Study Abroad

How to Travel Abroad for Free – Scholarships, Fellowships +More

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Sarah Aboje
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Can One Travel Abroad for Free?

Many people especially youths and young adults are becoming more interested in traveling abroad for free – leaving their home countries for a more advanced society and this has been a bone of contention as many people have sought after diverse means of leaving their countries.

Before now, people who were so desperate to leave their hometowns went through illegal means such as illegal boarding of ships crossing the sea into another nation. Unfortunately for some, they lost their lives in the process. Over 10,000 people have died on the Mediterranean route and the deserts. Those who died in the deserts are far more than the dead victims along the Mediterranean route. The quest to move to a greener pasture has been a major concern, especially in Africa. Many young people think that there are better opportunities outside the shores of their continents, luring them into all sorts of illegal migration.

This article will explain the diverse opportunities and routes opened to legally migrate into more favorable continents without paying much or at all. Today it is easier to travel abroad for free through various scholarship schemes, workshops, conferences, be it academic or professional, fellowships, or even visa lottery.

How Can I Travel Abroad for Free on Scholarship?

Any hesitation about studying abroad is usually related to the cost, however, what most students don’t know is that they can apply their on-campus aid package in addition to a scholarship. A study abroad scholarship is a monetary award for students to use towards the expenses of their program, such as travel costs, credit, books, and lodging. Some scholarships are highly competitive while some are not. There are several types of study abroad scholarships to apply for such as: merit-based, these awards are based on a student’s academic, artistic, athletic, or other abilities. Qualifications for different scholarships may vary from the other.

Over time, many students around the world, especially the developing nations have been benefitting from the free scholarship programs. These programs are organized by different agencies to make their study experience a smooth one. Studying abroad usually comes with a hefty price tag. Unfortunately, only a few people can afford it. However, scholarship programs have helped to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. This is possible by providing a form of leverage for brilliant students who are not able to fund their studies. Although scholarship applications may be rigorous and stressful it offers a wonderful pay cut. Some scholarships offer even free residences and also bear the cost of study materials aside from tuition.

In essence, you get a good quality education at no cost and even live your dream of traveling abroad at no cost. To become a beneficiary, you need to take certain steps which include; asking for help, First and foremost, don’t be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help. It is also important for you to do your research before applying. The more scholarships you can apply for, the more financial aid you will get. Some scholarships are on a merit basis, student-specific, destination-specific, program-specific, and subject-specific. While others are University-Provided Study Abroad Scholarships/Grants, Organization-Provided Scholarships/Grants, and Government-Funded Scholarships/Grants for Study Abroad.

Additionally, it is also very important to contact the scholarship board. Contact the Scholarship/Grant Funder Directly to confirm the availability and eligibility status for the scholarship. Then after confirming the scholarship, align your resume as it is an important part of your application. Cover letters go hand-in-hand with resumes. They are sometimes a crucial part of an application. They can be your one chance to make an argument for why you deserve to get the scholarship. Most study abroad scholarship essays and applications require personal references; that is, someone you’ve worked with either in a professional or academic setting. Therefore, you must choose and contact your referee. The next phase is to apply after gathering all the necessary documents.

