As the saying goes, money makes the world turn.
But just because you don’t have money doesn’t mean you can’t make the world turn, either!
All you ambitious students out there—study abroad scholarships are out there and just waiting to be found.
Nothing comes for free in life. But if you have something to offer (even it’s just your passion for a subject), then there’s a study abroad scholarship out there for you.
The hardest part is wading through an ocean of scholarship options to find the best one for you.
So I’ve done the hard work for you!
Whether you want to study in Europe, the Americas, Asia or Africa, there’s a program (and a scholarship) that’s your perfect fit.
Why Study Abroad?
You can learn a foreign language
Studying in a country with a different native tongue than yours is the best way to learn the language. Even if you’re not enrolled in a language program at the college!
In a study abroad program, you’ll most likely study alongside students from that country. If you interact with these students and make new friends, your time abroad will be infinitely more fun and fulfilling.
Plus, one of the most fulfilling moments of my time in Beijing was when I finally got my Starbucks order right in Mandarin!
If you’re looking for a method to familiarize yourself with the language before and during your time abroad, as well as deepen your knowledge of the culture, FluentU is the best way to go!
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Videos are conveniently organized into lessons, so you can easily work towards a particular objective, topic or skill.
Want to learn how to talk with your peers? That’s a great objective! Or maybe you want to learn how to talk about your area of study and college in general. Another great goal to work toward with FluentU!
FluentU is about so much more than videos: You also get access to interactive flashcards and vocab lists, annotated subtitles and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn.
It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in a language the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary.
Check out the full video library for free with a FluentU trial!
It could be cheaper than studying at home
You may be worried that studying abroad is too expensive for you.
But depending on your home country, studying abroad might be a cheaper option for you.
As a Brit, studying in my home country has some of the highest fees in the world! But just over the water there’s Germany, which offers free higher education. And Austria, where people can actually get paid to study.
This alone is incentive to study abroad!
You’ll have new experiences
Being abroad introduces you a whole host of new experiences.
Living in a country for an extended period of time provides you with the very best of these experiences!
Not only do you get to see a new culture from the outside, but you get to settle in and become part of the local community. (Especially if you learn the language!)
You won’t have to rush to see all the tourist sights. Instead, you can experience life like a local. You’ll take part in holiday celebrations, eat tons of authentic dishes and see places tourists don’t know about.
You’ll be able to travel
Studying abroad in any country will give you the perfect excuse to travel.
What better way to spend your weekends than traveling and exploring your new country? (Well, besides studying for your courses. Remember to bring some textbooks for the train ride!)
Apart from those weekends, you’ll also be able to take advantage of university holidays. Depending on the country, these holidays can be up to a few months long!
Study abroad in Asia and you’ll also enjoy the Golden Week holidays which, depending on the country, can last up to 10 days. Of course, this depends on the country and university.
You also won’t have a shortage of travel buddies. Your fellow classmates studying abroad will be eager to join you on your travels.
Where Should I Study Abroad?
With options literally all over the world, it’s hard to narrow down where you should study abroad.
First, ask yourself what your goals are for studying abroad and start from there.
If money is your main factor, check out some countries that offer free higher education, such as Germany or Norway.
If learning a language is your motivation, then you should explore countries where that’s the official language and where you can take courses in your target language.
16 Study Abroad Scholarships: Travel and Study Without Going Broke
A quick Google search brings up a sea of study abroad scholarships, which can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which ones are worth spending the time applying for?
Which ones are going to give you the benefits you need?
Which ones are you likely to be successful in when applying for the scholarship?
There are so many choices that it’s easy to get lost in a dark scholarship application hole and get completely off track.
I’ve organized study abroad scholarships by continent and country, then listed all the basic information you’ll need before deciding which scholarships to apply to.
Study Abroad Scholarships in Europe
1. Study Abroad Scholarships in Germany: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)
Where: The majority of public universities around Germany.
Who can apply: Undergraduate and postgraduate students from a range of nationalities.
Course language: German or English.
How to apply: Fill in the application form, get two references and go through a Skype interview.
Study in Germany and enjoy sun, skiing, and lots and lots of sausages!
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst is called German Academic Exchange Service in English. But chances are, you’ll just end up referring to it as DAAD.
DAAD is the most popular government-funded scholarship for studying in Germany.
The scholarship isn’t connected to one particular university. So before you apply for the scholarship, you can first choose the college and program you wish to enroll in.
