How to get scholarship to study abroad: Explanation

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Studying abroad can be an enriching experience, and scholarships can make it significantly more accessible. Here’s how you can explore scholarship options for studying abroad from India:

Government Scholarships:

  • Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College and University Students: This scheme offers scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various disciplines at recognized universities abroad.
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP): This UK-funded program offers scholarships for Master’s and PhD studies in various fields at universities across the Commonwealth.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR): ICCR offers scholarships for various undergraduate and postgraduate programs at universities in different countries.

Tips for Finding Scholarships:

  • Start your search early: The application deadlines for scholarships can vary, so it’s important to start your research early.
  • Meet the eligibility criteria: Carefully read the eligibility criteria for each scholarship you are interested in to ensure you meet all the requirements.
  • Highlight your achievements: When applying for scholarships, be sure to highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and any relevant work experience.
  • Write a strong personal statement: Your personal statement is an opportunity to tell your story and explain why you deserve the scholarship. Be sure to write a compelling and well-structured statement.
  • Seek guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your teachers, counselors, or scholarship advisors. They can help you navigate the scholarship application process and find scholarships that are a good fit for you.
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Understanding Scholarships

Here’s a breakdown of different aspects of scholarships:

Types of Scholarships:

  • Funding Scope:
    • Full-ride: Covers all expenses (tuition, accommodation, living costs).
    • Tuition: Covers only tuition fees.
    • Partial: Covers a portion of expenses.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Academic: Based on academic performance (grades, standardized tests).
    • Financial: Based on financial need (income, family background).
    • Field of Study: Focused on specific academic disciplines (STEM, arts, etc.).
    • Other: Based on ethnicity, gender, extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Funding Source:
    • Government: Provided by ministries, departments, or national agencies.
    • University: Offered by specific universities or programs.
    • Private Organizations: Granted by foundations, charities, or corporations.

Benefits of Understanding Scholarship Types:

  • Target the right scholarships: Match your needs and achievements to specific funding options.
  • Maximize funding potential: Choose scholarships that best cover your expenses.
  • Strengthen your application: Tailor your application to fit the criteria of each scholarship.

Next Steps:

  • Explore specific scholarship categories (government, university, etc.) in more detail.
  • Identify scholarships aligning with your academic field, financial need, and unique strengths.
  • Utilize online databases and resources to discover relevant opportunities.

Finding Scholarships

Finding Scholarships to Study Abroad from India: A Treasure Hunt Guide

Discovering the perfect scholarship can feel like unearthing hidden treasure, so here’s your map to navigate the vast landscape:

Government Portals:

  • MHRD Scholarship Portal: Official government platform listing various scholarships for Indian students studying abroad.
  • ICCR: Indian Council for Cultural Relations offers scholarships for diverse programs and countries.

University Websites:

  • International Office: Explore dedicated pages for international students showcasing scholarship opportunities specific to their programs.
  • Program Websites: Check individual program pages for scholarships exclusively available to enrolled students.

Scholarship Databases:

  • A global database with numerous options, including country-specific and field-specific filters.
  • Fastweb: Another comprehensive database with advanced search features like deadline alerts and application tips.

Private Foundations and Organizations:

  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation: Offers prestigious scholarships for various fields across North America and Europe.
  • Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship Program: Provides funding for Indian students pursuing Master’s and PhD studies in the US.
  • Research foundations and corporate scholarships: Explore options related to your specific field of study.

Educational Consultants & Advisors:

  • Seek professional guidance from experienced consultants who can personalize your search and application process.

Pro Tip: Don’t limit yourself to one source! Cast a wide net across various platforms to uncover hidden gems.

Further Exploration:

  • Filter by your needs: Focus on scholarships aligned with your field, funding requirement, and academic profile.
  • Set deadlines: Stay organized and avoid last-minute scrambles.
  • Read instructions carefully: Ensure you meet all eligibility criteria and application requirements.
  • Utilize search keywords: Employ relevant keywords like “study abroad,” “India,” and your field of study.
  • Network with peers and mentors: Seek recommendations and insights from fellow students and advisors.

Remember, finding the right scholarship takes time and effort. Be persistent, proactive, and utilize the resources available to you. Your dedication will pave the way for your study abroad dream!

Strengthening Your Application

Transforming your application from potential to remarkable requires strategic preparation. Here’s how:

Academic Excellence:

  • Showcase stellar grades: Maintain a strong academic record, highlighting high GPAs and relevant coursework.
  • Standardize your scores: Aim for impressive scores on standardized tests like GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL (if required).
  • Research achievements: Include awards, competitions, or academic publications demonstrating your intellectual depth.

Beyond Classrooms:

  • Leadership potential: Highlight leadership roles in clubs, committees, or projects, showcasing your ability to inspire and collaborate.
  • Volunteer impact: Demonstrate your commitment to community service through impactful volunteer experiences.
  • Skills and hobbies: Share unique skills, artistic talents, or athletic pursuits that add dimension to your application.

