From Australia to the UK, there are a number of great funding opportunities available to international students all over the world.
We find the most prestigious scholarships for international students and tell you everything you need to know in order to apply…
1. Fulbright Foreign Student Programme, US
If you’re looking to study in the US, few scholarships are more sought after than the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme. Available to international graduates and young professionals, the scheme has ties with over 155 countries worldwide and awards full funding for the duration of your studies – including tuition, airfare, textbooks, health insurance and a living allowance.
The programme is designed to support postgraduate international students in the US, and to help them have cultural and educational opportunities during and beyond this first year. The prestige of the scholarship also helps with future prospects, as the competitive nature of the application process means only the very best students become Fulbrighters.
How to apply: Head to the official website and you’ll be asked to select your country from a long list of options. You’re asked to do this because the available grants and application procedures differ depending on your location. You may, for example, have to submit a personal statement, list of your previous grades or an English language test. Although it’s a popular scheme, rest assured that there are plenty of places on offer (around 4,000 students receive scholarships every year).
2. Rotary Peace Fellowship (various countries)
The Rotary Peace Fellowship is aimed at international graduates who want to undertake a master’s degree in fields related to peace and conflict prevention and resolution. The scholarship covers costs like tuition fees, accommodation and travel costs. Several universities across the world participate in the scheme. These are:
- Duke University, USA
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
- International Christian University, Japan
- University of Bradford, England
- University of Queensland, Australia
- Uppsala University, Sweden
How to apply: Apply via the official website. The process includes submitting your CV, a personal statement, transcripts, recommendations and test scores. In terms of the criteria, you need to have a bachelor’s degree with three years’ relevant work experience (either paid or unpaid) under their belt. You also need to display evidence of your leadership skills, while proficiency in a second language is desirable.
3. Chevening Scholarships, UK
The Chevening Scholarships scheme is run by the UK government and regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious. Granted to students with outstanding credentials and leadership potential, the scholarship is typically for a one-year master’s degree and covers tuition fees, a living allowance, a return airfare to the UK and any other essential costs.
Around 700 scholarships are given to students from about 110 countries every year, but the number of scholarships varies depending on the country. India and China are key countries for the Award, with over 30 scholarships for these two countries alone.
How to apply: Go to the official website and follow the application process. There’s an extensive list of criteria you need to meet; applicants need to have an undergraduate degree, at least two years’ work experience in their chosen field and possess a strong grasp of the English language. What’s more, students are expected to return to their own country for a minimum of two years afterwards. There are around 1,500 Chevening Scholarships awarded each year, spanning 144 eligible countries.
4. Rhodes Scholarships, UK
One of the oldest scholarships in the world (as well as one of the best), the Rhodes Scholarships scheme gives international students the chance to study a postgraduate degree at the world-renowned University of Oxford. It is available to students from the following countries: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica & the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The scheme covers all tuition fees, along with a living allowance and economy class return airfare.
How to apply: Each country has its own application page on the official website. In terms of the criteria, selection is based on academic performance, extracurricular achievements, and evidence of leadership and humanitarian qualities. Just 95 scholarships are awarded each year, so it’s fair to say that competition for places is fierce.
5. Endeavour Postgraduate Awards, Australia
One of Australia’s most prominent scholarships, the Endeavour Postgraduate Awards are aimed at international students from the Americas, Europe, the Caribbean, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific to undertake a master’s or PhD degree in any field at one of the country’s universities. It provides full financial assistance, including tuition fees, a travel allowance, monthly living allowance, health insurance and travel insurance (up to $272,500 for tuition, $3000 per month for living costs and up to $7000 for initial travel and relocating costs).
How to apply: You apply via the official website. It’s worth mentioning that as part of the application process, you’ll need to submit a formal admission letter from your Australian university of choice. There’s no specified number of scholarships awarded each year, but 4,306 have been granted to international students since 2007.
6. Australian Awards Scholarships, Australia
Another highly coveted Australian scholarship, the Australian Awards are for international students seeking either full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study. Typically, the scholarship covers full tuition fees, return air travel costs, contribution to living expenses and health insurance.
How to apply: Check out the official website. Criteria-wise, you need to be from Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (see here for the list of participating countries). You should also know that after finishing your course, you’re required to return to your home country.
7. Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme, France
The most noteworthy scholarship in France is the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship scheme, which aims to attract outstanding international students to study a master’s or PhD degree at one of the participating universities. Unlike the others on this list, the scheme does not cover tuition fees. Instead, it provides recipients with a monthly allowance (€1,181 for master’s students and €1,400 for PhD students) and covers various other costs, including travel expenses and health insurance.
How to apply: You apply via the Campus France website. Keep in mind that it’s only available in the following main fields of study: engineering science/science; economics and management; and law and political sciences.
8. Swiss Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Students, Switzerland
Run by the Swiss government, the Swiss Excellence Scholarships are available to international students from over 180 countries, so that they can pursue a postgraduate degree in any field at a university in Switzerland. The scheme covers tuition fees, health insurance, airfares and a monthly living allowance.
How to apply: Select your country’s page on the official application website. It’s worth pointing out that the types of scholarship differ depending on the country you’re in, as do the eligibility criteria and application process.
9. DAAD Scholarships, Germany
The most esteemed scholarship programme in Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarships are available across an extensive number of graduate and postgraduate courses. The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel and health costs, and a monthly living allowance – though this varies between each of the scholarships offered.
How to apply: Visit the DAAD database to see the full range of scholarships available. You can also filter by your country of origin, chosen subject and level of study to find the most suitable option for you. The criteria and application process largely depends on the scholarship you’re applying to. Given the breadth of scholarships on offer, you stand a good chance of securing one; in fact, there have been over 50,000 awarded to date.
10. Great Wall Programme, China
One of the leading scholarships in China, the Great Wall Programme gives international students from developing countries the chance to study in China for one year at any degree level. It covers tuition fees, accommodation, a monthly living allowance, health insurance and international travel costs.
How to apply: You have to apply to the National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in your home country.
Other amazing scholarships to consider…
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships (UK)
- Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (various countries)
- Clarendon Scholarships at University of Oxford (UK)
- Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships (Germany)
- Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Programme (USA)
- Trudeau Scholarships (Canada)