You don’t have to give up your dream of studying abroad because of money. Hundreds of scholarships are available, some of which can pay the entire cost of your program and more. Unfortunately, many students do not apply for scholarships because they believe their chances of receiving one are about as good as winning the lottery. However, creating a successful scholarship application does not have to be complicated. We’ve discovered a few essential but powerful tips to help you apply for travel scholarships to study abroad!
#1 Apply for as many scholarships as you can
While this may be self-evident, you’d be amazed how many students convince themselves that participating is pointless because they will never win. Unfortunately, too many students share this viewpoint, leaving only a select handful with higher chances of winning. So you’ve got to apply for as many scholarships as you can, as often as you can. Being proactive is the golden rule here.
Friendly tip: To earn a scholarship, study abroad universities require a well-written personal essay as well as a lot of research into your country of choice. Students frequently search the internet for similar articles to gain ideas but do not consider the site’s authority they visit. Thanks to the Samplius online service, which is available for free, every student is encouraged to look through hundreds of examples of free essays and pick an idea that fits their life story.
#2 Make a list of the scholarships you qualify for
Apply for home university scholarships and work your way up from there. Next, meet people working for your college’s study abroad office. Learn about what’s being offered, who’s eligible, the qualifications needed, and the deadline. Then, in Google Drive, create a spreadsheet, writing down all the information you’ve received. Some of the Google searches that proved helpful in the past have been:
- 50+ more study abroad scholarships
- Go Overseas study abroad scholarships
- Institute of International Education Scholarships
- General Scholarship for studying abroad
- United Planet study abroad scholarships
- Acis travel scholarship
#3 Be aware of the organization’s values
First, be aware of your target audience before starting to write your applications for travel scholarships. Next, examine the organization’s fieldwork, mission statement, or values page to determine what matters and how they express their objectives. Then, once you’ve identified those keywords and values, make sure to incorporate them into your application.
#4 Understand how the organization evaluates candidates
What exactly are they looking for? First, please take a look at previous winners or their website’s extensive FAQ. Then, reread the sections that explain how candidates will be assessed. Then, keep returning to this page and comparing and contrasting your application to each of the requirements. This way, your application will not only respect the guidelines, but it’ll also distinguish itself from others because of the keywords.
#5 Avoid generic statements
It would help if you had a unique story to tell; every human being does. So don’t say anything along the lines of, “I’ve always wanted to visit Paris” or “I’ve always wanted to immerse myself in other cultures.” Instead, say something about the refugee family who recently relocated down the street or how much you enjoy visiting art galleries. Bring your passions to life with short stories and personal experiences that might amuse the reader. Avoid being too cheesy or generic; those statements don’t stick.
#6 Show how you’ll give back
Show ideas on how you’ll use your expertise to benefit others, even if the award doesn’t demand it. Will you produce short videos on extraordinary Asian landmarks and distribute them to elementary school teachers? Are you going to start a blog? Organize a photography show? Host a travelog at a local community center? How will you give back to the community?
Make sure it’s something you’ll be able to carry out! For example, organizing an orientation session for the benefit of others can be super exciting. You can offer your tips and tricks to other students and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone.
#7 Apply For Travel Scholarships early
Even if early applicants don’t necessarily have an advantage over you, keep in mind that all applications are examined by humans, who most likely have other jobs and duties in addition to picking scholarship winners. Those examiners will be crowded with applications once the deadline has passed, and they might begin skimming through them.
This is why applying early for travel scholarships is the best option. When someone reads your narrative, connects with it, and sees it as a good fit for their organization’s funds, you have the best chance of winning. In addition, if your application is among 10-12 others because you applied early, it is more likely to be read thoroughly. If it’s throughout the last applications, it might not be as extensively examined.
#8 Respect the scholarship’s rules
When applying for a scholarship, some students make the mistake of not following the rules. Do you want to lose after all of the time and work you put into creating a winning application? Unfortunately, almost every school season, some students break the rules and disqualify themselves from the competition. Make a checklist of the requirements you should be respecting and cross them off as you go through the process.
#9 Double check for eligibility requirements
Check to ensure that you meet all of the requirements and that you’ve nearly completed all of the application procedures before submitting it. Many students are rejected merely because they have forgotten something. Return to your writing. Have you discussed your leadership experience or community involvement? Have you responded to the given prompt? Did you include all the necessary details within your application?
Final Thoughts on How To Get a Travel Scholarship
Keep in mind that every little bit helps. Even if a scholarship is only $1,000, that might be enough to cover your round-trip overseas ticket! Everything adds up. Plus, after you’ve completed one scholarship application, repurposing your writings and recommendations to apply for others is more effortless. In the end, if you’ve got a great profile and the willpower to win, you’re good to go.
If you’re not awarded any scholarships this year, that means you must maintain your academic performance, find ways to increase your eligibility, and reapply the following year. Keep going!
Mary Spears is a journalist and writing specialist. In addition, she interns as a professional marketing specialist at a popular magazine. In her free time, Mary likes to play poker and salsa dance.