Relevant Work Experience:

  • Internships and research: Emphasize work experiences related to your field of study, showcasing transferable skills and initiative.
  • Professional achievements: Share noteworthy accomplishments or contributions from previous work experiences.
  • Research projects: Participate in research projects to demonstrate your academic curiosity and research skills.

Compelling Storytelling:

  • Personal statement: Craft a captivating story that reveals your academic passion, life goals, and how the scholarship aligns with your vision.
  • Letters of recommendation: Request references from professors, mentors, or employers who can vouch for your skills and potential.
  • Proofread and edit: Ensure clear, concise writing with a strong structure and error-free language.

Financial Transparency (For Need-based Scholarships):

  • Gather documents: Prepare official documents like income statements, tax returns, or proof of financial difficulty.
  • Explain your situation: Briefly explain your financial limitations and how the scholarship would make studying abroad possible.
  • Be honest and transparent: Provide accurate information and documentation to demonstrate genuine need.


  • Tailor your application: Match your achievements and experiences to the specific criteria of each scholarship you apply for.
  • Quantify your impact: Use numbers and statistics to quantify the results of your achievements and contributions.
  • Stay authentic: Be genuine and let your personality shine through your application materials.

Application Process

Conquering the application process requires organization, attention to detail, and proactive action. Here’s your map to chart a smooth course:

Meeting Deadlines:

  • Stay organized: Track application deadlines for each scholarship and set reminders to avoid last-minute stress.
  • Plan ahead: Start gathering materials well in advance to ensure you have everything ready by the deadline.
  • Be realistic: Don’t apply to too many scholarships at once. Focus on those that best match your profile and have achievable deadlines.

Gathering Materials:

  • Transcripts: Request official transcripts from your university well in advance to avoid delays.
  • CV/Resume: Tailor your CV or resume to highlight relevant academic achievements, work experience, and skills for each scholarship.
  • Essays: Proofread and edit your personal statement meticulously, ensuring it meets the specified word count and criteria.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Request strong letters of recommendation from professors, mentors, or employers who know your work well.
  • Other Documents: Prepare any additional documents required by specific scholarships, like proof of financial need or language proficiency scores.

Tailoring Applications:

  • Read instructions carefully: Pay close attention to application instructions and eligibility criteria to avoid disqualifications.
  • Highlight relevant achievements: Match your experiences and skills to the specific focus of each scholarship.
  • Demonstrate passion and fit: Explain how the scholarship program aligns with your academic goals and career aspirations.
  • Proofread and edit: Double-check all application materials for errors and typos before submitting.

Following Instructions:

  • Submit accurately: Use the required format and platform for each application (online portals, email, postal mail).
  • Complete all sections: Ensure you haven’t missed any required sections or documents.
  • Keep track of submissions: Maintain a record of submitted applications with deadlines and confirmation numbers.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Missing deadlines: Be mindful of application deadlines and avoid last-minute submissions.
  • Incomplete applications: Ensure all required documents and information are included.
  • Generic essays: Craft personalized statements tailored to each scholarship program.
  • Typos and errors: Proofread applications thoroughly before submitting.
  • Not following instructions: Pay close attention to specific requirements and formats.

Additional Resources

Finding the perfect scholarship can feel like unearthing a hidden oasis, and sometimes you need a trusty map and compass to navigate the vast desert of opportunities. Here are some additional resources to equip you for your journey:

Career Counseling Services:

  • Seek professional guidance from experienced counselors who can help you identify scholarships aligned with your academic goals and career aspirations.
  • They can offer personalized advice on application strategies, essay writing, and interview preparation.

Educational Fairs & Workshops:

  • Attend educational fairs and workshops organized by universities, government agencies, or scholarship providers.
  • These events offer valuable opportunities to interact with representatives, learn about scholarship programs, and network with peers and mentors.

Online Communities & Forums:

  • Connect with fellow scholarship seekers and experienced advisors through online communities and forums.
  • Share experiences, ask questions, and gain valuable insights from others who have successfully navigated the application process.

Specific Platforms & Tools:

  • Utilize online platforms like MyGov Scholarship Portal, ICCR Scholarship Platform, or ScholarshipOwl to browse and apply for scholarships specifically for Indian students.
  • Explore apps like Scholly or GrantMe that match your profile with relevant scholarship opportunities and track your application progress.

Subscription Services:

  • Consider subscribing to scholarship search services like College Board or Cappex that offer comprehensive databases and personalized notifications for relevant scholarships.


