A Guide to the Most Popular Scholarships Worldwide

Finding a scholarship can be incredibly challenging. There are many thousands of types and it can get tricky trying to understand how much money is associated with each one, who each scholarship is for and whether or not it is the best possible option to help with studying abroad.

We have written before on ways to earn a scholarship abroad, though now let’s look at some of the most popular and best known scholarships, as well as some government institutions that can guide students in finding the right scholarship for them.

As a look at some of the most popular scholarships worldwide, some of these scholarships may not necessarily apply to you personally. We have done our best to make clear who each of these scholarships or scholarship platforms are for.

Campus France

Country of Origin: France

Scholarships Available for: Variety of Students Worldwide

Campus France is a French government-related institution that aims to promote both the French language and the higher education opportunities within France.

Campus France do offer some grants and loans of their own, but their website operates more as a database and search engine for students looking for grants and loans with the intention to study in France.

COLFUTURO

Country of Origin: Colombia

Scholarships Available for: Colombian Postgraduate Students

A non-profit organisation established with the support of the Colombian government, COLFUTURO supports Colombian citizens in their efforts to access high-quality postgraduate study programs overseas.

COLFUTURO makes use of a scholarship-loan support model, in which successful applicants are granted a US$25,000 per year loan, for a maximum of two years. Students may then be awarded a 50% scholarship on this amount, provided they:

·         Be awarded their postgraduate degree

·         Return to Colombia after completion

·         Remain in Colombia for three to five years

Students may also receive an additional discount if, once returned to Colombia, they work for one year in the public sector; as a teacher or researcher in either a public or private institution. MBA students or Masters students taking management will only receive a 25% maximum of the loaned amount.

The selection process is based on the academic quality of the student, the quality of the study program and a comparison among all applicants. For more information on how to apply, visit COLFUTURO’s website.

DAAD

Country of Origin: Germany

Scholarships Available for: Variety of Students Worldwide

The DAAD, or German Academic Exchange Service, is a private funding organisation, representing hundreds of German higher education institutions and offering grants and scholarships to students worldwide, with the intention of supporting the internationalisation of German schools and universities, German studies and the German language.

DAAD supports around 50,000 students each year, with about 10,000 on long-term scholarships. They are available to students of all academic disciplines and at each academic degree level, including undergraduates, recent graduates, Masters students, doctoral students and PhD candidates.

As well as offering their own grants and scholarships, DAAD’s website also offers a scholarship database and student information on how to prepare for Germany.

Education USA

Country of Origin: United States of America

Scholarships Available for: Variety of Students Worldwide

Education USA is a US Department of State network that operates in more than 170 countries.

Much like Campus France, Education USA offers guidance for students looking to study, rather than directly providing scholarships. This includes a list of Advising Centres from across the world and a Financial Aid database for a wide variety of scholarships and grants, all with the intent of supporting students looking to study in the US.

Education USA offers support for prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students, with opportunities available for the US State of your preference.

The Fulbright Program

Country of Origin: United States of America

Scholarships Available for: Variety of Students Worldwide

The Fulbright Program is an American scholarship program that awards merit-based grants for international educational exchange. Under the program, American citizens may study overseas and likewise, international students may qualify to study in the USA. It was established to increase mutual understanding between US citizens and those in the rest of the world. It is considered one of the most prestigious scholarships of all, with prior successful applicants going to win several Pulitzers Prizes and Nobel Prizes; becoming heads of states and governments and otherwise achieving great success.

The Program provides 8,000 grants annually and operates in over 160 countries. In 49 countries, a bi-national Fulbright Commission will administer and oversee the Fulbright Program. For a full list of commissions by region, please click here. In countries without a commission, a section of the U.S. Embassy will oversee the Program.

There are multiple programs under the umbrella term of The Fulbright Program; for scholars that aim to study in the USA, these include the Fulbright NEXUS Regional Scholar Program; the Core Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program; the Outreach Lecturing Fund; the Fulbright Arctic Initiative and the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Programs.

For more information on how to apply and whether you are applicable, please visit the Fulbright Scholar Program’s website.

IFARHU

Country of Origin: Panama

Scholarships Available for: Panamanian Students

IFARHU is a Panamanian government body that operates with the intention of improving human resources in Panama, including the education of its citizens.

With this in mind, IFARHU offers a variety of scholarships and loans: a Universal Scholarship for elementary, middle and high school students; National Scholarships for the same, as well as international students studying in Panama and International Scholarships for Panamanian students pursuing education overseas. In addition, there are many other programs and loans available. For more information, please visit IFARHU’s website.

