Applying for Scholarships to Study Abroad: Why You Should Consider It
Studying abroad can be an extremely rewarding experience. You get to travel and immerse yourself in another culture, all while being able to improve your foreign language skills and earn credits toward your degree program back home. Most importantly, you get to do all of this while receiving funding from the school or organization you apply to, so that these experiences don’t cost you anything out of pocket! If you’re at least a little bit intrigued by the idea of studying abroad, then it’s time to find out how you can apply for scholarships to study abroad!
There are scholarships specifically designed for studying abroad
Many scholarships are designed specifically for studying abroad. Many of these scholarships are awarded on a merit basis, based on GPA and class rank. While criteria varies between awards, you’ll want to make sure that you apply for programs that will enable you to study at specific universities or institutions, if necessary. These special scholarships can help alleviate much of your financial burden and encourage students from low-income backgrounds to pursue their interests abroad. They also can be applied toward funding other expenses, like room and board and travel costs. When it comes time to actually accept a scholarship award, it is vital that you show your gratitude by sharing with other students why it was important that you were selected as a recipient of such an award.
Different Types of International Opportunities
If you have had exposure to different opportunities within your university or college, it is quite possible that you have already come across a few international programs. However, even if you haven’t, research different kinds of organizations that offer scholarships and support. The International Academic Research Foundation (IARF) offers scholarships and other financial aid while Students Connecting is an organization that connects students with organizations that offer internships abroad. Both organizations offer opportunities ranging from American students in Latin America as well as American students studying in Europe. If these don’t sound like they would be right for you, there are many more out there! These sites can give you a good start on where to look for opportunities: Foundation Center , U.S.
Get a scholarship at your home university
Local scholarships are a great way to jump-start your study abroad funding. Whether it’s a scholarship through your college or university, or one offered by your community, there’s sure to be an opportunity out there that fits you perfectly. A lot of these opportunities won’t be directly related to study abroad—it may only require you maintain a certain GPA, study in a specific major, or contribute some other talent. But it could mean free money for you!
Best ways to find scholarships to study abroad
While some scholarships are merit-based, others are based on financial need. If you have any kind of need, it’s important to apply for as many scholarships as possible. There are many organizations that offer funding for study abroad in exchange for a small service commitment when you return home, such as through Americorps or Peace Corps. In addition, a few universities offer programs in which students can study abroad and at no cost to them. One way or another, find out what you might be able to get from your school if you choose not to go out on your own and apply elsewhere.
Be sure you qualify before applying
If you don’t qualify, there’s nothing wrong with not applying. Just remember, whatever scholarship opportunities are available, there are students out there who do qualify and won’t be able to attend if you don’t apply. Apply for as many scholarships as possible, even if your chances of winning a scholarship seem slim. Even if you aren’t offered any of them, every application is a learning experience that can help prepare you for future scholarship opportunities down the road. Be sure to follow up with the people awarding scholarships and thank them for considering you; that small courtesy can go a long way in terms of qualifying you for future awards!
Follow instructions closely in order to increase your chances of getting funded
There are a few steps that you can take when applying for scholarships to study abroad. First, take inventory of your skills and experiences by sitting down and making a list of everything you’ve done from school all the way through adult life. Do some research online or at your local library; you will probably find several resources available about how to apply for scholarships. Write out a statement about why you want to study abroad and use it in your application. Remember that there is more than one type of scholarship so always read directions carefully before filling out any forms or writing essays. In most cases, essays are optional when applying for scholarships but make sure that you fill them out completely if directed to do so because they could be helpful in increasing your chances of getting funding.