5 Types of Scholarships for International Students, Tips to Win Them

As an international student, scholarships are one of the most important resources available to help you finance your education. However, navigating the world of scholarships can be overwhelming, particularly when you are trying to adjust to a new country and educational system.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide to help you identify, apply for, and win scholarships that can help you achieve your academic goals.

Types of Scholarships for International Students

1. Merit-based Scholarships – These scholarships are based on academic merit. Schools and private organizations usually offer merit-based scholarships to students who have excelled in academics, sports or extracurricular activities.

2. Need-based Scholarships – These scholarships are awarded based on financial need, and the amount of the scholarship is usually determined by the student’s financial situation.

3. Ethnic and Cultural Scholarships – These scholarships are offered to students who belong to a particular ethnic or cultural group. Some organizations offer ethnic and cultural scholarships to promote diversity in the academic community.

4. Government Scholarships – Many governments offer scholarships to international students who wish to study abroad. The scholarship criteria ranges from academic merit to financial need.

5. Institutional Scholarships – Colleges and universities offer scholarships to international students who demonstrate academic excellence or financial need. The amount and eligibility criteria for these scholarships vary from school to school.

Places to find these Scholarship Opportunities

1. School Websites – Check your school’s websites for scholarship opportunities. Usually, scholarship information is available in the Financial Aid or Scholarship section of the website.

2. Scholarship Databases – Search for scholarships in scholarship databases such as International Education Financial Aid, Peterson’s, and Fastweb.

3. Country-specific Government Websites – Check country-specific government websites for scholarship opportunities. For instance, the British Council offers scholarship opportunities for international students who wish to study in the UK.

4. Student Organizations – Join student organizations specific to your course of study, and ask senior students or professors for scholarship information.

Things to Check Before Application

1. Eligibility – Ensure that you are eligible for the scholarship by carefully reviewing the scholarship guidelines.

2. Letter of Recommendation – Request for a letter of recommendation from a professor or employer. Choose a person who can highlight your strengths and qualifications.

3. Essays and Personal Statement – Your essays and personal statement should convey your goals, passion, and how you plan to utilize your education to make a difference. Use this opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

4. Submit a Complete Application – Submit a complete application that includes all the required documents before the deadline. Ensure that your application is error-free, legible and professional.

Tips for Winning a Scholarship

1. Start Early – Begin searching for scholarship opportunities as soon as possible, and apply early. This will increase your chances of receiving the scholarship.

2. Apply for Multiple Scholarships – Apply for as many scholarships as possible, even if their eligibility criteria is similar. This will increase your chances of receiving at least one scholarship.

3. Follow Instructions – Carefully follow the instructions provided by the scholarship committee. Make sure that you provide all the required documents and that your application meets the eligibility criteria.

4. Be Positive – Stay positive, even if you receive rejections. Keep applying and improving your application until you receive a scholarship.


Navigating the world of scholarships can be challenging, but with the right information, you can successfully apply and receive scholarships that will help you achieve your academic goals.

Remember to start early, apply for multiple scholarships, and follow instructions. Scholarships can help you reduce your financial burden and build your academic and professional portfolio. Good luck!

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