Once you have your ideal university and program in mind, start your application to one of the best study abroad scholarships in Europe!
DAAD will cover your tuition and administration fees. It will also give you monthly funding for accommodation and living expenses.
2. Study Abroad Scholarships in the Netherlands: Amsterdam Excellence Scholarships
Where: University of Amsterdam.
Course language: English or Dutch.
Who can apply: Excellent students wishing to enroll in a master’s program in Amsterdam.
How to apply: Apply through the Admissions Offices of the Graduate Schools.
Amsterdam is home to beautiful canals, Van Gogh and art and culture galore.
This scholarship of 25,000 euros (28,420 USD) is awarded to students who graduated in the top 10% of their class and is targeted toward those from non-EU/EEA countries.
The scholarship is awarded for one year of study but also offers the option of extending your studies for a second year. The amount covers tuition, accommodation and living expenses.
3. Study Abroad Scholarships in Eastern Europe: Eastern Europe Study Abroad (EESA)
Where: Various countries and universities in Eastern Europe.
Course language: Several languages, including English.
Who can apply: Gifted students from outside the EU/EEA.
How to apply: Create your account, fill out the application and pay the $150 application fee.
Eastern Europe is much cheaper and less traveled than Western Europe, yet still just as beautiful as the rest of the continent!
EESA offer several scholarships of various amounts. You could receive a scholarship ranging from 100 to 7,000 USD.
They also offer programs with various amounts of time abroad. Enroll in a half-year or full-year program. You may prefer a summer program or a course lasting only a few weeks.
They also offer intensive language courses in Ukrainian and Russian.
4. Study Abroad Scholarships in Ireland: Government of Ireland International Educational Scholarships
Where: Universities around Ireland.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: Excellent students wishing to enroll in postgraduate study.
How to apply: Simply fill out the application form online.
Study abroad in Ireland and you can even pick up some Irish Gaelic!
This is one of the best study abroad scholarships out there for people who want to study in Ireland. It offers up to 10,000 EUR (11,382 USD) per student.
You should apply to the scholarship once you know where and what you want to study in Ireland.
5. Study Abroad Scholarships Around Europe: Erasmus
Where: Various universities and countries in Europe
Course language: Many languages, including English.
Who can apply: Undergraduates and postgraduates from the EU who currently attend a university that’s been awarded the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.
How to apply: Contact the Erasmus office at your host institution.
The Erasmus scheme offers the possibility to spend three to 12 months at a different European institution.
You have to already be enrolled in a program at your original university, and your Erasmus host institution should also offer a similar program that fits with your original university’s standards. For example, you can’t just go to France for three months to study art when your major is medicine.
Check with your university to see if they’re partnered with Erasmus so you don’t miss your chance to study abroad! The scholarship amount varies, but students typically receive monthly stipends to help with their living expenses.
Study Abroad Scholarships in Asia
6. Study Abroad Scholarships in Japan: Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
Where: Multiple universities in Japan.
Course language: Japanese or English.
Who can apply: Undergraduates and postgraduates from various nationalities
How to apply: Fill out the application (which is quite lengthy) and provide references. You may also need to write a short essay if you’re applying for postgraduate study.
JASSO is both the most well-known study abroad scholarship for Japan and one of the most competitive. But you’ll definitely reap the rewards from this government-funded scholarship.
First, choose your university and program in Japan. Then apply for either a postgraduate or undergraduate scholarship with JASSO. You’ll receive funding for tuition and a monthly stipend for living expenses.
7. Study Abroad Scholarships in China: Confucius Institute Scholarship
Where: Various institutions in China.
Course language: Chinese or English.
Who can apply: Undergraduate or postgraduate students.
How to apply: The application process differs depending on the university.
China is a massive country with diverse landscapes and rich cultures waiting to be explored.
This study abroad scholarship is funded by the Chinese government and provides partial or full tuition for those wanting to study at a Chinese university.
There are numerous institutions you can apply to. Just be sure to select a relevant program!
8. Study Abroad Scholarships in South Korea: Global Korea Scholarship
Where: Various institutions in South Korea.
Course language: Korean or English.
Who can apply: You must be under age 25 to apply for undergraduate studies and under age 40 to apply for postgraduate studies.
How to apply: Simply fill in the application form and send required documents.
Hit it up in Gangnam or head to the peace and quiet of Jeju island!
