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Higher Education Scholarships for International Students

Scholarships for international studentsThe internationally mobile student population, holding non-resident visas with the intention of completing a degree abroad, has always been on the rise.

In 2017, there were over 5.3 million mobile students meandering the globe to obtain a foreign degree.
In 2000, there were about 2 million.

The charm lies in reasons ranging from academic resources to a global job outlook. The international exposure and global awareness are its pleasant side effects.

But, despite its many benefits, looking outside ones’ domicile for higher education abroad comes at a price.
And quite a hefty one at that. (How to study abroad for free?)

The chunk of international students, namely from China and India, come from developing or under-developed backgrounds.

Aside from merit and the want for education, many students fall short on the means to make it to a university abroad for higher education.

Steep tuition fees, living expenses that are quite heavy on their home currency, and restrictive work permits as a student make it quite impossible for many deserving scholars.

This is why scholarships, grants and fellowships form the backbone of quality education. (Read MBA scholarship statistics reveal prize money getting bigger in admissions game)

Financial reliefs that focus only on bringing in the meritorious and/or the underrepresented students to foreign institutes.

In return, they want little beyond their dedication to the program.

In this article, we will focus on what kind of scholarships are available to students globally, and what are the typical benefactors who provide such unique opportunities.

What are the types of scholarships?


Academic Scholarships

Academic excellence is proudly rewarded in these scholarships. They take into account the academic record and how exceptional the student has been in her track.

Most academic scholarships themselves are a badge of honor, famously making their recipients stand out in the crowd.

Sports/Athletic Scholarships

Academia is not the only talent that gets recognized in university circles. Athletic scholarships reward sport endeavours.

Quite a few expect its recipients to engage in university athletics, with it being the primary focus. But that is not a necessity.

Scholarships for women

Bringing education to women who are unable to access it either due to social, financial, or political issues is a primary objective of these scholarships.

They are served to female candidates to usually encourage their participation in predominantly male dominated fields of study. (Read MBA Scholarships for women)

Scholarships for minorities

Certain minorities, ethnic groups, or citizens of certain regions around the world can qualify for such scholarships.

They help to bring up the diversity profile of the colleges while also providing deserving candidates an opportunity to education. (Read MBA Scholarships for African students)

Who provides the scholarships?

Benefactors can either be private, such as corporations or private foundations, or public through the government of the host or domicile country.

Often, individual universities or departments provide them as well to help bring in intellectual talent amidst their student pool.

How does it work?

Universities, corporations, or the government, whoever is funding your education provides it both from an altruistic as well as a tax beneficial/business point.

At the individual student level though, what matters is how it works for them.

Scholarships can either fully fund your education, sometimes with a stipend for living expenses, or partially cover the tuition. In the latter case you will have to pay the remainder of the cost.

As far as how the money transactions occur, most scholarships are paid directly to the program. If the money is granted periodically, students have to maintain the academic or athletic requirement each term.

There are also those that are handed to the students on the outset to help them take care of travel expenses and such.

A lot, usually the ones associated with a certain cause, of scholarships generally expect students to return to their home countries and contribute to the agenda positively.

We have collected some of the well-known scholarships for graduate degree programs around the world.

Government Funded Scholarships

Scholarship Country of study Funding source Details
Fulbright Foreign Student Program USA Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies Graduate students and young professionals to conduct research in USA. Offered to 4,000 students from 160 countries
Humphrey Fellowship Program USA U.S. Congress through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State Non-degree programs for undergraduates with minimum 5 years of professional experience
DAAD Scholarships Germany German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Various research grants from short term to full doctoral programs as well as Master’s
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees European Union EU Students at Master’s level worldwide can apply for a fully funded joint Master’s in EU
Commonwealth Scholarships UK and Commonwealth countries UK Government Various including PhD and Master’s programs
Chevening Scholarship UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Government Chevening eligible countries such as India, China and others. Full funding for Master’s in UK
Eiffel Scholarships in France for International Students France French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Masters and PhD in Economics and Management, Engineering and Sciences, Law and Politics
Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong Aims at attracting the meritorious students to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong’s universities
Singapore International Graduate Award Singapore Singapore Government Full PhD support for Progams in Science and Engineering


