Pursuing your education abroad can be an incredibly enriching experience. However, the costs associated with studying internationally can be quite high. Fortunately, there are numerous easy scholarships to apply available specifically for international students looking to study in the USA, Canada, or Australia. With some research and planning, you can uncover great scholarship opportunities to help fund your education.
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Financing your education is one of the most important parts of studying abroad. Between tuition, housing, books, transportation, and other expenses, costs can really add up. This is especially true for international students who do not qualify for federal or state financial aid in the country where they are studying.
Scholarships are an excellent way to supplement your education funds without having to take out additional loans. There are many scholarships geared specifically towards international students, offered by government agencies, individual universities, nonprofit organizations, and private corporations.
It does take effort to find and apply for scholarships, but with some dedicated time and research it is possible to uncover great opportunities. This guide will walk you through the process of finding easy scholarships to apply for at universities in the USA, Canada, and Australia as an international student.
Researching Scholarship Opportunities
The best place to start your scholarship search is by thoroughly researching the options available. Here are some top resources to focus your efforts:
Check University Scholarships
Individual universities will often offer merit-based and need-based scholarships specifically for international applicants and students. Thoroughly check the website and materials of any universities you are interested in applying to in order to learn about university-sponsored scholarship options.
Some common university scholarships include:
- Merit scholarships – Based on academic achievements, test scores, extracurriculars, and leadership experience. Often renewable each year.
- Need-based grants – Awarded based on financial need. Requires submitting detailed financial documentation.
- Athletic scholarships – Offered to recruited athletes; amounts vary by sport and athletic ability.
- Departmental scholarships – Awarded by specific majors or programs within the university.
Use Scholarship Search Platforms
There are a number of great scholarship search engines you can use to explore thousands of scholarship opportunities for international students in one place:
These platforms allow you to search by country, subject, scholarship type, eligibility criteria and more. Creating a profile allows you to apply for scholarships directly through the platforms.
Check External Scholarships
Beyond university and country-specific scholarship platforms, there are many external scholarships offered by:
- Home country government agencies – Check if your home country offers scholarships for studying abroad.
- Nonprofit and NGOs – Organizations like Rotary Clubs and religious institutions often provide international education scholarships.
- Private foundations – Groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offer international study grants.
- Employers/ Corporations – Some companies offer scholarships for employees and their children to study internationally.
Thoroughly researching all of these potential scholarship sources takes time, but maximizes your chances of finding opportunities to apply for.
Tips for Applying
Once you’ve researched scholarship options, focus your efforts on applying to those you are eligible for.
Here are some tips for crafting successful applications:
- Carefully review requirements – Pay attention to deadlines, eligibility rules, requested application materials, and preferences.
- Follow instructions – Closely follow all instructions for essay requirements, requesting letters of recommendation, providing transcripts, etc.
- Put time into essays – For scholarships requiring essays, be thoughtful and take time to write engaging, well-crafted responses.
- Request recommendations early – Give your references plenty of advance notice to write letters of recommendation. Provide them with background on the scholarship.
- Triple check applications – Proofread everything and have others review your applications as well. Small errors could disqualify you.
- Maintain organized records – Keep copies of all application materials in case anything gets lost. Meet deadlines.
- Follow up if needed – Don’t hesitate to contact the scholarship provider if you have any questions during the application process.
With attention to detail and a commitment to submit well-prepared applications, you can maximize your chances of being selected for scholarships as an international student.
Top Scholarships for International Students
To give you an idea of some great scholarship options, here are several examples of easier international student scholarships to consider applying for:
|American Association of University Women||Offers scholarships and fellowships from $5,000-$35,000 for women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the USA who demonstrate academic achievement and potential.|
|Global Study Awards||ISIC and British Council offer $10,000 scholarships for students from select countries pursuing full-time undergraduate or graduate study in the USA and UK.|
|United Negro College Fund||Provides need- and merit-based scholarships as well as internship/fellowship opportunities for students of African descent admitted to one of their 37 member HBCUs. Award amounts vary.|
|P.E.O International Scholarship||Provides grants from $10,000-$20,000 for women from select countries pursuing full-time graduate study in the USA or Canada. Must have US endorsement.|
|Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships||Prestigious scholarship program offering $50,000 per year for 3 years for international PhD students at Canadian universities.|
|Lester B. Pearson International Scholarships||Full international student scholarships offered at the University of Toronto, covering tuition, fees, residence, and other expenses.|
|University of British Columbia International Leader of Tomorrow Award||Merit-based scholarships offered to international undergraduate students covering up to full tuition for all years at UBC.|
|Caribbean Leaders Scholarship||Covers tuition costs for students from the Caribbean and Central America pursuing graduate studies at Canadian universities in specific programs.|
|Australia Awards Scholarships||Fully covers tuition, airfare, and living expenses for students from select countries pursuing full-time undergraduate or graduate study at Australian universities.|
|University of Sydney International Scholarship||Prestigious scholarship for high-achieving international students that covers full tuition fees and living allowance for duration of degree.|
|University of Melbourne Graduate Research Scholarship||Covers tuition fees and living stipend for duration of graduate research degree at University of Melbourne.|
|Griffith University International Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships||Merit-based scholarships covering 30-50% of tuition fees for duration of undergraduate degree at Griffith University.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find scholarships I am eligible for?
- Use international student scholarship search platforms to filter by your country of origin, desired country and degree level of study, field, and other criteria.
- Check individual university websites for scholarships open to international applicants.
- Look for external scholarships focused on area of study, ethnic background, religion, field of employment, hobbies/interests, etc.
What materials do I need to apply for scholarships?
Common application materials include:
- Completed online application forms
- Essays (personal statements, short answer responses)
- Transcripts and test scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Portfolios and examples of your work
- Proof of acceptance/enrollment in degree program
When should I start applying for scholarships?
Start searching for scholarships at least 12 months prior to your planned start of study. Many popular scholarships have early deadlines. Begin preparing your application materials several months in advance.
How can I make my scholarship application stand out?
Put time into your application materials – ensure essays are thoughtful, proofread everything carefully, and provide strong letters of recommendation. Follow up with providers to confirm your application was received. Highlight key achievements and demonstrate your passion.
If I am awarded a scholarship, what are my obligations?
Make sure you are aware of any conditions you must fulfill as a scholarship recipient, such as maintaining a certain GPA, working in an internship, or writing progress reports. You want to avoid risking your scholarship being revoked.
Pursuing your education internationally is an amazing opportunity, and scholarships help make it accessible by reducing financial barriers. With dedication and planning, you can uncover terrific scholarship options for studying in the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond. Focus your search, put together polished applications, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t win every time – persistence is key. Wishing you the best of luck in securing scholarships to fund your international academic journey!
Table of Top Scholarship Tips
|Scholarship Application Tips|
|Start searching for relevant scholarships well in advance of your planned study (12+ months)|
|Thoroughly research scholarship options from universities, government, nonprofits, foundations, corporations, etc.|
|Use international scholarship search platforms to find opportunities|
|Carefully review eligibility requirements for each scholarship|
|Follow all application instructions closely|
|Put time and effort into writing any required essays|
|Request letters of recommendation early so writers have enough time|
|Triple check your full application before submitting|
|Keep organized records of all components of your applications|
|Follow up with providers if you have any questions|
|Don’t get discouraged if you don’t win every scholarship – persistence is key!|