How to win a scholarship?

To all students starting on their educational journey, whether completing high school or starting university, here’s a message for you:

For those seeking international experiences, recognizing their significance on personal, academic, and professional levels, the decision to study or train abroad goes beyond financial considerations. It requires a deep-seated desire and meticulous preparation.

International experiences offer invaluable opportunities for personal growth, cultural immersion, and academic enrichment. They broaden horizons, foster independence, and cultivate global perspectives that are increasingly essential in today’s interconnected world.

However, starting on such a journey demands more than just financial resources. It requires a strong sense of motivation, resilience, and adaptability. It entails thorough preparation, from researching potential destinations and educational institutions to understanding visa requirements and cultural norms.

So, to those with aspirations of pursuing international experiences, remember that the journey begins with a fervent desire and diligent preparation. With determination and readiness, the world awaits your exploration and discovery.

Also read How to Write a Winning Statement of Purpose for Scholarship (Examples)

The Reality Behind Scholarships for Studying Abroad

Scholarships serve as a vital financial support system provided by governments or private entities, enabling individuals to pursue international opportunities. But what motivates these sponsors to invest in our education and travel? Scholarships represent a form of international cooperation aimed at nurturing future leaders who can contribute to both national and global development. Just as countries engage in lending money at ‘preferential’ interest rates, providing donations, or deploying military forces, they also engage in educational exchanges to address mutual interests and challenges.

While the reasons behind scholarships vary, they can generally be categorized into two types:

  1. Return to Home Country: Some scholarships are offered by foreign countries to train individuals who will return to their home country and act as knowledge multipliers, sharing their expertise and contributing to local development.
  2. Contribution in Host Country: In other cases, scholarships are awarded to individuals who will stay and contribute in the host country. This may occur when there’s a lack of interest or expertise in a specific field locally, or when there’s a greater demand for talent than the current supply.

It’s crucial to dispel the myth that scholarships are exclusively awarded to individuals facing economic hardships. Scholarships are not granted out of pity, but rather based on merit and the potential for positive impact. Success in securing a scholarship hinges on one’s ability to demonstrate their worthiness and present themselves as the best investment, regardless of financial circumstances.

The key lies in the word ‘prove.’ It’s not necessary to be a mathematical or philosophical genius or a bookworm to win a scholarship. Instead, one must effectively communicate their aspirations and commitment to contributing to something larger than themselves in an authentic manner. Ultimately, scholarships are awarded based on the information provided by applicants, such as resumes, letters of motivation, academic records, and references, allowing selection committees to assess each candidate’s suitability and potential impact.

How to Build a Winning Scholarship Profile

To secure a scholarship or sponsorship, it’s essential to provide truthful and verifiable information. Rather than fabricating details, focus on developing a profile that showcases your strengths and potential. Shift your focus from short-term pursuits to long-term goals, and begin cultivating habits and actions that bring you closer to your objectives each day.

In addition to academic excellence, scholarship providers typically look for candidates who possess the following key characteristics:


Demonstrate your leadership abilities by participating in research, arts, or sports groups. Engage in competitions at your college or university, and consider writing publications or attending conferences related to your interests.

Social Conscience:

Show your commitment to social causes by joining volunteer efforts or advocating for those in need within your institution, workplace, or community.

Work Ethic:

Exhibit a strong work ethic by taking initiative, becoming a mentor in your field of interest, and securing part-time employment. Your relationship with teachers or employers, as well as their references, can be instrumental in winning scholarships.

Language Proficiency:

Recognize the importance of language skills in today’s globalized world, particularly proficiency in English. Utilize resources such as language-learning apps, free online platforms, or weekend courses to improve your language skills. Seek opportunities to practice with native speakers through communities like Couchsurfing or MeetUp.

Consider investing in language courses abroad if feasible, as fluency in English is often a prerequisite for many scholarship programs. Approach language learning with dedication, patience, and perseverance.


Express your motivation and commitment to your chosen field of study in a well-crafted motivation letter addressed to scholarship providers. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of the country and program you wish to study, as well as your past achievements and aspirations for contributing to the program, institution, and society.

By focusing on these key characteristics and taking proactive steps to develop your scholarship profile, you can increase your chances of securing funding for your academic pursuits abroad.

Also see How to Write Scholarship Recommendation Letter (Tips, Examples)

How to Find and Win Scholarships?

Once you’ve invested time in developing the profile that scholarship providers seek, it’s time to take action:

Research and Gather Information:

Begin by exploring scholarship opportunities available to you. Visit the websites of universities you’re interested in attending and navigate to the scholarship section. Additionally, check out the Ministry of Education websites of countries where you’d like to study. You can also explore scholarship databases or sections dedicated to scholarships on various websites.

Evaluate Your Options:

Analyze the requirements of each scholarship program and assess how well they align with your profile, goals, and willingness to fulfill the scholarship’s obligations. Consider factors such as eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and the level of commitment required. This will help you determine which scholarships are the best fit for you.

Prepare Your Documentation:

Once you’ve identified scholarships you’re interested in, gather and prepare the necessary documents as per the requirements outlined by each scholarship provider. This may include translating documents, obtaining apostilles, and ensuring that all paperwork is submitted in the required format (physical or digital).

Submit Your Applications:

Submit your scholarship applications within the specified deadlines, ensuring that all required documentation is included and submitted accurately. Double-check the application requirements to avoid any oversights or errors.

Stay Positive and Persistent:

After submitting your applications, be patient as you await the outcome. If you’re not selected for a scholarship on your first attempt, view it as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth. Stay persistent and continue to seek out new scholarship opportunities as they become available. Remember that new scholarship calls are continually being released, offering fresh opportunities for funding your academic endeavors.

By following these steps and remaining proactive in your scholarship search, you can increase your chances of securing the financial support needed to pursue your academic goals abroad.


Pursuing scholarships to study abroad can open doors to invaluable opportunities for personal and academic growth. By developing a strong profile and actively seeking out scholarship opportunities, individuals can increase their chances of securing the financial support needed to pursue their educational aspirations. Remember to research, analyze, and prepare your applications diligently, while staying positive and persistent throughout the process. Even if you face setbacks, view them as learning experiences and continue to pursue new opportunities. With dedication and perseverance, achieving your academic dreams through scholarships is well within reach.