Studying abroad not only provides students with an opportunity to learn in a completely different environment and teaching techniques, but also enjoy international experience that will help them expand their cultural horizon. But that’s just half of the story. While the perks are certainly there, the amount of money involved to study abroad is staggering. If you take into account Visa costs, passport costs, plane tickets, tuition, room and board, and other incidentals, the total cost will add up. And that’s just for one semester. Paying for this out of pocket or taking out a loan can be a problem.
Good thing there are fully funded scholarships available where students have an opportunity to get free education from the best universities around the world. All that a student needs to do is to search for options. In Europe, there are plenty of fully funded scholarships that they can choose from. It’s all about doing their homework.
The Irish higher education institutions and the Government of Ireland, for example, offers scholarship for international students from a wide variety of sources. These include the DIT Centenary Scholarship Programme, the Claddagh Scholarship Programme for Chinese students, and Fulbright Scholarships. It is important to note that scholarships are awarded solely at the discretion of the organisation. A student must then meet the criteria they set for eligibility.
Some scholarships in Europe for international students of any age
Boren Awards for International Study
The Boren Scholarship and the Boren Fellow are available for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively, with each one receiving a specific amount that they can use to study abroad during a summer semester to an entire academic school year. Unlike other scholarships, the Boren Awards allow applicants to find their own affiliate institution.
Critical language scholarship (CLS)
This is available for students who wants to study outside of Western Europe. It provides undergraduate and graduate students a scholarship that covers most, if not all costs of the summer class, including international and domestic travel from their home country to the institute program site, room and board, entrance fees for cultural activities, applicable Visa fees and sponsored travel within the host country. Language instruction is also covered with no additional commitment required post-completion of the program.
How to Get a Fully Funded Scholarship
Decide on a course that you want to take
Scholarships are offered for a specific program. This means you don’t have the freedom to pick just any course like you would when paying school out of pocket. In CLS, for example, you must choose a language that is less-commonly taught or considered “critical”, such as Arabic, Turkish, Punjabi, Russian Hindi and Mandarin Chinese.
Meet the criteria set
Different institute programs have different requirements, but a majority of them require applicants to have at least a 3.2 GPA, personal essay and two letters of recommendation. A phone or in-person interview may also be required.
Know when applications open
Many scholarship applications are opened at the beginning of the academic school year or at the end of the summer. It is important for students to be on the lookout for the deadline.