic and career goals aligned with studying abroad. Demonstrate you are ready to fully embrace the experience.

5. Get Great Recommendations

Ask mentors who know you well to highlight specific skills, traits, and past experiences that show you will thrive abroad. Remind them of relevant achievements and leadership activities. Provide recommenders with sufficient background materials and time. Follow up with thank you notes showing appreciation.

6. Perfect Your Essays

Brainstorm creative ways to stand out from other applicants. Add vivid stories and examples demonstrating your motivation and preparedness. Address how this experience will impact your educational or career path and future contributions to your field or community. Show why you are deserving through compelling storytelling.

7. Polish Your Profile

Create a professional LinkedIn profile highlighting academic projects, cross-cultural experiences, foreign language skills, leadership activities and other relevant background. This tangible record of achievements can strengthen applications.

8. Watch Deadlines Closely

Set calendar reminders for upcoming scholarship deadlines. Allow plenty of time for recommenders to submit letters and to proofread your materials. Rushing submissions at the last minute can jeopardize your chances. Submit organized, complete packets before stated deadlines.

With determination and forethought, don’t let finances deter you from an invaluable study abroad adventure. Take advantage of the many funding resources out there. Invest time unlocking scholarships that turn travel dreams into reality!

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