Private and University Scholarships

Scholarship Country of study Funding source Details
Fully-Funded Rotary Peace Fellowships USA Rotary Foundation Master’s degree in peace and development programs. Candidates need minimum 3 years of work experience
Obama Foundation Scholars Program USA Obama Foundation in collaboration with University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Master of Arts degree in International Development and Policy. Candidates need 3-5 years work exp with community service
Dartmouth College International Student Scholarship USA Dartmouth College Full funding with travel allowances available to international students pursuing graduate programs at Dartmouth
NYU Wagner Merit Scholarships USA New York University plus others For select meritorious students for graduate studies
Utrecht Excellence Scholarships for International Students Netherlands Utrecht University Masters candidates outside EU. Full funding plus living expenses based on student academic excellence
Science@Leuven Scholarships for International Students Belgium K.U. Leuven Faculty of Science Applicants for a Masters degree in Science in select programs. Covers tuition for 1 year.
ADB–Japan Scholarship Program (ADB–JSP) 10 Countries including India, China, Japan, USA, and more Asian Development Bank Enrols 300 students with scholarship across 10 countries. Graduates should contribute to development in their home countries.
Graduate Global Leadership Fellowship Canada The University of British Columbia Enable promising leaders from developing countries to pursue doctoral studies at UBC
University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships Canada University of Manitoba Offered to full-time graduate students with academic excellence
Clarendon Fund Scholarships at University of Oxford UK Oxford University Full funding for full or part time international students for Master’s or DPhil at Oxford


Scholarships for women and minorities

Scholarship Country of study Funding source Details
AAUW International Fellowships USA American Association of University Women Masters, Doctoral, and Postdoctoral fellowship for non-US women candidates
FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship Any Country FINCAD The FINCAD Women in Finance Scholarship is an award of US$20,000 to support graduate-level studies.
INSEAD MBA’75 Nelson Mandela Endowed Scholarship France/Singapore INSEAD Alumni Candidates should be from a sub-Saharan African country and should have spent a major portion of their life in Africa
LAWA African Fellowship Program USA Georgetown University Training for human rights lawyers from Africa who are committed to improve the status of women’s rights in their country

There is indeed a massive collection of scholarships available to the need based, talented, underrepresented, and/or merit based applicant looking to obtain higher education around the world.

It is impossible to list out all of them in one article. With these, however, we hope to highlight the varieties of scholarships and ignite your curiosity to explore options suitable to you. See how they fit into your current and future plans.
Good luck on your higher education journey, at home or abroad.

If you need professional help with your applications, drop us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.
Here are some articles that may pique your interest.
Guide to MBA Scholarships
List of MBA Scholarships for Indian Students
How to ask the college for more scholarship?
GMAT scholarships for Indian students abroad

And more articles were students have shared their application experiences leading up to an academic scholarship.

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7 thoughts on “Higher Education Scholarships for International Students”

  1. Sir, I have been offered the master degree engineering in yacht design in Politechnico di Milano university in Italy 2020 – 2021 and paid the full fees of Euro 13000. Classes will start from 3.2.2020. I require scholarship / funding for 1 year stay expenses there in Italy. May I get your advice / help in this regard. Please let me know. Thanks.

    • Is it possible to find out if some university can fund my travel living and educational expences.
      I have a degree of M.Tech electronics and communications and PGDM 2 Years Masters In
      International Trade I am 27 years.Preasently since 02 years plus working as Markett Research Annalyst.

  2. I’m very interesting to study over in your school if you can give me scholarship
    In school of management Science.
    Course of Tourism and hotel management.
    I’m in Juba ,south Sudan.

  3. I would wish to help mi with academic scholarship,while doing a degree of mass communication,l am from Uganda East Africa.

    Thank you.


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