Their International Scholarships are wide-ranging. They can cover part or all of the studies and travel and can be offered on English courses, short courses, postgraduate and undergraduate courses. They will only be potentially offered in particular types of studies though:

·         Environmental and ecological protection

·         Maritime and port

·         Transport, telecommunications and technology

·         Panama Canal

·         Social and community development

·         Agricultural, rural development, mining and agro-industry

·         Tourism

SENESCYT

Country of Origin: Ecuador

Scholarships Available for: Ecuadorian Higher Education Students

SENESCYT is short for ‘The National Secretariat for Higher Education, Sciences, Technology & Innovation of Ecuador’, an Ecuadorian government institution that awards prospective Ecuadorian students scholarships for the promotion of higher education.

The awards are applicable both for Ecuadorian nationals studying in local institutes of higher education as well as in leading universities around the word. The scholarships include the recipient’s tuition fees, living expenses as well as housing and flight expenses.

The scholarships available are many and varied. Look on SENESCYT’s website for more information.

Study UK

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Scholarships Available for: Variety of Students Worldwide

Operated by the British Council, Study UK promotes education in the United Kingdom, providing support for those interested in studying in the United Kingdom. Similar to what Campus France and Education USA offer in regards to their respective countries, Study UK offers advice and a platform for prospective students, including links to potential available scholarships.

They do not, however, offer scholarships of their own, rather providing information on financial support.

The British Council also maintain offices in a wide variety of countries to aid with students looking to learn English. By visiting one of these centres, they can also offer personal advice on how to find the resources necessary to study in the United Kingdom.

How Do I Find Scholarships?

These are some of the primary resources students will use to study abroad- they are the most well-known, most sought after and most recognised. However, these are by no means the only tools one can use to financially aid themselves towards an international education.

There are thousands of grants, loans, scholarships and all varieties of financial aid available, so many that it makes it impossible for an article on the internet to comprehensively provide each individual reader with the scholarships that are appropriate for them. It requires some resourcefulness and work, but there are resources that can help you find that financial aid.

When looking for scholarships firstly make use of these sources of information:

·         The financial aid office at the school you wish to attend

·         Your preferred destination country’s embassy

·         Your preferred destination country’s website (many of which have a scholarship search tool)

·         A financial aid counsellor at your current school

These are the four primary methods of finding a scholarship or other financial aid. There are many websites and apps that claim to be able to help you, but you should always be wary of these. Finding a good scholarship requires the divulgence of lots of personal information that you may not want a random website or app to have access to.

Likewise, you should not have to pay in order to set up a scholarship account on a website or app. Many websites that claim scholarship knowledge are nothing more than scams designed to take the money of desperate people. So keep your scholarship search among official channels, like government and college resources.

Finding the Right Scholarship Can Be a Long Process

No one will just hand you the perfect scholarship. Much like college applications, scholarship applications can be lengthy and will require some hard work. That is why it is so important to find the right scholarship for you.

If the scholarships and platforms suggested above are appropriate for you, then excellent- you should begin to find out the process for applying and make sure you reach all the deadlines set. But if those mentioned above are not appropriate, there is one thing you have to do: research. You have to visit lots of websites, do lots of thinking and do lots of reading and writing too.

Getting the right financial aid is dependent on your country of origin, your preferred destination country, your choice of course, your background, your education and the type of person you are. Finding the right scholarship will mostly consist of reading through the application parameters of each one you can find and seeing if it is worthwhile for you.

You may also have to adapt your resume once you think you have found a few scholarships you think might be applicable. Highlight any international experience you’ve had, include any extra-curricular activities you’ve been a part of and be concise. You will also have to be diligent with your cover letter, where you make the argument for why the scholarship is for you. If the scholarship is provided by a country where you are not from, research how resumes and cover letters are sent there and if you’re feeling especially resourceful, send them the application in their own language.

If you stay organised and focused then eventually a time will come where all of your hard work will have paid off. Yes, it can be stressful and tiring but the more work you do as early as possible, the more chance you will have to relax once you finally have your finances straightened out.

If you get the scholarship you were eager for then great, but if not it’s not a big deal- there are plenty of other scholarships to apply for that might be more right for you. And of course, if you aren’t able to secure a scholarship, then there are always other options. You could try crowdfunding websites or figure out if you can work when you go abroad, even if it’s just a babysitting or tutoring job. Otherwise, there are exchange programs that you may have access to.

Earning a scholarship is not an easy or straightforward process. Even if you find the right scholarship, you will often be competing with many hundreds or thousands of people for just a few spaces- they are that in demand. ‘Free’ money is often highly in demand. Though it may sometimes seem as though a guide on the internet can make the process incredibly straightforward and simple, when it comes to financial aid, it just requires you to take a couple of hours per day contacting universities and governments and then a day will eventually come in which you get to live the study abroad dream that was always possible for you.