StudyLink logo
Students on a university campus

Top 10 Tips on Getting that Scholarship

Man surrounded by bank notes

Many of you will rely on some financial support to pay for your international education. For some, a scholarship could mean the difference between studying… and not studying. For others, it just helps with the cost of living, and also provides a bit extra to enjoy student life.
There are many scholarships available, and not all of them require you to prove you’re the most academically gifted person on earth. But they are incredibly competitive. So how do you make sure you get the scholarship or bursary you deserve?

1. You usually can’t apply for a scholarship until you have been accepted into the course

This may seem like it’s the wrong way around, but you do need to know you can pay your tuition fees and travel expenses without a scholarship. That way, if you do win a grant, you can pay back your local bank loan or have a bit of extra spending money.

2. It’s not going to cover everything

Repeat after me… you can’t study for free. If you’re lucky enough to get a rare full scholarship, you’ll still have to find money for your travel, food, books, health insurance, phone calls and fun.

3. Look beyond your university

You can find a complete list of scholarships on many websites, including those awarded by private foundations (such as a Fulbright Scholarship), or government bodies in the host country (such as the British Council) or your own country (such as the Department of Education). Check carefully to see if you’re eligible – many have nationality, course or age restrictions.

4. Every little bit helps

Even if it’s just a small grant towards the cost of your books, it’s worth taking the time to apply. It’s one less thing to worry about when you get there!

5. Apply for as many as you can

Yes, it takes time. But it’s free money! So make a list of all the scholarships you are eligible for. Double-check you have all the right documents to prove your case, and get someone read over your supporting essay or letter. It’s always good to get another point of view.

SEE ALSO: How to apply for study abroad scholarships

6. Be confident

If the application requires a letter or essay explaining why you deserve the scholarship, don’t be shy. List all your relevant achievements – not just academic results but also community work, career experience and awards.

7. Avoid scholarship scams

There is no such thing as a ‘guaranteed scholarship’. You should never have to pay an application fee for a scholarship. Unfortunately, some dodgy scholarship companies will just take your money and disappear.

8. Allow plenty of time

You need to think about your finances at least 18 months before you hope to start your course. But once you have been accepted onto the course, you may only have a short window of time where you can apply for a course-specific scholarship. So don’t miss your deadline; keep in touch with your StudyLink counsellor and with the University’s international office.

9. Keep a record of all the documents

You need proof of funds to get your visa sorted, and that includes the scholarship offer or agreement.

10. Have a back up plan

Don’t despair if all those applications come to nothing. There are other ways to finance your education. Student loans, help from your friends and family, and company sponsorships are worth looking into as well.

Related topics

Search for courses now

International study advice

Read our key advice article to help you make the best decision for your education and start your International study adventure.

Person holding a compass
How to choose the ideal study destination for you

In this article we look at how to approach choosing where in the world you would like to study.

World map on a blackboard
Deciding to study abroad: The first steps

Read StudyLink's suggestions on your first steps when deciding where to study abroad, with helpful tips to make your decision easier.

Students reading a book
English Language Testing for International Students

Find out more about English language tests, your options and what is required as an overseas student.

Lady holding bank notes
How much does it really cost to study abroad in 2024?

StudyLink.com take a detailed look into the costs of studying abroad and all the aspects that you should budget for when embarking on your studies.

A visa document
10 Common Student Visa Question

We answer 10 common questions about applying for a student visa to help make your visa application quick and easy.

A visa document and a world map
International Study Visas

Find out more about international student visas for studying abroad, as well as how, where and when to apply for yours.

A piggy bank with coins
Funding and Scholarships for International Students

Find out more about funding and scholarships for international students, and what financial assistance might be available to you.

Person selecting a book from a shelf
How to choose the right course for you

How to choose a course that fits you? Check our top tips on choosing which course is best for you to help you make an informed decision.

See more international study advice

Sign up to StudyLink.com

Sign up to StudyLink.com, the home of quality study abroad advice.

Sign up now
Students with books and test tubes