When it comes to leaving your home, family, and friends you’ve known for ages to study abroad, there is hardly any student that has second thoughts about whether it is a good idea. The answer is always a strong and definite “yes”.
Living in a foreign country as an international student is, perhaps, the most enjoyable and impactful period a person can have in life. One of them, at least. You don’t kill two birds with one stone – but lots of them – learning a new language, building international connections, having local travels while getting a school certificate, and immersing in a new culture. In college, you have as few commitments as you might never ever have in life again, and it’s the perfect time to dare and make the most of it.
But a really small percent really does that, in fact. Unfortunately, the very first reason why students don’t study abroad is financial. Which leads us to the next point.
Study abroad programs and scholarships are the most underestimated and underrated options that are kept under wraps. There is a perception that only the best and brightest can win this chance and if you are not one of them, you shouldn’t even have a bash at it. But truth be told, educational scholarships for studying abroad are extremely underused, and anyone can get funded if they know what they are doing.
So if you are one of those who has no idea how to win that long-awaited scholarship to afford an educational trip, you could really use the following tips.
Check What Scholarships Your Home University Offers
This is the easiest and the most obvious way to get a study abroad scholarship. Most likely, your college or university has its own department that arranges educational trips for students. Don’t underestimate this option simply because you think that students are many and funds are not enough for everyone. Most definitely, there you will find plenty of information about the college partners abroad, the most affordable schools and programs there, as well as check the options you can choose from for your own travel.
In your place, we would start our get-a-scholarship quest from there. So, if you haven’t contacted the study abroad department official yet, it’s high time to get your skates on and pay them a visit.
Check The Scholarships of Your Dream University Abroad
When it comes to winning a one-in-gazillion chance to study abroad, being humble and shy is useless and won’t bring you the desired effect. If there is a particular university or program you want to apply to, don’t hesitate to do it.
Even if you can’t find a program you might have enrolled in the university of your dream, it’s not the excuse to give up. Write them a message on the e-mail, contact their office on the media, or ask for a skype conversation – whatever helps you to get noticed and prove that you are worthy to have a study abroad scholarship from their school.
Apply to as Many Programs and Grants as Possible to Increase Your Chances
If you think that there is some good luck deciding whether you get the scholarship or not, we have bad news. While surely there is some percent of luck, it’s not the only thing you should count on when searching for funds for your education trip.
Apply to as many scholarship programs and grants as you may think of. Statistically, there is about a 4 % chance of winning money for your education. It means that of a hundred attempts, only 4 will be successful.
It will definitely cost you a lot of time and effort, but don’t even think of it as wasted or unworthy. Every application sent is a chance to polish and brush up your writing skills, reconnect with your teachers and professors for recommendation letters, and learn to present yourself in a better light.
What you can do though, before you start applying to anywhere where your eyes fall, is to weigh all the pros and cons of every scholarship. While you definitely need every dollar you can get, you don’t want to dissipate your energy. Consider all the nitty-gritty details of every choice. Is it relevant for your major or future career? How long does the scholarship lasts? Is it renewable? How difficult is the application process? How huge is the competition? Whatever that can help you make the best decision.
Going after a scholarship through a long and tedious application process where you will be competing with millions of other students and have zero chances to win may be a complete waste of your resources. And it may be worthy to stick to it only if it’s your dream.
Make Sure You Have a Perfect Essay
Students are not usually fond of writing, nor is it their forte. But in practice, most of the scholarship programs have an essay requirement where you actually have to persuade the board that you among everyone else deserve this opportunity. And if your essay is not polished enough in terms of grammar, spelling, or formatting, consider it gone. You might be the best candidate for this place but no one will care if you haven’t delivered the message properly. You either convey your story efficiently or there is no point in even trying.
With that said, it’s always good to have someone who can take a fresh look at your work and show you the weak points of your paper. The chances that after hours of writing you’ve missed a few typos or used a wrong word are really high. So, make sure you have your application checked by a friend, a family member, or a credible scholarship essay writing service before you submit it.
And last but not least, don’t put this process for later. Start well ahead to avoid sleepless nights and have enough time to write a strong essay and increase your chances of winning