  • Network actively: Don’t hesitate to reach out to professors, alumni, or professionals in your field for advice and recommendations.
  • Stay informed: Subscribe to newsletters and updates from scholarship providers and educational institutions to stay updated on new opportunities.
  • Utilize social media: Follow relevant hashtags and groups on social media to discover scholarship announcements and connect with other scholarship seekers.

Common Scholarship Interview Questions

Scholarship interviews can be nerve-wracking, but preparation is key! Here are some common interview questions you might encounter, along with tips on how to answer them effectively:

General Questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
    • Focus on your academic achievements, relevant experiences, and future goals. Briefly highlight your personality and strengths.
  • Why did you choose this scholarship?
    • Demonstrate your research and genuine interest in the scholarship program. Explain how it aligns with your academic and career aspirations.
  • What are your academic goals?
    • Clearly articulate your short-term and long-term academic goals. Share your passion for your field of study and future plans.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    • Be honest and self-aware. Choose 1-2 weaknesses you’re actively working on, and pair them with relevant strengths to showcase your ability to improve.
  • Tell me about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.
    • Choose a situation that demonstrates your resilience, problem-solving skills, and ability to learn from experience.

Questions about Your Background:

  • What activities or experiences have shaped your personal development?
    • Discuss volunteer work, extracurricular activities, or personal endeavors that showcase your leadership, teamwork, or other valuable skills.
  • What motivates you?
    • Explain what drives your passion for your chosen field of study or your pursuit of higher education.

Scholarship-Specific Questions:

  • How would you use this scholarship to make a difference?
    • Explain how the scholarship would not only benefit your studies but also contribute to your future goals and aspirations.
  • What are your plans for after graduation?
    • Briefly share your vision for your career path and how the scholarship helps you achieve it.

Tips for Answering:

  • Practice your answers: Prepare in advance but maintain a natural conversation flow.
  • Be confident and positive: Show enthusiasm for your goals and highlight your achievements.
  • Focus on your unique qualities: Distinguish yourself from other applicants by showcasing your specific skills and experiences.
  • Quantify your achievements: Use numbers and statistics to demonstrate the impact of your work or contributions.
  • Ask thoughtful questions: Show your interest in the scholarship program and your engagement in the conversation.
  • Dress professionally and arrive on time: Make a good first impression with appropriate attire and punctuality.

List of Popular Scholarships for Indian Students

Here’s a list of some popular scholarships for Indian students, categorized by scope and target audience:

Government Scholarships:

  • Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College and University Students: Offers scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various disciplines at recognized universities abroad.
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP): UK-funded program offering scholarships for Master’s and PhD studies in various fields at universities across the Commonwealth.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR): Provides scholarships for various undergraduate and postgraduate programs at universities in different countries.
  • Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY): National Level Scholarship for students interested in science and research fields, available for +2 and first year college students.
  • Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority Students: Scholarship for Master’s and PhD studies for students belonging to minority communities.
  • Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Global Skills Scholarship: Offers scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in STEM fields at selected universities abroad.

University and College Scholarships:

  • Many universities and colleges abroad offer scholarships specifically for Indian students. Research the scholarship programs offered by your target universities.
  • Some universities also offer need-based scholarships, awarded based on your financial need.

Private Scholarships and Fellowships:

  • Several private organizations and foundations offer scholarships for Indian students to study abroad. These scholarships can be based on academic merit, financial need, or specific fields of study.
  • Popular options include Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships, Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship Program, Rhodes Scholarships,


Securing your dream of studying abroad through scholarships requires a strategic treasure hunt. Start by understanding different scholarship types and eligibility criteria. Leverage official portals, university websites, and databases to uncover hidden gems. Polish your application with academic excellence, impactful experiences, and a compelling narrative. Navigate the application process smoothly by meeting deadlines, tailoring materials, and avoiding common pitfalls. Utilize career counselors, workshops, and online resources to fuel your search. Prepare for interviews by practicing common questions and showcasing your unique value. Remember, persistence, strategic tailoring, and resourcefulness are your keys to unlocking the perfect scholarship and turning your study abroad ambition into a reality. So, embark on this adventure with confidence, and let your dedication pave the way for an enriching and transformative experience!

Frequently Asked Question

Start your search early, ideally 6-12 months before your intended study abroad period. This gives you ample time to research options, tailor applications, and meet deadlines.

  • Full-ride: Covers all expenses (tuition, accommodation, living costs).
  • Tuition fees: Covers only tuition fees.
  • Partial: Covers a portion of your expenses.
  • Field-specific: Focused on specific academic disciplines (STEM, arts, etc.).
  • Government: Provided by ministries, departments, or national agencies.
  • University: Offered by specific universities or programs.
  • Private Organizations: Granted by foundations, charities, or corporations.
  • Career counseling services: Personalized advice and application strategies.
  • Educational fairs & workshops: Network with representatives and gain valuable insights.
  • Online communities & forums: Connect with peers and mentors for support and information sharing.

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