How To Get A Scholarship To Study Abroad (And Fast)

Study abroad costs can be a huge anxiety point. Many teens thinking about studying abroad assume that it’s out of reach because of the course fees that come with study abroad opportunities, however, the good news is that that’s not entirely true. Did you know that there are thousands of study abroad scholarships to choose from? It’s just a matter of finding them, knowing how to apply and when, and meeting the criteria. In this blog we outline 7 crucial steps in applying for a scholarship abroad, so you can be sure that you’ve got that scholarship in the bag!

Step 1: Look for Help


You’ll be surprised at how many people around you have the knowledge and know-how when it comes to studying abroad opportunities and winning a scholarship for study abroad. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people! Some people you can speak to include:

  • Your school counsellor
  • Your teacher/homeroom/PSHE teacher
  • A friend (you never know, they might be thinking about applying, too!)

Step 2: Do your research! 

We now live in a world where information is right at our fingertips (literally), so doing research on any topic, especially scholarships, has never been easier! Head straight to your search engine and look for the following terms:

  • Study abroad scholarships
  • Scholarships to study abroad 
  • Scholarship opportunities for international or high school students 

You might also want to use the term ‘grants’ rather than ‘scholarships’ and see if you get the results you want.

Consider where you want to study and when to refine your search. For example, you might want to search with the place and the ‘who’ e.g. “Oxford scholarships for teens”. This will help you to get more specific results to find what you’re looking for.

Create a list of all the scholarship opportunities you come across. You might wish to organize your list into levels of difficulty to obtain the scholarship e.g: 

  • Definitely meet the criteria
  • Probably meet the criteria
  • Not sure if I meet the criteria

You might also want to try searching for Location-Specific Grants/Scholarships to Study Abroad as well as Program-Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants. 

If you know where you want to study but are not sure which subject, then we recommend looking for location-specific scholarships. 

If you know what subject you want to study but are not sure where you want to study, then search for a subject or program-specific scholarship opportunities instead.

Step 3: Read the scholarship information thoroughly – do you fit the criteria?

While you should always aim high, it’s important to have realistic expectations. If the scholarship opportunity you have found requires you to have an A* in chemistry and you only have a C, it’s unlikely you’ll be accepted for the scholarship. Read through the information you have found about the course you’re interested in and narrow down the scholarships where you fit. 

Step 4: Contact the scholarship provider 

The best people to answer your questions about the scholarship you’re interested in are the providers themselves. If you have unanswered questions after reading all of the information they have provided, then reach out to them. Try contacting them by email or even by phone to ask them your burning questions. You might want to write down your questions first before getting in touch!

Step 5: References 

You may need references when applying for a scholarship to study abroad, either from a teacher, school counsellor or someone you’ve worked with closely that can testify to your commitment to academic and personal growth with relevance to the course you’re applying for. Reach out to your referees in person if possible and let them know what the criteria is for the scholarship you’re applying for, this way they’ll know to include important information that hits the rubric within their reference.

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Step 6: Mark down the deadline  

Mark the scholarship application deadline in your calendar and be sure to keep track of it! For some study abroad opportunities, you may be required to write an essay or produce a portfolio of work, or send off your school grades, so be aware of the deadline and how much time you have to prepare the relevant information is crucial. 

Step 7 : Send off your application! 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and apply for as many scholarships as you can. This way you won’t be disappointed and you may just be granted the opportunity you were searching for. Don’t send off the exact same application to every single scholarship provider, make sure your submissions are personal to the scholarship you’re applying for.


Natalie Hayes

SEO & Content Marketing Manager

Natalie studied English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Salford and completed her Post-Graduate Teaching Certificate at The University of Manchester. She is a UK certified secondary English teacher with Qualified Teachers Status and has been working in education since 2009. Natalie is currently writing her dissertation for her MA in Creative Writing with the University of Manchester. She is a passionate writer and is currently in the process of completing several writing projects including a young adult novel, a memoir and a poetic bilingual biography. Natalie is equally passionate about education and preparing young people for an unpredictable future through through student-led learning practices and bringing creativity into the 21st century classroom.