Top 10 Fully-Funded Scholarships to Travel Abroad

  1. Chevening Scholarship – UK: it is the UK government’s international award program. Additionally, it has been aimed at developing global leaders since 1983 funded by the foreign and commonwealth office and partner organizations. They offer two types of awards, Chevening scholarship and Chevening fellowship. The recipients are personally selected by the British embassy and High Commission throughout the world. Afterwards, It is awarded to approximately 1500 individuals every year. It offers full financial support for a master’s degree at any of the UK universities.
  2. Commonwealth Scholarship: The Commonwealth Commission offers around 800 awards for postgraduate study and professional development. Over 27500 commonwealth scholars and fellow they receive funding from the UK government CSC since 1959. There are several CSCs and fellowships tenable at designated UK universities and open to undergraduate, masters, and PhD. All these depend on the commonwealth country.
  3. Chinese Government Scholarship: The Chinese government universities and industry bigwigs as well as its various foundations are one of the greatest scholarship providers in the world for both international students and Chinese citizens.
  4. Fulbright Foreign Scholarship: it enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the US. The scholarships are for studies toward a master’s or PhD degree. Also, it can be awarded to a non-degree postgraduate study applicant.
  5. Australia Award Scholarship: the government offers up to 1000 Australian awards to students from developing countries every year. This scholarship is one of the exceptional ones because it prioritizes work experience over academic grades and qualifications. A second-class graduate can win this scholarship if he or she puts in a good scholarship application.
  6. Schwarzman Scholars Program: Up to 200 scholars win the award yearly. The basis of selection is not only on academics. It also includes their leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities. All qualified candidates must have completed their undergraduate degrees before enrolment and English language proficiency.
  7. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship: This is one of the very popular scholarships offered by the German government. DAAD supports up to 80% of degree programs of particular interest to students from developing countries. It ranges from bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate research. It could be a full or partial scholarship.
  8. New Zealand Commonwealth and Developing Scholarship: The development scholarship allows the participant to gain knowledge in a specific area. The scholarship provides financial support for tuition, living costs, and airfares.
  9. Mastercard Scholarship: It started in 2012, the program provides financial, social, and academic support to scholars. Financial support includes tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other scholastic materials. Students can apply to study at selected universities in the US, Canada, the UK, and Africa.
  10. Joint Japan World Bank Group Scholarship Program: The scholarship covers the cost of completing a master’s degree, return air, travel allowances, tuition, and cost of basic medical and accident insurance. It will last also for a maximum duration of two years.

Travel Abroad for Free for Fellowships

Moreover, fellowships for international students are available for undergraduate, graduate, master’s, PhD, and postdoctoral degree programs.

Top 10 Fully-Funded Fellowships to Travel Abroad for Free

1. Postdoctoral Fellowship Position for International Students at Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

The program is open for international and domestic students who want to apply for the postdoctoral fellowship. Applications are open globally. To be eligible, the applicants must meet all the given criteria. Also, The candidate must have completed the PhD less than 7 (seven) years ago. The scholarship assumes exclusive dedication to the research project.

2. QMUL Fully Funded International B.A. Krukoff Fellowship in Systematics

Additionally, the program focuses on research skills and methods, training fellows. This is to ensure they become both scholars and practitioners in the fields of governance and the economics of technology. The United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) is a research and training institute of the United Nations University based in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands. Applications are open globally. The fellowship is awarded to pursue a PhD degree program in Innovation, Economics, and Governance for Development.

3. Perry World House Global Innovation Program Postdoctoral Fellowships in USA

The fellowships are available for students from all over the world. The fellowship program is seeking postdoctoral fellows who want to study global affairs and have an interest in interdisciplinary outreach and policy relevance.

4. Bright Minds Fellowships at Utrecht University in the Netherlands

Outstanding students have a great chance to apply for the Bright Minds Fellowships offered by Utrecht University. The fellowship is available to undertake a Master’s degree program. The scholarship aims to attract and retain talented students from a broad range of backgrounds, as well as stimulate and support global excellence and diversity in the students. EU/EEA including Dutch students are eligible to apply for the fellowships.

5. 100 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships at the Department of Archaeology, Cambridge University, UK

Applications are open for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2020 at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. The Leverhulme Trust Board is offering 100 three-year postdoctoral fellowship awards. Applications are open for all nationalities.

6. City University of Hong Kong International PhD Scholarship in Architectural and Urban Design

It offers a range of degree programs nationally and globally. Applications from all nationalities are acceptable.