This is a government scholarship offering full tuition, living expenses, monthly stipends and settlement abroad funding. What more could you ask for? It’s available for 170 people (undergraduate) and 700 people (postgraduate).
Study Abroad Scholarships in Oceana
9. Study abroad scholarships in Australia: Australia Government Scholarships
Where: Various universities in Australia.
Course language: English.
How to apply: The application process depends on the university and specific scholarship.
Australia is the perfect place to enjoy surfing, hiking and eating. But it’s not all fun and games with these serious study abroad programs!
The Australian government offers a range of scholarships for gifted international students. While highly competitive, these scholarships can provide full or partial tuition for your time in Australia.
If you’re already enrolled in an Australian university and have specific financial needs or are particularly gifted, you might not even need to fill out an application. You could automatically receive the scholarship as the government goes through your university application!
10. Study abroad scholarships in New Zealand: Generation Study Abroad Excellence and Travel Awards
Where: Major public universities in New Zealand.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: US citizens.
How to apply: Fill out the application form and provide the required documents.
There are three different scholarships available, each with different benefits and requirements. The scholarship amounts range from 500 to 2,000 USD.
You must be at least 18 years old and have a GPA of 3.0. You must be a student at an American school and have already chosen your New Zealand university to study abroad at before applying.
Study Abroad Scholarships in the Americas
11. Study abroad scholarships in the USA: American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship
Where: American University in Washington D.C.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: Non-US citizens who are still enrolled in high school.
How to apply: Submit the application form and attach all required documents. You’ll then undergo a Skype interview if you’re one of the semi-finalists.
This scholarship is only offered to one student, so it’s super competitive. It covers all billable payments, including university fees and accommodation.
12. Study abroad scholarships in the USA: Future Global Leaders Fellowship
Where: Various cities across the USA.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: First-generation, low-income students with a strong academic track record.
How to apply: Fill out the application and take part in the intensive 20-day leadership training process.
This is a unique three-year scholarship. There are 20 scholarships for people from countries all over the world who come from low-income backgrounds with little to no family history in higher education.
13. Study abroad scholarships in the USA: Obama Foundation Scholars Program
Where: The University of Chicago.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: Talented individuals with three to five years of work experience who want to earn their master’s degree.
How to apply: Submit the single application form.
This study abroad scholarship is open to future leaders who want to expand their horizons, accomplish great things and ultimately make the world a better place. Think you’ve got it in you?
You’ll receive a Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy.
14. Study abroad scholarships in Latin America: Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) College Study Abroad
Where: Various countries in Latin America.
Course languages: Spanish and English.
Who can apply: Students who demonstrate financial need.
How to apply: Select your study abroad program, create an account and fill in the required details.
Wanting to learn Spanish but already seen Barcelona? Head to Latin America for a more exotic experience.
CIEE offers a wide range of study abroad scholarships in Latin America, as well as all over the world. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need and vary accordingly, ranging from 1,000 to 6,500 USD. They also hold competitions for essays with big cash prizes and give options to complete internships or work abroad.
Study Abroad in Africa
15. Study Abroad Scholarships in Multiple Countries Around Africa: School for International Training (SIT)
Where: Locations all around Africa.
Course language: Various languages, including English.
Who can apply: Those currently undergoing undergraduate study.
How to apply: Submit required materials and pay the $50 application fee.
Experience the warmth and hospitality of the people of Africa—it’s like nowhere else!
The School for International Training (SIT) not only sends students abroad to Africa but all over the world.
SIT offers some of the most comprehensive study abroad scholarships in Africa, ranging from 500 to 5,000 USD.
16. Study Abroad Scholarships in Morocco: International Studies Abroad (ISA)
Where: Meknes, Morocco.
Course language: English.
Who can apply: The scholarship is open to those from various countries who meet the program GPA requirements.
How to apply: Pick your program and fill out the application form.
ISA has been supporting those wanting to study abroad for over 30 years.
They have a wide range of programs that all include tuition and administration fees, as well as round-the-clock support from the ISA staff and help with visa documents.
What are you waiting for? Start your new adventure now!
Keep your options open. Apply to multiple scholarships. Most importantly—don’t give up.
Zoe Stephens lives in Beijing, where she works in Chinese social media and as a freelance tour guide for North Korea. She began freelance writing when she moved to China over a year ago. Driven by her love for traveling and learning about new cultures, she’s tackling her fourth language: Chinese.
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