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Study Abroad - A guide for international students needing scholarship

Écrit par Dr. Damaris Foping



Even though there is nothing as expensive as studying abroad, there is hope even for students from humble beginnings!avalenche

Yes, you can end up abroad, even if, as they say on the street, you have no one in this world. How do I know? Thousands of African students from some of the poorest families in Africa set sail to the West every year. I myself am a living example.


If you belong to this category and have always longed for the chance to better your education abroad, this guide was prepared just for you. Its purpose is to show you just how to go about securing the vital money you will need to see your dream become a reality.

Let's start with 3 important facts:

  1. As I mentioned earlier, studies abroad are open to everybody, rich and poor – that's the truth. The rich simply have it easy; the minute you can pay for things like tuition and living expenses, all sorts of doors open before you. Meanwhile, the poor have nothing other than the results of their own hard work, i.e., past accomplishments to recommend them . For this reason, knowing what to expect is vital, and this information is included for you below).
  2. If, as is the case with the rest of us, you are a “nobody,”, the only way you will ever win a scholarship is if you manage to become the perfect candidate for a scholarship. Qualifications you will need must be accumulated slowly year after year. Knowing what these are early in the course of your training is crucial.
  3. As mentioned below, the universities of foreign nations, especially those of the United States, are highly dependent on foreigners (students). In The majority of foreigners in American universities are Indians and Chinese, but this has nothing to do with racism. These simply are the nationalities with some of the most desirable qualities: numerous scientific / technical / literary publications + field experience. This section is a practical guide to help our students from humble beginnings find an open door for a free education abroad. Tons of tips and other information are provided – FOLLOW the guide!


Generalities and clarifications:


The answer is yes. You can study completely gratis abroad. Note, however, that the 'free' part only applies to you—someone somewhere is obviously footing the bill. Universities are businesses too and heavily rely on income such as tuition and other fees to survive. For you to study abroad for free you need a scholarship, which at the end of the day means that either the government (yours or a foreign), an NGO or the university that awarded the scholarship will be paying the bills. Studying abroad is extremely expensive.

Going abroad, thanks to scholarships, is now everybody's dream – all the fun GRATIS! But the fact is scholarships are A PAIN. This, regardless of how brilliant you are, because those who generally wait till they can get a scholarship are those who have no other way; i.e., can't pay for their tuition out of pocket (students from poor families). According to recent statistics, in the USA for instance, the majority of students who enter the US every year pay for their studies out of pocket. It is a lot easier that way, and, besides, there are a number of advantages when you pay out of pocket.


  1. Unpredictable - no one can predict when you will get a scholarship, this regardless of how bright you are. Many students were awarded a scholarship at their first try but it is also true that an overwhelming number of those you see setting sail for the West every year have tried for years – practice makes perfect!
  2. Scholarships are extremely competitive and only the very best (definition varies from scholarship to scholarship) are chosen. End result? Average students who otherwise could have shined abroad, are never given a chance.
  3. One goes abroad to become a success, to become one of the best in a particular field/industry. More often than not, this might call for a drastic change in program. When you pay out of pocket you often can do whatever you want (within reason). The need for such changes is not always foreseeable when you are applying for a scholarship, and usually not possible once you have one.


Every year, thousands of students learn the hard way that when it comes to going abroad for studies, there is such a thing as having "a wrong mindset" - a very frequent problem among African students, especially. Oh yes, when it comes to going abroad for studies, there are right and wrong mindsets. If you are planning on going abroad, whether on personal funds or not, nothing is more important than making sure that, before anything else, you get things right in this regard.

Why is your mindset upon landing overseas so important? Simple: experience has shown that ultimately it will have the greatest influence upon the end result of your visit - i.e., whether you experience a happy ending or not.



OK, let's jump right in:


- This is the vision you must have:


You see, we succeed in life because we become the best at something. You succeed because you become so good in a field that employers from around the globe would do anything to have/keep you. Do you know for example that there are plenty of foreigners (scientists, engineers ......) who entered the United States under a temporary visa and, without ever attempting anything illegal, have never left? They now live permanently in the USA – what happened? Simple: the employer (or the nation itself) has refused to see them go.


