Obtaining International Scholarship is one of the best, yet daunting experiences for African students. If a student who has studied abroad or is studying abroad is asked about his/her experience, it is more likely he will answer that the experience was unforgettable, and that stage changed his life. Likewise, research has shown that the experience has had several impact either positive or negative on a student.
An International Scholarship is a form of financial aid/ financial assistance that is awarded by colleges, universities, organizations and foundations to students for their International education. Not every college offers international student scholarships, they are mostly offered in countries like the U.S.A, Canada, U.K, etc. where tuition fees are very high (nearly $25,000-$30,000 per annum). International scholarships fully funded do not come as cash even international scholarships for high school students. Usually, they are in the form of partial or full tuition fee waivers, which reduce your overall college fees by covering all or part of them. Some Scholarships provide monthly stipends and travel allowances to beneficiaries.
All You Need to Know about International Scholarship
Generally, scholarship or grant is an excellent way of helping students to learn, either at the undergraduate and graduate learning. Scholarships are forms of financial aid given to students to assist in covering the cost of a graduate and undergraduate degree. Numerous organizations or a nation’s government provide scholarships. Since they are distinct from student loans, they will never be repaid.
Requirements and Eligibility
Understand the scholarship requirements and be sure that you are eligible to apply. Some International Scholarships are not open to African student, so it is important to know the general eligibility status. Additionally, knowing the requirements will help you prepare for your scholarship application.
International scholarship available to African students mostly require them to Present their English Proficiency test results such as the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, GMAT, or GRE. The requirements frequently demand that applicants achieve a specific exam score. So it is advisable to apply and prepare for any of these exams before applying for any international scholarship, if you don’t have the necessary exam result, you won’t be able to apply for several scholarship programs. Register, take the necessary exam, and prepare your score.
Some international scholarship for African students are age specific. This is another requirement and eligibility status you should look out for. You might qualify for the scholarship in every other aspect but your age can be a hinderance. This is not something you can hide or lie about as the chances of presenting your certificate of birth during application is high.
Scholarship Benefits and Coverage
Next is the scholarship benefits and coverage, international scholarships can either be fully funded or partially funded, while some have other benefits like monthly stipends, and payment of travel tickets from/back to your home country, most scholarships do not offer all of these. It is important to know the benefit and coverage on the scholarship you want to apply for.
Terms and Conditions
It is important to understand the terms and conditions of the scholarship you want to apply for.
Important Things African Student Should Work On before Applying for international scholarships 2022
- Proof of Active Participation in Extra-Curriculum Activities in or outside school
- Proof of Language Proficiency
- Motivation Letter
- Recommendation Letter
- Credible Referees
- International Passport
Types of International Scholarships Available For African Students
International Scholarships are of different types, and African students can benefit from any one of them. They are:
- Merit-Based Scholarships
- Research or Fellowship Scholarships
- Scholarships for the Less Privileged and African Countries
- International Students Scholarship(Open to students from all parts of the World)
- Scholarships for Women/Minority Groups
Some International Scholarships For African Students
- Orange Knowledge Program
- VLIR-UOS Award Scholarship
- Schwarzman Scholars Program
- Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholarship
- Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship Programs
- MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
How to Qualify For an International Student Scholarship As An African Students
There is no specific rule that can be applied for every particular international scholarships such as international scholarships uk or international scholarships usa but there are major criteria that can make you qualified. These include:
- Your Academic Achievements: Most of the International scholarship and tuition fee waivers are awarded on academic merit. That means how well you did in your SSCE, International exam, SAT, TOEFL, JUPEB,… If you have the required grades, then you will surely get a chance to receive an International Scholarship for college. Otherwise there is less chance that you get a partial waiver.
- Your English Language Skills: Basically English is not an African mother tongue, which poses a difficulty in a Standard English Language. However, many International Scholarships require good English Language skills. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). If you can’t speak and write in fluent English, then it will be very difficult to get an international scholarship. So keep in mind that there are language test accepted by different colleges, and getting the required grade is given for an International Scholarship.