7. City University of Hong Kong International PhD Scholarship in Architectural and Urban Design

The fully-funded PhD program is open to students from all nationalities who have a BS or MS degree in Architecture, Urban Design, or closely related fields and wish to gain a higher degree in this fast-growing field. Applicants are eligible to pursue a PhD in architecture and urban design with benefits that include doctoral funding for 4 years ranging from HK$17000 to 25800 per month (around EUR 2000 – 3000 per month). Winners will get an international, dynamic, and stimulating work environment.

8. Dianne Woest International Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities

The fund is open to both domestic and international students. The Fellowship is available for doctoral candidates, academic or museum professionals, and independent scholars. It aims to encourage fellows to explore research facilities in the Greater New Orleans area. Candidates who apply must hold an undergraduate or master’s degree at the time of admission. If English is not your first language then you must submit a copy of a recent English language test certificate or provide details of when you are going to take the test.

9. ALPSS Honours / Postgraduate Diploma Awards for International Students at University of Waikato

This funding opportunity is exclusively open for domestic and international students. The awards are open twice a year (for A and B Semesters) to support and encourage students who are enrolling in their first year of study up to 500-level. The studentships are open to pursue Honours / Postgraduate degrees in Arts, Law, Psychology, and Social Sciences.

10. Full Tuition William R.Berkley program at NYU Stern School of Business, USA

The New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business is the business school of New York University with 202 full-time faculty and 74 adjunct professors. It offers a broad spectrum of academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Domestic and international students are eligible to apply. The sponsorship will be open to pursue a full-time MBA, Fashion & Luxury MBA, or Andre Koo Tech MBA.

Travel Abroad for Free on Internships

Interning abroad is one of the best investments you can make in yourself as a young professional. It helps your resume stand out, builds concrete cross-cultural skills, and gives you direct experience in a region of the world that interests you, helping you further develop an area of expertise in the global job marketplace. Although, like any investment, an international internship can be costly. Several internship providers charge thousands of dollars for short-term placements, not including airfare and the cost of food and housing once you arrive. There are ways, however, to get the experience without an over-inflated price tag.

Top 10 Fully-Funded Internships to Travel Abroad for Free

  1. Government of Japan Internships: Every year, more than 100 internship slots are opened by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. With this internship, you will receive 4,000 yen daily for living expenses throughout your internship. You will also receive a round-trip air ticket, Internship insurance, Transportation, and accommodation expenses including training program fees when participating in the training.
  2. Government of Italy Invest Your Talent Scholarship: The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation funds a program where international students can undertake a Laurea Magistrale or Master’s degree followed by a mandatory 9-month internship at selected Italian companies.
  3. World Bank Internship: The World Bank Group, in its effort to provide graduate students with practical experience in global development, offers World Bank paid internships for Young Graduates. The Bank Group pays an hourly salary to all interns and, if needed, provides an allowance towards travel expenses.
  4. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Internship Program for International Students: provides an opportunity for postgraduate students to gain an insider experience of the integrated, member country focused, mandate and work of the IMF. Internships are offered to about 50 master’s and PhD students each year. IMF interns receive a competitive salary, Round-trip air travel, and limited medical insurance coverage.
  5. European Commission Traineeship: The EU has a 5-month traineeship where university students from all over the world get to work at executive bodies and agencies of the European Institutions. In this internship, a per-month living allowance will be offered. This is in addition to visa and medical allowances.
  6. IBM Great Minds Student Internships: The Great Minds internship by IBM is a competition for internships of 3 to 6 months at one of IBM’s Research Labs in Zurich, Nairobi, or Johannesburg for students from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
  7. Google Business Internship: The Google Business Internship is open twice a year. This 6-month internship by Google is open to undergraduate or master’s students in their penultimate year. As an intern, you’ll have the opportunity to work on projects central to Google’s business, whether it is Sales, Google for Work, Finance, People Operations (HR), Legal, Trust and Safety, or Marketing. It is a paid internship program.
  8. African Development Bank Internship: The African Development Bank offers several internship spots to current master students from its member African countries. As an intern of the AfDB, you will be provided with a monthly stipend but you do have to cover other expenses by yourself.
  9. Employment-Based Scholarship Programme for International Students: The Irish Council offers this scholarship. It is for postgraduate students who want to be employed while undertaking research in a qualified higher institution. So if you want to pursue your master’s degree, Master by research, or PhD in Ireland, then go for this scholarship which comes with an internship program.
  10. Open Society Internship: If you are a master’s student specializing in public policy and open society, apply for this internship. The internship will involve a clinical seminar fully paid for. It will hold at the School of Public Policy at Central European University Budapest. Thereafter, it is followed by an 8- to 12-week internship at an outstanding nongovernmental organization. The internship also includes a stipend covering daily expenses, visa costs, accommodation, travel insurance, and relocation funds.

