For international students looking to study abroad, scholarships can provide crucial financial support. However, most globally competitive scholarships have very low success rates, often less than 1%. Fortunately, some lesser-known yet generous scholarships exist that are relatively easier to obtain if you meet the eligibility criteria.
In this comprehensive guide, we explore the most attainable scholarships for international students along with actionable tips to strengthen your applications.
Why Apply for Scholarships?
Here are some excellent reasons to apply for scholarships as an international student:
- Reduce financial burden of international tuition, travel and living costs
- Gain admission advantage at top universities around the world
- Pursue opportunities for education, career and growth in your field
- Gain self-confidence through academic achievement
- Expand your network and stand out to employers
- Potentially open doors to work or immigration post-study
In short, scholarships allow you to access world-class education and experiences that shape your future success. The time invested is well worth the long-term gains.
What Makes a Scholarship ‘Easy’ to Get?
The easiest scholarships for international students share some key traits:
- Less Competitive Application Pool: Scholarships attracting fewer applicants offer higher chances of success. Niche opportunities tailored to specific nationalities, subjects, universities often draw fewer candidates.
- Clear, Basic Eligibility Criteria: Scholarships clearly outlining simple eligibility factors like nationality, grades, subject of study make the application process smoother.
- Minimal Application Requirements: Scholarships requiring just a basic application form, academic docs and transcript are easier to apply for than ones needing detailed essays, proposals, interviews or tests.
- High Number of Awards: Programs that award a large number of scholarships in total allow more winners to be selected.
- Renewable Awards: Scholarships that allow recipients to extend funding for multiple years reduces the need to reapply annually in an uncertain process.
By targeting awards with these factors, your chances of success can be higher.
Top 25 Most Attainable Scholarships for International Students
Here are some great scholarships easier to get for international students:
1. University Scholarships
One of the best sources of scholarships is the university you apply to. These institution-based opportunities often attract fewer applicants and prioritize current students or admitted ones. Some examples:
- University of Technology Sydney International Research Scholarships – AUD $28,092 annual stipend + tuition fees waived for PhD students.
- University of Auckland Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships – NZD $27,500/year + all expenses covered for 50+ PhD scholars.
- SOAS University of London Global Scholarships – £10,000 scholarships for master’s students from select countries like India, Nigeria, Vietnam etc.
- University of Birmingham Hong Kong Scholarships – £5,000 – £25,000 scholarships for UG/PG students from Hong Kong.
- University of Westminster Undergraduate Scholarships – Partial to full scholarships for developing country students across undergraduate programs.
2. Government Scholarships
Many home country governments and their consulates administer scholarships you can target:
- Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships – Fully funded masters and PhD scholarships at top global universities for Swiss nationals.
- Turkey Burslari Scholarship Program – Fully funded undergraduate and postgraduate awards for study abroad sponsored by the Turkish government.
- Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarships – Variable funding from the Government of India across subject areas for Indians to study overseas at UG and PG level.
- Scholarships for Namibians – Diverse scholarships offered through the Namibian Training Authority to fund UG and PG studies abroad.
- King Abdullah Scholarship Program – Fully funded scholarships from the Saudi government for Saudi Arabian students to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD globally.
3. Private External Scholarships
Many private companies, foundations, individuals and non-profits offer international scholarships both in home country or abroad:
- Aga Khan Foundation Scholarships – Needs and merit-based scholarships for Muslim students applying to universities worldwide. Award amount varies per region.
- Google Lime Scholarship – $10,000 scholarship for students with disabilities pursuing computer science or related fields.
- Türkiye Scholarships – Full scholarships for undergraduate and graduate programs at top global universities, awarded by Turkey’s state agency for education.
- Fastweb Scholarships – Database of 1.5 million scholarships including specific awards for minority, first-generation, nontraditional students. Award amounts vary.
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships – Fully funded UK postgraduate awards for outstanding international students to study at Cambridge University.
4. Country/Region-Specific Scholarships
Some providers reserve scholarships for students from specific nationalities or regions of the world:
- Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowships – For women from developing countries to pursue PhD or Postdoc in STEM fields at leading universities globally.
- Caribbean Development Bank Scholarships – Full scholarships for students from member countries to pursue UG and PG programs related to economic growth and development.
- Aalto University Scholarships for African Students – Full tuition scholarships plus living stipend sponsored by The Finn Church Aid for African students.
- John Monash Scholarships – 300 full postgraduate scholarships for students from Australia pursuing studies at universities abroad.
- Denmark Greenland Education Scholarship – Full scholarships for Inuit students from Greenland to pursue vocational and higher education in Denmark.
5. Subject-Specific Scholarships
Many organizations sponsor scholarships for specific programs like:
- Google Conference and Travel Scholarships – Full funding for students from underrepresented groups to attend tech, business or related global conferences.
- Society of Women Engineers Scholarships – Over 200 annual awards for women pursuing bachelors, masters or doctoral degrees in engineering or computer science. Amounts range from $1,000-$20,000.
- UC Berkeley Robertson-Siemens Engineering Scholarship – $10,000/year renewable funding for female engineering students at University of California Berkeley.
- Vedantu AI Scholarship Challenge – $25,000 scholarship for students passionate about artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. Open globally for undergraduate and graduate students.
Targeting awards that match your academic discipline and project area can be an effective approach.
How to Improve Your Chances for International Scholarships
Follow these key tips when applying to maximize your probability of success for easier international scholarships:
- Start early – Begin researching scholarships 12-18 months before your studies, following deadlines
- Focus on lesser-known niche scholarships – Avoid ultra competitive popular awards, target more specialized opportunities
- Craft an outstanding application – Ensure transcripts, test scores, essays and recommendations show you in the best possible light
- Apply directly on university/funder websites – Avoid third-party scholarship listing sites of dubious quality
- Emphasize academic and research achievements – Awards favor impressive grades and creative academic work
- Demonstrate passion and purpose – Convey excitement for your study area and future goals
- Follow up respectfully – Check on application status and respond to information requests promptly
With proper planning, dedication and attention to detail, you can win these accessible international scholarships to fulfill your global education dreams!
Answers to Common Questions
What are the easiest international scholarships for students from India?
Some good options are ICCR scholarships, University of Melbourne Hansen Scholarship, Macquarie University India Research Excellence Scholarship, and Singapore International Graduate Award.
What are the best scholarships for African students?
Great scholarships for African students include Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, USAID American & Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, African Students Excellence Scholarships at Sciences Po, and DAAD Scholarships for Development-Related Postgraduate Courses.
Are there any full scholarships for international students?
Yes, many fully funded scholarships are available including Rhodes Scholarships at Oxford University, Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford University, and Government of Brunei Darussalam Scholarship.
How can international students find scholarships?
Great resources are university international offices, national government scholarship sites, large funding databases like DAAD and CampusFrance, external sites like Scholaro.com and Scholarships.com, LinkedIn opportunities and education consultants.
What is the #1 scholarship tip for international students?
Start extremely early, ideally 12-18 months before you plan to begin studies and align applications to deadlines diligently. Popular awards fill up fast, so timely completion of all processes is key.
While all scholarships for international students require effort and preparation, some opportunities have more favorable odds if you meet their specific eligibility factors. Targeting lesser-known scholarships by universities, governments, private foundations and different regions can help increase your chances of success. With focus, dedication and proactive planning, you can win these accessible scholarships to achieve your global education and career goals.