Key information on access to free scholarships to study abroad is rare, especially if you are an international student. Getting a scholarship can help you pay for university fees and living expenses. However, free scholarships to study abroad should not be your only funding source, but it is worth considering.
Unfortunately, it is common for parents to overestimate their children’s eligibility to find free scholarships to study abroad while underestimating the amount of need-based financial aid they will receive from the awarding body.
Scholarships are awarded to about 2 in 8 international students, and the average amount paid to attend university abroad each year is approximately £5,900 (8,000 USD). Every year, only a very small percentage of students (less than 1.5%) win scholarships that exceed £25,000 (33,000 USD) in value for their entire course, whether undergraduate or postgraduate. Almost all the students who win scholarships are awarded less than £4,000 (6,200 USD).
International students can study abroad on a free scholarship by accessing the scholarship opportunities from the subject fields below:
Regarding paying for university, scholarships are the best form of financial aid. It is free money. Additionally, almost all international students are eligible to receive a scholarship! However, you need to determine which ones are right for you and what to submit in the application, so you can compete for them with a real chance of winning.
We have put together nine things you must do to win free scholarships to study abroad.
How To Win Free Scholarships to Study Abroad
What types of scholarships are available to international students?
Some scholarships are merit-based. These scholarships are awarded to students who meet or exceed specific standards determined by the scholarship provider. You can win free merit-based scholarships to study abroad through academic achievements or based on a combination of academic achievement and an exceptional gift, characteristic, or interest.
Financial need is the primary factor in most of the other scholarship opportunities. You will find many scholarships targeting specific groups of people, such as scholarships for women or graduate students.
There are also scholarships based on where you live or where your parents live, and some are specifically for people from specific backgrounds (for instance, scholarships for students from military families or scholarships for international students).
You can access free scholarships to study abroad when you receive a scholarship for the total cost of tuition, or you can receive it as one-time funding, i.e. part-funded. Applying is worthwhile to win free scholarships to study abroad as it will lower your education costs.
Where can I find scholarships for international students?
Information on how to study abroad on a free scholarship can be obtained in various ways, including by contacting the financial aid office of the university you intend to attend or searching online.
Remember that finding scholarships and other financial aid does not have to cost you anything. Payment to find a scholarship is not advisable. Also, don’t accept any scholarship or financial aid offer that you aren’t sure is legitimate. Opportunities how to study abroad on a free scholarship should be freely available.
Visit our Study Abroad Scholarship page to find scholarships.
When can I apply for scholarships to study abroad?
Scholarships have different deadlines. When it comes to university scholarships, you should be aware that some deadlines are a year before terms starts, so you want to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
If you are overseas, you may want to apply at least 12 months before the term begins. This will allow you sufficient time to prepare your travel documents and your passport if you do not already have one, and complete your English language tests before you arrive. If you are applying for undergraduate scholarships, you should have already completed your GSCE/A’levels or WAEC/NECO courses.
Don’t give up if you missed that window. As soon as you are prepared, find out which scholarships you are eligible to apply for immediately.
What do I need to do before applying for scholarships to study abroad?
Get organised first. Organise your list of scholarships by the application deadline after you’ve gathered the information. Make a checklist of the application requirements, such as essay requirements and recommendation letters.
Prepare a scholarship resume outlining your accomplishments, including honours, awards, hobbies, volunteering, and other activities. Provide dates and other pertinent information. Teachers and others who will recommend you for scholarships should review your scholarship resume.
Conduct a Google search of your name and review your social media accounts to identify negative comments and information. Posts displaying an unfavourable attitude, e.g., drinking, should be deleted.
You should print or save a copy of your scholarship application before mailing it or submitting it. If your application is lost, it will be easier to resend it. Ask a trusted nominator to put you forward if you need a nomination. Include your scholarship resume with your request.
Can I apply for multiple scholarships at the same time?
You should apply for as many scholarships as possible if you want to study abroad. Your university preparation routine should include searching and applying for scholarships, much like standardised test preparation. Dedicate time exclusively to applying for scholarships.
You might consider creating a scholarship schedule. You could, for example, devote an hour every Saturday to researching scholarships and creating a list of the most promising ones. You should then dedicate one hour to applying for a scholarship on your list every Friday. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it.
To drastically increase your chances of winning, we recommend submitting applications for at least seven scholarships monthly. By applying for more scholarships, your chances of winning will increase. Additionally, there are numerous scholarship opportunities available that can be applied for online. You can submit a scholarship application in as little as forty-five minutes at some universities!
What should I do to be successful at the scholarship interview?
Practice, practice, practice. To find free scholarships to study abroad, you need to practice. To get experience interviewing, ask a friend or your parent to conduct a mock interview. Make a video of the interview and watch it later. You might be shocked at how many ums and ahs you make.
Prepare your interview answers in advance. It is possible, for example, that you will be asked to explain why you deserve the scholarship. Make an elevator speech outlining three critical aspects of your background that make you a terrific fit. You should not memorise this speech; remember the key points you want to make, so you can respond naturally to the interviewer’s questions.
When interviewing with Zoom or other videoconferencing software, take a picture with your webcam and examine it carefully before you start. If your webcam is dirty, clean it before you start. If you see any inappropriate posters in the background, take them down. You can achieve a neat appearance by removing all clutter.
If you are doing an in-person interview, take a shower, wear deodorant, and brush your teeth. Dress professionally. Try not to chew gum or smoke. Get to the interview location a few minutes early in case you get lost. You want to make a good impression.
Can I ask the university for tips before the interview?
Usually, no. However, the scholarship provider may provide you with an information handbook about their organisation and study expectations. You can study abroad on a free scholarship without asking for tips before the interview.
The university or organisation’s values can also be found by reviewing its website. Most scholarship providers look for applicants who share the same values. You should keep this in mind when completing your application, writing your essay/proposal or having the interview.
What should I do next if I am successful?
Did you just win a free scholarship to study abroad? Congratulations!
The terms of the scholarship may require additional tasks such as volunteering service, attendance at meetings sponsored by the scholarship provider, or teaching if you are a PhD student.
Scholarship providers often request grade reports and information about your academic and non-academic activities. Scholarship providers are also interested in hearing how their scholarship has impacted your life. Scholarships are hard to come by.
Make sure you read the requirements to stay eligible for the scholarship. Make sure you include the scholarship in your resume. Earning smaller awards can help you win bigger awards.
What should I do if I was denied a scholarship?
Contact the academic unit and/or faculty you applied through for feedback. Doing so will provide insight into the process and prepare you for future applications, which can help you later study abroad on a free scholarship.
There is a common scenario where students apply to universities but browse that university’s website only for scholarship opportunities. Not applying for as many scholarships as available can limit your chances of being awarded a scholarship.
We hear it repeatedly, but preparing to apply early for free scholarships to study abroad is crucial. Lack of preparation is a factor that affects many applicants’ chances of winning a scholarship. Finding the perfect scholarship only to discover that you need, e.g., two letters of nomination, your transcripts, especially if you left college or university several years ago, and a 100-word personal statement due in two days can be stressful.