Many more internship opportunities are available for you here

Travel abroad for Free for Conferences.

Conferences bring together people from all different geographical areas who share a common discipline. This is a great way to meet new people. There are a lot of free conferences available to people in different disciplines. This allows them to learn or communicate their research findings.

Top 10 Fully-Funded Conferences to Travel Abroad for Free

  1. POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowships For Developing Countries: a Partial Funding international scholarship. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) sponsors this scholarship for international students.
  2. Travel Research Grant to Poland for 3 Months: This Conferences & Travel Grants scholarship is for students pursuing Law (in particular human rights, constitutional law, international law); political science; and contemporary history.
  3. United Nations Journalism Fellowships in the US: a Partial Funding international scholarship. The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund sponsors this scholarship for international students. This Conferences & Travel Grants scholarship is open to Journalism professionals.
  4. University of Toronto – Petro Jacyk Visiting Scholars Program in Canada:  is a Full Funding international scholarship. It is offered by the University of Toronto for international students. This focus includes state- and institution-building in Ukraine. It also focuses on law and governance; problems of democratization; education, culture, and identity of the nation and ethnic groups in Ukraine; history and the imperial past; and foreign policy and international relations.
  5. Turkey Europe Future Forum Program: is a Partial Funding international scholarship. The Istanbul Policy Center at Sabanci University and Stiftung Mercator sponsors it. This Conferences & Travel Grants scholarship can be taken for pursuing International Relations between Turkey and Europe.
  6. Diplomat Summer Fellowship Program for Social Innovators: is a Partial Funding international scholarship offered by the Diplomat for international students. This Conferences & Travel Grants scholarship can be taken for pursuing in Entrepreneurship and social innovation.
  7. Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada – Media Fellowships: is a Partial Funding international scholarship. The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada sponsors it for international students.
  8. Rotary Peace Fellowships: is a Full Funding international scholarship offered by Rotary International for international students. This offer is open to individuals specializing in Peace and conflict prevention and resolution.
  9. Visiting Graduate Research Internship: This offer can be taken for pursuing Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Health, Safety & Environment Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, or Petroleum Geosciences. It is a partially funded international scholarship.
  10. T2M Fellowship for International Researchers: is a Partial Funding international scholarship. It is offered by the University of Turin / Università Degli Studi di Torino (UNITO) for international students. This PhD, Post Doc, Conferences & Travel Grants scholarship can be taken for pursuing in All scientific research disciplines, except Engineering and Architecture.

Recommended for you: Top 10 Short Course Scholarships to Travel and Study Abroad

In conclusion, there are diverse means of bringing the dream of traveling abroad for free to reality without being involved in illegal acts. This is even especially available to young people who wish to study abroad. There are hundreds of scholarships, internships, fellowships, and conference schemes available to make this dream come through.

Start With Us

Do you want to study abroad? Note that obtaining a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in this field helps to improve your chances in the labor market. Studying abroad is no joke for international students due to the cost. However, you can achieve your dreams without breaking the bank by applying for student loans, which you can pay for as long as 10 years. 

MPower Finance and Prodigy Finance are some of the best student loan providers for international students. They also do not require a cosigner or collateral before an application. Reach out to us today, and let’s help you begin the process. 


This post was last modified on June 19, 2024 7:00 am