- Your College Choice: Most African students are not clear about the college they want to study, they only apply to numerous colleges they hope to get into. If a particular college does not offer international scholarships on academic merit, then you may be better to apply to one that does. As such, learn to choose your options wisely depending on the scholarship programs offered by the colleges.
Also, you should put in consideration;
- Visa status
- Your financial need
- Health Insurance, etc.
How To Get International Scholarships
- The Extent of the English Language Skill required: Most scholarships will require you to show that your English skills are strong enough for you to be accepted into the course or program. This is not just limited to the Basic English Language, but a standard reading, listening and English speaking skill. You should make sure you are comfortable in English before applying for scholarships as this may debar colleges from accepting your application.
- African Students have limited knowledge in researching on scholarships; Scholarships offers can be found via social media, like twitter, college websites, google, chrome,… An interested applicant must take home to research and make enquires of all the opportunities available and what requirements they have.
- Academic Ability: Most colleges will be looking at your academic ability as an international applicant to decide whether you are eligible or not. If you are applying for scholarships (especially merit based scholarships) work on getting good grades and take advantage of any opportunity that a college offers.
- Contacting Scholarships: If you find a scholarship that you are eligible for, go ahead and mail the college. Most Colleges are international and they will talk to you despite the distance.
- That Important Dates should be noted: Due dates and application deadlines can come around really fast, so don’t miss them! Make sure to get your forms in and ahead of time and get your references done early.
- An African Student applying for International scholarship should know that it’s best to apply for as many scholarships as you can, and give it your best shot. In case you don’t qualify for scholarships, you can apply for other awards like Grant, loan programs, or other financial aid.
Important Factors to Consider When Applying for International Scholarships.
- Language: For instance, if you are a Nigerian wishing to study in a French speaking country, e.g. France. It is expected that you will have language difficulties, as French is not your first language. As a result you have to start building your foreign language skills, even before you travel. You can also take foreign language courses in your destination country, so that you can learn the language faster, and communicate with your fellow students, tutors and the local community effectively.
- Finances: The cost of studying abroad can vary significantly from one school to another, so you will have to consider their tuition fees and other expenses before applying. You could seek scholarships and grant opportunities to mitigate the cost of studying and living abroad. It’s vital you have a reliable source of funding.
- Type of Program: You also have to consider if your destination institution offers your kind of program, it could be Bachelor’s, Master’s, or even Doctorate program. That said, you will also have to enquire if your destination institution offers your course of study.
- Duration of Study: Study abroad programs are generally classified into one of three categories; short-term, semi-annual, and a full year. You should explore programs that will allow you to finish school and obtain your degree within a reasonable time frame, especially if you will be studying with the aid of a scholarship.
- Accommodation: If you want to study abroad, you will have to decide if you are going to live with a host family or in a dormitory. Most educational institutions around the world offer accommodation to International students, particularly during their first year of study. You could also apply at the embassy, to stay with a host family until you ‘find your feet in the country’.
- Health: You will need to be certified healthy before you can undertake any study program abroad. You could also contact a health insurance company so that you can find out what you will need to stay healthy overseas. It should also be noted that as a result of the outbreak of corona virus, Covid19 test should be taken in the host and destination country and an applicant must be completely vaccinated against the virus before an application.
- Conditions of the Destination Country: By conditions, I mean the geography, climate, weather condition, political status, and academic reputation of your destination country. Every country has a unique experience for students. It would be best if you choose your destination wisely. It is best you learn how to adapt to situations quickly, making new friends and socializing will certainly help you adjust and become independent quickly.
- Get your Paperwork in Order: To ensure that your study duration is seamless, it’s best you get all your passport early before your program commence. Also, ensure that your visa will last you well beyond your semesters abroad.
The primary way of sourcing for abroad scholarships is to research extensively about them. Scholarships such as Chevening scholarship, and even the DAAD scholarship to study in Germany, are available for Africans to apply. It is therefore advisable to do your research, ensure you meet all the required criteria, then apply. Studying abroad equips you with vast amounts of skills and knowledge. It also guarantees employment after school.