Tips for Applying To Scholarships To Study Abroad

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Studying abroad is an experience of a lifetime that many millennial desire, however, the cost of studying abroad usually is a big obstacle that gets in the way of achieving that goal. Studying abroad, unfortunately, is not affordable to all students. However, there are plenty of ways one can get around to securing a study abroad program; one of the ways is through a study abroad scholarship.

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Studying abroad is a great experience whether you are a student or working person

Whatever you do, keep in mind that getting a scholarship or a grant is hard let alone that of a study abroad program, so you may have to make some sacrifices months ahead of your study tour/summer/semester abroad to prepare for the applications, but you know what. It is all very worth it.

The following steps are meant to be your basic know-how on what to do to find and successfully apply for a study abroad scholarship (finger crossed you’ll be selected). You can be creative and make sure to add a little bit of your personal spices to the procedure as it helps separate you with other applicants.

Step 1: Know what scholarships/grants are available.

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Photo: Northern Arizona University

Take a close look at these study abroad grants and scholarship and see what fits you the most. If you don’t find any that apply to you. Try contacting your school’s study abroad office, your financial aid office and even your professors (especially your professors), they are often the people who know best about what scholarships are available and they wouldn’t mind introducing or even write a letter of recommendation for you.  

Step 2: Reach the alumni.

Talk to those who are experienced, in studying abroad and in getting these types of scholarships; they can each give you different insights on how to prepare and how to actually get the grants for your desired scholarships. Alumni can also be a great source for travel advice to certain countries since they have done it first hand, they know what is up.

There are many places where you can reach study abroad and scholarship winning veterans, for example study abroad sites like GoAbroad, GoOverseas and so on.

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Talking to alumni can be a good way to clear your doubts about any program

Step 3: Get as much information about the scholarship/grant as you can.

Study the information of the scholarship/grant on their official website carefully, check the requirements to see if you are qualified first, then pay attention to what type of candidate they are looking for to interpret your resume in a certain way.

If you are not clear about any certain point, do not hesitate to contact the scholarship/grant organization directly, this will ensure that you have all the right information you need to prepare for the application, on the other hand this also shows the providers that you are motivated and interested to take the initiatives to approach them first.

Step 4: Get the right references

Most study abroad scholarships requires, besides essays, reference letter from a person whom you have worked or studied with in a professional or academic setting, this can either be from a co-worker, an employer, a classmate, or a professor.

If you are asking for a reference letter from an employer or a professor, make sure you contact them ahead of time since they are probably very busy with work as well as requests for the same letter from many other students.

Make sure the person you are reaching out for a reference letter is a person that fits with the field or subject of your study abroad tour/semester and remember to be grateful for the favor they did to you by following up with a thank you note.

Step 5: Get that scholarship

Of course, this step is not and should not be that easy. First of all you need to know your deadline and create a concrete plan of what and when to finish so you don’t have to be rushed into preparing anything on the spot. More importantly, your application essays should be your own and telling people your own stories, avoid the temptation to even copy your one application to another, this will allow you to shine and hit the right spot for every scholarship application.


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