Becoming the best in one's field is easier abroad because the best opportunities and institutions are abroad. This is what should drive you abroad—nothing else...READ MORE


More details have been provided below, but let’s start with a briefing about steps you can take today and that a few years from now could double / triple your chances of raising the funds you need to study abroad.  Tip # 1: Join a cause – and become an active participant/a true believer (extracurricular activities)

    1. Make sure the particular cause has something to do with the fight against poverty in Africa or, more broadly, the development of your country/ Africa
    2. You must be serious about your involvement in the particular activity. Try your very best to hold leadership positions or to be put in charge of tasks that demand a certain degree of leadership
    3. Document your involvement (certificate + awards)
    4. If possible join a cause related to what you are studying at present or to an area you dream of exploring more deeply if an opportunity to go abroad ever comes your way
    5. Why this trick? Government scholarships were created for passionate students – students with documented proof that the care about the welfare of their nation/ about causes related to the fight against poverty

Tip # 2: Publications - details are provided below but here is crucial qualification that an overwhelming number of students in Africa ignore. A publication in a renowned scientific/literary work can get you a scholarship. When it comes to PhD scholarship especially, I can’t think of anything more important than the number of your publications.

Tip # 3: Laboratory techniques / experience on the field. Techniques you master matter! – Faculty that invite application for research position in their laboratories love hearing about your skills and hands-on work and welcome especially those who will bring new information and techniques to their team.

Tip # 4: Your score on tests such as the GRE or GMAT and other aptitude tests. Did you know that universities around the world and especially in the USA fight over students who received the most impressive scores? Yes, ETS gives them access to their database - they contact the best students themselves; if you are the lucky one, they could offer you a scholarship to facilitate your joining their school.

Tip # 5: Success is something that requires preparation. Someone who plans to apply for scholarships after graduating with a BS or MS should start getting ready the minute they start with their university studies. Let’s consider an example. Okay, you just been admitted to the university and because you (1) dream of being the one who will discover the drug against malaria / AIDS / TB ..... you choose biology / biochemistry. So that you can receive the best training possible, you are also planning on (2) applying for a scholarship (United States and Europe ...) after you received your BS or MS (preferably MS). Now, how do you go about increasing your chances of one day winning a scholarship? Simple. Scholarships such as the ones you are dreaming of are launched every day for students who are a couple of years your senior and who had similar dreams. Try getting your hand son one of these ads so that you can study the profile of the perfect candidate and conform yourself to the essential elements. It's as simple as that.


Below you will find valuable information regarding studies in some of the most popular destinations for international students abroad:





Is Studying in The United States Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?consultantsatlantisetats-unies


We can help you with that!



Americans pride themselves on the fact that the United States is the one country of the world where you can literally become anything you want. Hundreds of American universities are among the best in the world – the flexibility of programs offered is amazing - If you are ambitious and above all can pay out of pocket for your studies, USA is THE destination for you.


Here are some other facts that may also interest you: READ MORE




consultantsatlantisangleterreIs Studying in the UK Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?


We can help you with that!




We go abroad to acquire the necessary knowledge to become the best in our field, nothing else; England is accordingly one of the best destinations – it's universities have a reputation for excellence. Did you know, for instance, that Cambridge University alone has about 83 Nobel laureates, a record unmatched by any other university anywhere in the world?

Here are some other facts that may also interest you: READ MORE




consultantsatlaallemangneIs Studying in Germany Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?


 We can help you with that!


Did you know for instance that the flexibility of the German higher education system is such that it makes it possible for a student to receive only part of their studies in Germany or, even better, for  students to set the date of their exams themselves? 







Is Studying in France Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?consultantsatlantisfrance


We can help you with that!



Did you know for instance that unlike in universities of developed nations like Anglo-Saxon countries, the entry requirements for French universities are less selective? According to statistics, France is the favorite destination for African students.


