Obtaining a degree abroad comes with a lot of benefits. However, there is a common misconception that studying abroad is expensive and unaffordable. While this may be true but there are literally thousands of scholarships to study abroad for Ghana citizens. Some of these scholarships are fully funded to study in top universities in UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, China, Australia, Japan, Hungary etc.
These scholarships are available to undergraduate, masters and PhD students from Ghana who wish to study abroad. But the big question is how do I apply for a scholarship to study abroad. Applying and getting a scholarship abroad involves being smart and articulated.
In this article, we will be showing you how to get scholarships abroad from Ghana. We know you want to study in the best university and best countries in the world, but maybe you don’t know how to go about it. So, we will be giving you the best ideas or strategies to help you win a fully funded scholarship to study abroad from Ghana.
Below is well-detailed information on how to apply and get a scholarship to study abroad without paying money.
Table of Contents
1. Ask for Help
The first step to take is to reach out to the people around you for help. If possible contact your academic advisors to ask them about scholarships or grants that they may know. To show you determination on getting a scholarship abroad, you could go in person to your professors or academic advisor’s office to ask for advice on how to get a scholarship to study abroad. The hardest part of getting a fully funded abroad scholarship is simply finding them. When you identify an abroad scholarship, read the requirements and eligibility. Thereafter look out for the opening date for application.
2. Do Your Research
You also need to do your own personal research. The more scholarship you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get. You can start by exploring our Scholarship Directory. Depending on your country of choice, we have a compiled list of scholarships for Ghanaian students to study abroad. They are many types of scholarships to study abroad that you should also look out for, they include;
Location-Specific Grants/Scholarships to Study Abroad
These scholarships or grants are open to students who wish to study in a specific country, or even certain cities. Such as scholarships specifically for students looking to study in Japan, or study in Indonesia. Most at times, these scholarships are provided by the government of the country you plan to study in, or by the government of Ghana, which hopes to foster international relations through the exchanges of study abroad students. See the complete list of foreign government-sponsored scholarships for Ghanaians.
Program-Specific Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants
These scholarships or grants are often offered to students who decide to study abroad through a particular program. This could be the independent study abroad provider or through a particular program crafted by your university, and only students who plan to study through that program qualify to apply.
Subject-Specific Grants/Scholarships for Studying Abroad
Many grants or scholarships are awarded to students who plan to pursue a certain field of study or major while abroad, such as Foreign Language Scholarships. This financial aid can be incredibly specific, zeroing in on not just the subject, but also a certain subject to be studied in a particular country.
Some scholarships are awarded based on the students themselves, due to factors such as gender, race, religion, disabilities, or sexual orientation. For instance, there are specific study abroad scholarships for women! With a demand for more diverse study abroad students, programs such as the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship or Diversity Abroad Scholarships are especially helpful for students searching for financial aid. Study abroad scholarships for minorities are out there, you just have to find them!
University-Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants
Many universities provide scholarships or grants on a merit-basis to be generally applied to any students looking to study abroad. However, don’t just research financial aid provided by your home university. Study abroad grants for undergraduates can be available from different institutions depending on your affiliations. Also, look at the university you will be studying at while abroad; many higher education institutions throughout the world provide scholarships for international students to encourage a more diverse student body to attend their university.
You can also research nonprofit organizations that may provide scholarships to deserving students who match their criteria. Examples include scholarships for students from Africa or developing countries. One of such is Eni Scholarship.
Government-Funded Scholarships for Study Abroad
They are a number of government-funded scholarships or grants that encourage students to study abroad. Good examples include the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, Fulbright Program, Chevening Scholarships which are fully funded by the UK government for international students looking to study in the UK.
3. Contact the Scholarship Funder Directly
After you have identified an abroad scholarship, the next thing is to get the details of the scholarship you will be applying for. Also, get the up-to-date application requirements. You can get this information by contacting the scholarship funder directly.
4. Write A Convincing Personal Statement or Motivation Letter
Once you’ve compiled your list of study abroad scholarships that you plan on applying for, you now have to work towards being awarded the scholarship. This you can do by writing a convincing personal statement or motivation letter as the case may be.
This document has a huge part to play in your scholarship application. When writing your motivation letter, be sure to highlight any experience you’ve had and try not to exceed one page. Make your writing concise and original.
You may also be required to write a cover letter as part of your application. This can be your chance to make an argument for why you deserve to be awarded a scholarship. However, you don’t just send a generic cover letter to the scholarship board. Focus more on how you plan to translate your lessons from abroad into your life at home.
If you are applying for a scholarship to study abroad provided by an international university, do research on how that country typically organizes their resumes or cover letters.
5. Contact Your Referees
Most study abroad scholarship essays and applications require personal references or referees. It simply means someone you’ve worked with either in a professional or academic setting. For most students, this means reaching out to professors and asking for their assistance. When asking a professor to be a reference, or to write you a recommendation letter, always ask them far in advance so that they may prepare.
It is also important to choose professors or employers who you have interacted with, so that they know you well enough to recommend you. Regardless of who you reach out to, always be respectful and realize that you are asking them to take time out of their busy schedules to help you (and a follow-up, written thank you note never hurts either).
6. Mark Your Calendar
If you are applying for a number of different scholarships or grants, as well as applying for the study abroad program itself, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different deadlines and application requirements. This may seem obvious, but make a calendar specific to your study abroad scholarship applications, with each deadline clearly marked. Staying organized is crucial when applying to more than one scholarship.
7. Apply and Don’t Get Tired of Applying
I know this may seem tiring but apply for as many study abroad scholarships as you can. Although this will require considerable amounts of time and patience, every little bit of it counts. Since you’ve already done a lot of legwork, your process should run smoothly.
Importantly, you’ve to tailor your application whenever possible and avoid the temptation to simply copy and paste from one application to another. Scholarship providers know when you’ve done your research on the values of their foundation or the focus of a specific scholarship. Customizing each application will give you a much better chance of becoming a pro at figuring out how to study abroad with scholarship.
8. Take Your Time & Take it Seriously
It can be easy to feel the need to rush through applications, especially if you are applying to a number of them. However, you should treat study abroad applications just as seriously as the applications you completed to be accepted into your university. Read and assimilate the information for scholarships to study abroad, and leave yourself enough time to complete all of your applications without feeling like you’re under a heavy-hammer deadline. You’ll turn out better-quality work if you do not feel rushed, and better-quality work means a better chance for more financial aid.
9. Have the Grades
Having good grades is very important for getting a scholarship to study abroad. However, not all scholarships require stellar grades or grade point averages, but many of them do. This is simply because the providers want to know that the student receiving their scholarship is serious about their study abroad experience. It’s important to put in the work and get good grades before your time abroad to show scholarship providers that you plan to take your study abroad experience seriously as not just a chance to travel, but also an opportunity to expand your academic horizons.