While the value of the rupee slides down with each successive year, the cost of living climbs up steeply. To cruise through your foreign education with ease and to minimise strain on your bank account, try to consider the scholarship options before applying to a foreign university.
Dont always go by the negative reviews of those who tried before you unsuccessfully. Have a positive outlook and a plan and confidently set sail into the sea of scholarship. Here are a few pointers to help you get closer to that ever elusive scholarship.
Research, research, research!
Read up all you can about scholarships. It might be disheartening at first to find a shallow pool for international students to get scholarships rather than a deep ocean. But dont lose hope and keep looking. Check out the types of scholarships available. Is it a government funded scholarship or university funded a Scholarship? Is it awarded on the basis of merit or on the basis of need? Is there a scholarship favoring your ethnicity or region? Is there a scholarship for students opting for a particular course or a particular university? Be sure to tick off these basic headings in your research. If you structure your research this way you will be surprised to find more options crop up as you explore.
The early bird gets the scholarship
You might be getting away in your academics all your life with last minute studying but dont take that approach when looking for scholarships. Once you are done narrowing down your university and course, hop onto the scholarship wagon. A lot of reading, research, calls and paperwork go into applying and getting a funding for your education.
You need to provide details of your finances as proof that you can support your own education. It is mandatory in many cases. The documentation usually required is regarding your eligibility, a submission essay and referral letters. Choose your referees wisely as they will in most cases call and cross check.
Forage at Forums
Social media is not just for sharing selfies and cute cat videos. Follow the twitter handle of the university of your interest and like the Facebook page of the scholarship forum of your interest. There is a lot of free advice floating around on the social network.
Be sure to make the best of it. And dont hesitate to ask questions while on the page. The golden rule you need to follow while hunting down a scholarship is ‘ask and you shall be granted. Well perhaps not granted but at least be sure to ask whats on your mind.
A little extra to your curriculum
Unlike the Indian education system which sadly expects more of learning by rote, foreign education appreciates and favors a well-rounded student. Classical dancers put on your ghungroos as diversity is in demand abroad! Showcase your talent and attach specimens of your work (poetry, prose, dance video or a recording of you playing an instrument).
Also, your submission essay should be well written and scrutinised to no end. A typo could cost you dearly and you could be on the brink of rejection. Have others read your essay and keep an open ear for criticism and correction.
New way of learning
Now that we have guided you on the nitty gritties of how to increase your chances of securing a scholarship, here are some scholarships you could look into before starting off a deeper research into available options.
Indian scholarships available include Rotary Foundation Global Scholarship grants and Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships. These are some of the non-governmental scholarships offered to students who show promise in their respective fields.
Foreign countries also offer scholarships to Indian students albeit the number of students that can get one is pretty restricted.
For studying in the USA the scholarship offered by the government includes Foreign Fulbright Students Programme whereas the nongovernment scholarships would be Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship. A few universities offering scholarships to Indian students would be Amherst College scholarships and Illinois Wesleyan University scholarships.
The UK government offers Commonwealth scholarships and Gates-Cambridge scholarships whereas an example of a non-government scholarship would be Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford. If you are interested in pursuing an education in Germany, the government scholarships to look into include Deutschland Stipendium National Scholarship Programme and Einstein International postdoctoral Fellowship. Nongovernment scholarships would include Heinrich Boll Scholarship for International Students and Kurt Hansen Science Scholarships.
Australia and New Zealand
In Australia, university scholarships are offered by University of Queensland BEL India scholarships and Sydney Achievers International scholarship. Scholarships offered by the New Zealand government are the New Zealand International Doctoral Scholarships. Some New Zealand University Scholarships include UC International First year Scholarships and University of Otago International Research Master Scholarships.
The author is Abdul Hadi Shaikh, CEO of FxKart.com, India’s most preferred platform for saving on your education remittances.