Here are some other facts that may also interest you: READ MORE




Is Studying in Australia Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?H.A.S.etudiezetrangerconsultant5


We can help you with that!


Did you know that new immigration laws allow for a greater openness of Australia to foreigners?


 Here are some other facts that may also interest you: READ MORE









Here are several points you might want to consider:


  • Tuition fees to study towards a bachelor's, master's, and even doctorate are often negligible - FREE.

  • Moreover the cost of living in this country is one of the lowest among developed nations.
  • The educational system in this country is one of the most advanced in the world.
  • Finland is a healthy place to live. Much is being done there to keep the environment as healthy as possible.



Is Studying in Belgium Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?consultantsatlantisbelgique


We can help you with that!


Did you know that the qualifications obtained abroad are recognized in Belgium? This is a tremendous asset as it can greatly limit the duration of your training there.


 Here are some other facts that may also interest you:


  • The cultural and linguistic diversity of Belgium allows a greater openness of their nation toward students from around the globe (French and English-speakers). This particular feature also facilitates foreign students' integration.
  • Except for certain sectors such as medicine, access to university education usually does not require an entrance examination.. READ MORE




Is Studying in Canada Something You Have Been Contemplating Forever?consultantsatlantiscanada


We can help you with that!


 Did you know that contrary to what takes place in countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States, entrance tests such as the TOEFL, GRE or IELTS are not always required for admission in Canadian universities and colleges


 Here are some other facts that may also interest you:

French and English are the two official languages ​​of Canada. This is a great advantage for Francophone or Anglophone students who can benefit from a quality education without having to pass a language test. READ MORE


consultantsatlantischineIs Studying in China Something You Been Contemplating Forever?

 We can help you with that!



Did you know that in an effort to encourage international students to choose China as a destination for studies abroad, the Chinese government gives out tons of scholarships every year? Oh yes! A list of universities where you can study free is included here.


For those that can't pay for their studies out of pockets, their are several potential sources of funding




Let's talk about scholarships in more detail: something that student often ignores is that governmental and university scholarships should not be approached the same way.

Below are some important tips to help you boost your chances






Of all awards categories, this probably is my favorite. The reasons are simple:


  1. They usually are 'fully funded' which means all expenses are covered: roundtrips, tickets, tuition and other fees plus a nice monthly salary (stipend).
  2. They aim at improving living conditions in developing countries.

Generally, there is no discrimination in terms of choice of field of study. Basically all they need is you showing them how what you are proposing to study abroad will help you change/save lives in Africa/your country.


Here is one of the best articles on the subject. Please make sure you read it over and over







Getting a college scholarship is easy if you:

  1. Understand the basic principles governing such awards; these are very different from those governing scholarship launched by governments and NGO around the world (If you have not already done so, please start by reading this article about government scholarships, it will be of great interest to you).
  2. Have been getting ready to apply for this scholarship for months and more often than not years - I will explain.





Those looking for an opportunity to get into a PhD program abroad have the best chance of find funds. Many governmental/NGO scholarships target them and, furthermore, universities around the world rely heavily on PhD students to carry out various research projects. As a consequence research assistantship positions become available every day in universities across Europe, America, and Asia. It is important to note that many of these opportunities are never publicized over the internet, so the best way to go about obtaining one is to prepare a nice CV and cover letter and start visiting the websites of universities in your targeted field and country, looking for openings, and collecting the emails of faculty whose research interests coincide with yours. The next step is to send them an email—many will reply, and if you have done great things research-wise in the past, you may get lucky. What more there, is often little to know competition for these positions.

How do you find faculty more likely to hire? Those with NIH grant money are listed here: http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm


Please remember that applying for a scholarship is a very serious matter. It is definitely not synonymous with filling out a set of papers/forms and hoping for a miracle to happen.

It requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Please be aware that any document that is required from you as part of your application will play a key role in helping the jury answer the questions: “What is special about this candidate? Does this candidate stand out from others? Why?” Please keep this in mind at all times as you prepare your application. Please prepare each required document with dedication and great care, stressing, where required (CV, letter of motivation…), what makes you unique (past achievements, part of your personality …).


Getting a scholarship is all about proving to the members of the jury of the respective scholarship that you are the perfect candidate.



Application Form

Some scholarships require that prior to applying, the student secures admission into a program. If this is the case of the scholarship you are applying for, here is some advice concerning admission to universities. Your application form should be neat and clear to create a good impression. Unless it specifically asks you to complete the forms by hand, use a typewriter or word processor. You should fit your information into the application form provided and only use additional pages where necessary. Keep your personal information consistent and always spell your name the same way on all documents. This will help schools keep track of your application materials more easily. Remember that large universities handle thousands of student records annually.



Test Scores

When you apply to take the GRE, GMAT, MAT, TOEFL, or other examinations, you should know which universities you wish to apply to. This way you will be able to specify at that time that you wish to have your scores sent to those universities. You will save time and money by sending the scores at test time rather than requesting separate scores at a later date. When you submit an application, also include a photocopy of your test score reports, if possible. The admissions office can more easily match the official scores with your application and, in some instances, they may begin processing your application with only the photocopy.


Statement of Purpose

Almost all graduate programs ask applicants to submit a personal statement, or statement of purpose, as part of the application process. The personal statement gives universities a chance to get a glimpse of you as an individual, an insight that is not possible in the grades and numbers that make up the rest of your application. The goal is to write a clear, concise, and persuasive statement that sincerely reflects your views and aspirations. The admissions committee that reviews applications wants to see if there is a good match between you and the department or school and whether the degree program can meet your needs.

The statement of purpose is an important part of the application, and it is essential that you write the best statement possible. READ MORE


Letter Recom.


You will usually be asked for at least two recommendations. Your recommenders (or references or referees) must be able to write about your work and be able to assess your potential to do well in graduate school. Ideally, they should be written by professors who have taught you in the past, if you are applying for an academic degree program; however, if you are not a recent graduate, one recommendation can be from an employer. For professional programs, references from employers and professors are acceptable.

Some universities send recommendation forms with the application; if so, ask your recommenders to use these forms and to follow the instructions printed READ MORE

Financial Statement

Most universities include a form called a Declaration and Certification of Finances or Affidavit of Financial Support in their application packets. This document must be signed by whomever is meeting your university expenses. It may also have to be certified by a bank or lawyer. Keep a copy of this form since you may also need it to apply for your student visa. Schools usually need to know that you have sufficient funds to cover at least the first year's expenses, although many may also ask you to indicate your source of income for the entire period of study. If you know when you apply that you will need some form of assistance from the university or other sources, such as scholarship programs, indicate how much you plan to request or apply for. Please note, however, that the university will issue the relevant certificate of eligibility for a student visa only if you are able to document fully your source(s) of income. Some academic departments or schools operate on a policy whereby your application for admission will be considered first, and then they will consider your need for financial aid. Other schools and departments that have limited or no financial aid available for their students will give higher priority to applicants who do not need financial support from the university.


Yes, studying GRATIS abroad is a reality, and thousands of scholarships, created for one reason or another, flood the internet. An impressive number of such, especially those scholarships for which African students qualify, are grouped on our database which is frequently updated. 

Note that for those who truly are from humble beginnings, fully funded scholarships suit you the best. This is because everything – from the round-trip ticket, tuition, health insurance to monthly living expenses (stipend) – everything is covered. There are many such scholarships in our database. Look for the ones launched by governments in an effort to help impoverished nations by better equipping their youth.

Note that there are also scholarships which, though they are not fully funded, cover a huge portion of your needs. These scholarships often cover living expenses (monthly stipend) + tuition, leaving out only your health insurance and round-trip ticket. University scholarships generally fall into this category.


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Please visit our database for more scholarships, especially

 those launched by universities

















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