How to Access Scholarship Opportunities as an  International Student

Embarking on a journey to study abroad as an international student is the dream of many students. In recent years, there has been a surge in the rise of students opting to study in various international countries. In the past year, for the United Kingdom, 679,970 international students studied in the UK. 120,140 of these were from the EU and 559,825 were non-EU. However, one of the major constraints for other students to access these opportunities is a lack of financial resources to push their dreams of studying abroad. Thankfully, there is a wide range of scholarship opportunities that have been made available to international students by several international bodies and institutions, In this blog, we have discussed everything you need to know about accessing scholarship opportunities. 

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship has been defined as the financial aid made available to students based on academic excellence or other factors that span work experience, Research abilities, indigency and so much more. Each of these factors will be considered one after the other in this blog.

What are the requirements for being awarded a scholarship? 

There are several factors required before being awarded a scholarship and these factors vary depending on the institution, the body offering the scholarship, the type of degree and the level of study(either a postgraduate or undergraduate program) However, there are some common elements and criteria that are often considered in scholarship selection processes. Here are several key factors that scholarship providers may consider

  1. Academic Excellence

Many scholarship opportunities are hinged on this factor, they require strong academic achievement and results. This often involves having and maintaining a high CGPA and achieving a certain level of academic excellence in your current status. 

  1. Relevant Field of Study

Other Scholarship opportunities are specifically tailored to certain fields of study or academic disciplines. Some scholarships are tailored to students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), humanities, arts, social sciences, or other specific areas.

  1. Letters of Recommendation

Your application for a scholarship may also be decided based on your recommendation letters, the body writing the recommendation who can speak to your character, abilities and potential for success in your chosen field.

  1. Personal Statement or Essay

Every scholarship application must be accompanied by a personal statement or essay.  Having an SOP otherwise known as a statement of purpose is one viable way to showcase your goals, achievements, and aspirations. This is a subtle opportunity to tell your story, if you have discrepancies in your results, the SOP is the best platform to explain these discrepancies to the Awarding body. A statement of purpose is an open check and you should make use of it well. 

  1. Extracurricular Activities and Leadership

In addition to academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and community service can be significant factors. Awarding bodies often seek well-rounded individuals who demonstrate a commitment to their communities. Having the right leadership can make up for a high academic result and, there are scholarship opportunities that are specific for those involved in community service and volunteer experiences.

  1. Financial Need

Some scholarships are need-based, meaning they take into account the financial situation of the applicant or their family. Documentation of financial needs, such as income statements or tax forms, may be required.

  1. Citizenship and Residency

Also, Some scholarships are restricted to specific countries, regions, or legal residents. Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria related to citizenship or residency specified by the scholarship provider.

  1.  Diversity and Inclusion

Many scholarship programs aim to promote diversity and inclusion. This can include considerations such as gender, ethnicity, nationality, or other factors that contribute to a diverse and inclusive academic community.

  1. Research or Work Experience

Scholarships for advanced degrees or research-focused programs may require evidence of prior research experience, relevant work experience, or publications.

  1. Interviews or Auditions

In some cases, applicants may be required to participate in virtual interviews, physical interviews, and portfolio reviews as part of the selection process.

While applying for a scholarship, understand that there are probably tens of thousands of intending international students like yourself applying for the same scholarship and this is the motivation you need to give it your all. Quit applying to every advertised scholarship you see, it will only breed confusion and frustrations.  Strategically take your time to read the scholarship requirements check if you meet the eligibility criteria and ensure you have proper documentation for each scholarship opportunity. Pay close attention to deadlines, gather all necessary documentation, and present a compelling statement of purpose that highlights your strengths, achievements, and alignment with the goals of the scholarship. Additionally, reaching out to the scholarship provider or academic institution for further clarification on any specific requirement can be beneficial. 

The admission window at CareerEdu is opened and admissions are currently ongoing. Bear in mind that for specific scholarship opportunities available to you as an international student, you need to have secured admission at an institution.  This is usually one of the criteria for applying for specific scholarship opportunities. However, at CareerEdu, we take that burden off you and help you secure admissions. You should send us a DM today to get started. 

It is the admissions season in CareerEdu and we are open to helping you secure your admission.

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