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15 Most Prestigious Scholarships for International Students [Updated]

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Thousands of scholarships out there for international students. But all scholarships are not created equal. Some scholarship programs offer much more than financial aid. It brings along prestige for the student. We have selected the top 10 most prestigious scholarships for international students.

Top Scholarships for AfricaThese scholarships are offered annually, need based and often competitive.

1. MasterCard foundation Scholars programme: The vision of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars program is to educate and develop bright yet economically marginalized young people in Africa who have a demonstrated “give-back” ethos and who will contribute to the transformation of the continent. It will transition promising young people from beneficiaries to benefactors, preparing them with the values, knowledge, skills, and leadership to fuel economic and social progress across Africa. The Scholars Program is anticipated to benefit 15,000 young people within 8 to 10 years. See link

2. UK – Commonwealth Scholarship Programme: Each year, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission invites each nominating agency, university or university body to forward a specific number of nominations for the commonwealth scholarship for developing countries. Approximately 200-230 scholarships are awarded each year. See link.

3. Australia Awards for Africa: The Australia Awards for Africa is an initiative of the Australian Government aimed to maximize the benefit of the Australian Government’s extensive scholarship programs, and to support enduring ties between Australia and neighboring African Countries. Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) are available for full-time Postgraduate Diploma or Master Degree studies for African Nationals at Australian universities. See link.

4. Joint Japan World Bank Scholarships
The  Joint Japan World Bank  Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) sponsors students from developing countries to pursue graduate studies leading to a master’s degree from preferred and partner universities around the world. The scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance. See link

5. UK – Chevening Scholarship: The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Scholarship programme was established in 1983 and is now an internationally prestigious scheme with over 41,000 alumni. In 2011-12 there were over 700 Chevening Scholars studying at universities across the UK. Chevening Scholarships are currently offered in approximately 110 countries. Chevening awards enable Scholars to study a one-year postgraduate Master’s course in any discipline at any UK university. See link

6. UK – Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Programme: Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from DFID) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK. Since establishment in 1959, 27,000 individuals have benefited, with 120 to 150 awards every year. Scholarships are open to Commonwealth citizens. Awards are for postgraduate study (Masters and PhD). See link

7. Sweden – Swedish Institute Study Scholarship: Swedish Institute Study Scholarships for 12 Developing Countries to study for Undergraduate and Master’s degree programme. The scholarship covers both the tuition fee and living expenses to the amount of SEK8,000 (€878.9799) per month. Scholarship holders within the SI Study Scholarships will receive a travel grant in connection with the scholarship. The travel grant is a lump sum of SEK 10.000. (€ 1098.7249). See link.

8. Any country – OFID Scholarship Award: Each year the OFID (The OPEC Fund for International Development) Scholarship is awarded to support an undergraduate student from any developing country, to pursue higher education in a relevant field of development, in any recognized university/college in the world. Through its scholarship scheme, OFID aims to help highly motivated, highly driven individuals overcome one of the biggest challenges to their careers – the cost of advanced professional or graduate training. The winner will receive up to US$100,000. See link.

9. UK – Reach Oxford Scholarship – University of Oxford: A number of Oxford colleges offer Reach Oxford scholarships (formerly Oxford Student Scholarships) to students from developing countries who, for political or financial reasons, or because standard educational facilities do not exist, cannot study for a degree in their own countries. Scholarship winners will study at Oxford University, UK under any undergraduate course of study, except Medicine due to the course length and expense. The scholarship covers University and college fees, full grant for living expenses, return flight to the UK at the start and end of the course per year. See link.

10. Germany – DAAD Scholarship: DAAD Scholarship Programmes have benefited hundreds of African students since inception. The scholarships are awarded each year to postgraduate students wishing to study for a Master’s or PhD degree. The DAAD scholarships can support students who want to study in their country (In Country Scholarships) or abroad. Annual application deadline for this scholarship is 15 October every year. See link.

11. Fulbright Foreign Scholarship: Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarships Program is offered for Masters, PhD and non-degree postgraduate studies to study at USA Universities. Scholarship is open for approximately 4,000 international students of more than 155 countries worldwide. See link.

12. New Zealand Development Scholarships for African Students
The New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS) offers the opportunity for international students from selected developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to study in New Zealand to gain knowledge and skills through post-graduate study in specific subject areas that will assist in the development of their home country.  The scholarships include tuition fees, travel costs, living allowance, and insurance. See Link

13. Fully-Funded Rotary Peace Fellowship for Masters and Professional Programs
The Rotary Foundation offers scholarship funding through the Rotary Foundation Global Grant scholarships. The scholarship funds graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. The minimum budget for a global grant scholarship is $30,000 which can fund the following: passport/visa, inoculations, travel expenses, school supplies, tuition, room and board, etc. Generally, the study grants can be carried out in any country where there is a host Rotary club or district. See link

14. Korean Government Scholarships
The Korean Government Scholarship Program is designed to provide international students with an opportunity to conduct advanced studies at higher educational institutions in Korea and to develop global leaders and strengthen Korea-friendly networks worldwide.  The scholarships cover tuition, allowance, travel, airfare, medical insurance, etc. See link

15. VLIR-UOS Scholarship Program
VLIR-UOS awards scholarships to students from 31 developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to pursue an English Taught Training or Master’s Programme related to development at Universities in Belgium. The scholarships cover tuition fee, accomodation, allowance, travel costs,  and other program related costs. See link

Also see

List of Scholarships in US

List of Scholarships in UK

80 Study Abroad Scholarships

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