To win a scholarship we need to focus on these 11 points:
- You have to be prepared to work hard on your study abroad scholarship applications
Trying to get a scholarship? Whether for full-time study or for study abroad, you will need to put in the work. It’ll take time, so set up a schedule where you can designate up to 3 hours to work on applications. You’ll probably need to apply to half a dozen opportunities for every one you hope to win, depending on your circumstances.
- Try to make a list of everything you qualify for
Start to search on to external providers. Daily search scholarshipintl.com Find out what’s available, who’s eligible, what the requirements are, and when the deadline is. Make a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Drive.
- Understand the organization’s goals and values
Before starting an application, you have to understand your audience. Look at what the organization does their mission statement or values page, and understand what seems important to them and how they talk about themselves. Then identify those keywords and values, and make sure you work those into your application in a way that you relate to.
- Search eligible scholarships for you
What are the qualifications the organization is looking for in prospective scholarship recipients? Look at past winners or the detailed FAQ on their website. Re-read the parts where they describe how candidates will be evaluated. Keep coming back to this and checking yourself and your application against these criteria. Be sure to highlight areas in which you relate — but always be honest and genuine!
- Consider studying critical languages and going to less commonly-visited countries
Even if you want to study a more popular language, try doing so in a less popular destination. For example, apply to Study French in Senegal instead of France or Spanish in Panama instead of Spain.
- Essay tip: avoid generic statements at all costs
Whoever you are, you have a unique and compelling story worth being told. So don’t say things like, “I want to immerse myself in new cultures” or “I’ve always been interested in Arabic.” Tell the story about the refugee family that moved down the block, or how you love Egyptian cinema, or how your friendship with an exchange student in middle school inspired you. Make your interests come alive through concise stories and personal experiences.
Talk to your professors or other possible references early, and get the verbal okay that they’ll support you.
Try to Re-read your essay when it’s done. Ensure it is entirely unique to you and only you. Proofreading is essential, so try to get friends or family to read it over as well.
- Include a plan for giving back
Even if the scholarship doesn’t require it, volunteer your ideas for how you’ll bring your experience back home to help others. Will you make short videos about famous landmarks in Asia and share them with the primary school teachers? Will you have a blog? Do a photography exhibition?
Make sure it’s something you can follow through on, but an orientation to using your time overseas for the benefit of more than just yourself is always appreciated.
- Spend the time to get perfect recommendations
Talk to your professors or other possible references early. Get the verbal okay that they’ll support you, and then hand-deliver them a package that includes a concise list of bullet-pointed information about the scholarship and about you. Include a few specific examples of why you qualify and your resume.
This makes it easy for references to write you a good letter of recommendation, should the scholarship require it.
- Try to Double check eligibility and application requirements
Before submitting anything, double-check that you meet all the eligibility requirements and have all aspects of the application satisfactorily completed. Many students wind up being disqualified because they’ve simply forgotten something.
Also, go back to the essays. If the prompt asked you to talk about your leadership experience, community involvements, and interest in the country or region, have you done all three? This extra attention to the prompt will go a long way!
- Print it out and read everything out loud
It’s hard to proofread things on a screen. Once you’ve finished your essays and have an updated resume, print it all out and read every word out loud — even your resume. Read through your application line-by-line, and correct grammar and typos in red pen.
Edit the digital version, and repeat the process until there are no errors. A few typos could stand between you and several thousand dollars, so this time will be well spent.
- At last apply early
Even if there’s no preference indicated for early applicants, remember that all applications are being reviewed by humans — humans who most likely have other jobs and responsibilities besides selecting scholarship winners. Once the deadline is reached, those evaluators will be inundated with applications and may start skimming through applications.
You have the best shot of winning when someone reads your story, relates to it, and finds it an appealing fit for their organization’s money. If your application is in a stack of ten because you applied early, it is perhaps more likely to get a thorough read-through.
Wish you all the best…
written by Scholarship international team