Disclaimer: This guide is created by Veronica, co-founder of Borderless. I am not a college counselor, this information is based on my personal experience of studying abroad and working with students. The guide will be continuously updated with input from Borderless’s community members!
The bottom line is: You can study abroad even if you can’t afford college tuition! To understand what financing options you have as an international student, visit this page. In this guide, we will review the basic steps you need to take in order to secure a scholarship to a foreign university. It’s not easy, but it can truly change your life💫
Getting a scholarship is a long process — it's not something you can prepare for in a couple of weeks. Whenever you see this guide should be the starting point for you to take action!
Do your research
Being able to do your own research and use Google is one of the most important skills one needs in this process! You can start by exploring Opportunities on Borderless. Don’t be lazy — read everything very carefully and pay attention to requirements, deadlines, and all financial aspects. You should not need to pay consultants to tell you where to go, everything you need to know is out there!
An important thing to note: university’s website is the only 100% reliable source of information. Immigration policies and scholarship rules might change, and only universities will have the most up-to-date information. If for whatever reason you are unable to find what you are looking for, remember that you can always email the university. There are people who are being paid high salaries to reply to students’ inquiries!
Become a strong applicant
After you do in-depth research you should be clear on where you want to apply and what are the requirements. Now it’s time to build your portfolio, which usually consists of grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, awards, and essays. I hope it’s understandable that in order to win a scholarship, you have to be very strong academically. But a lot of universities take a holistic approach, which means they are interested in YOU as a person: what are your values, your interests, your ambitions?
Stand out among other applicants by showing passion and dedication in various areas, by writing creative essays, and having achievements outside of academics. You have to prove to a university that you have potential that is worth investing a few hundred thousand dollars in!
Apply, apply, apply
I know it’s scary, but at the end of the day, you have to submit those applications! Never delay them until the last moment — your internet might fail you, or university’s website could simply stop working due to the high volume of applications. Give yourself enough time to double-check every little detail on each document and proofread every sentence of your essays.
Once you submit — breathe out and go celebrate!
Don’t give up!
Getting a scholarship is tough and you might not always achieve the result you wanted on the first try. I want to encourage you to not give up, and keep trying! Taking a gap year is a perfect opportunity to rest, reflect, improve your application and…kill it the next time! Here is the story of Madina, who took a gap year and got into Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar with a scholarship! Remember, this opportunity will change your life forever!