Within just the first three months of 2022, over 133,000 Indian students set off to study abroad. And this number is only going to grow as international travel becomes more flexible as Covid restrictions ease. Major study abroad destinations like the USA, Canada, and Australia see huge numbers of Indian students every year. In fact, an estimated 1.1 million Indians study abroad, of whom around half are in just the USA! And we figure that since you’re here looking into scholarships for Indians, you are hoping to join them. The cost of the full experience - tuition fees, living costs, the whole shebang - is often what makes students hesitate to study abroad. If that’s a big concern for you, don’t worry - we’re here to help. Consider this your scholarship bible - a thorough breakdown of the variety of scholarships to look into (and how to find more) as an Indian student aiming to study abroad!
Scholarships for Indian Students Studying Abroad
One of the biggest hiccups in finding the right scholarship is getting started. And that’s not a bad thing - it just means there are that many options to consider. To whittle what’s available down to the funding options you have the best chances of securing, as well as those that best meet your requirements, you need to know where to start looking.
The most effective way of approaching your scholarship search is to figure out the categories you need to narrow it down to. Generally, you can lead your scholarship search with one or more of the following:
- University-specific scholarships
- Program-specific scholarships
- Scholarships by study level
- Scholarships by country of citizenship
- External scholarships
The first place students usually kick off their scholarship search is with the universities they’re considering applying to. Universities in destinations with huge international student populations very often reserve scholarships specifically for those flying in to study from other countries. Scholarships are often there to incentivise more international students to attend these institutes in the first place! Since international student fees tend to skew a couple of times higher than domestic student fees, scholarships can make degrees at these institutes more accessible for you. Plus, universities around the world want to diversify their student populations and foster a global community!
Here’s a small sampler of the types of international student scholarships you could apply for at some of the world’s best universities.
International Student Scholarships from Some of the World's Best Universities
|Australian University Scholarships||Canadian University Scholarships||US University Scholarships||UK University Scholarships|
Higher Education Scholarship
International Alumni Scholarship
University of Rochester
University of Surrey
University of Tampa
Robert Gordon University
New York University
John Carroll University
London South Bank University
A Few Key Things to Know About University-Specific Scholarships
The scholarships above are just a handful of the options available, from only a few of the universities around the world. Depending on the school and the scholarship, the value and eligibility criteria for each award will vary. For example, some scholarships fully fund your entire tuition, plus annual stipends for your living and travel expenses. Others are partial scholarships, which function more as discounts on your tuition fees.
Scholarship eligibility criteria can also vary. Merit-based scholarships, for instance, will focus on students who show outstanding ability in academics, sports, leadership, and so on. Need-based scholarships take your financial needs and ability to fund your education into account. Schools in the USA, for example, may be need-blind or need-aware. The former, need-blind, refers to schools that do not consider your financial status while evaluating your application. If you successfully enrol, and are unable to fund your studies, need-blind schools like Yale University will chip in to pay the difference for your tuition. Need-aware schools, like Emory University, do consider your finances during the application process. But this doesn’t mean your application is doomed if you can’t afford the tuition. Rather, need-aware schools often use this information to figure out what type of scholarship package to offer you.
The application processes for these scholarships may vary too. Some universities automatically consider you for entrance scholarships as long as you apply. Others require separate applications for their scholarships. Now that you know about the variety and options out there, we strongly urge you to thoroughly research what schools are offering for international students and how you can qualify!
If some of the schools above look like they offer fewer scholarships than others, don’t fret. In the previous section, we included only the scholarships applicable to all international student applicants, including scholarships for Indians. A lot of the time, schools also offer scholarships exclusively for students applying for specific programs or under certain faculties! So, if you’re applying for a degree in Law, for example, we recommend looking into scholarships specifically for Law students at your chosen school!
Types of subject-specific scholarships you may have access to:
|University Name||Country||Subject||Scholarship||Study Level|
|Queensland University of Technology||Australia||Education||QUT Master of Philosophy in Education Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|University of Calgary||Canada||Medicine||Cumming School of Medicine International Tuition Reinvestment Bursary||Postgraduate|
|University of Sussex||UK||Computer Science & Information Systems||Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Postgraduate Conversion Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|University of Sussex||UK||Engineering||Chancellor’s International Engineering and Informatics Scholarship||Undergraduate|
|University College Dublin||Ireland||Business||UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|Drake University||USA||Fine Arts||Fine Arts Scholarship||Undergraduate|
|Curtin University||Australia||Law||Practical Legal Training Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|University of Edinburgh||UK||History, Classics, and Archaeology||School of History, Classics and Archaeology Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|Johns Hopkins University||USA||Nursing||School of Nursing Merit Scholarship||Postgraduate|
|University of Waterloo||Canada||Mathematics||Cindy Forbes Entrance Scholarship in Mathematics||Undergraduate|
Scholarships by Study Level
As you may have noticed, a lot of the scholarships we listed above are specific to certain study levels. The degree you’re aiming for can help target your scholarship search, beyond just filtering down for program-specific scholarships. Some universities offer certain scholarship packages for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Others distinguish the awards they set aside depending on the degree and study level you’re enrolling in.
If you’re applying for a postgraduate program, looking into fellowships and assistantships can open up some interesting opportunities!
While there may be some undergraduate scholarships or awards titled “fellowships”, these are generally merit-based scholarships reserved for graduate-level students! The value and coverage of fellowships will vary depending on where you’re applying. Some will cover your tuition, others part of your living expenses. External organisations, like research councils in the UK, may partner with your university to offer fellowships for prospective postgraduate students pursuing research! Some external organisations may independently offer fellowships and scholarships for international graduate students too. Here are just a few examples of the types of options to consider:
- Georgetown Law Research Fellowships - Georgetown University (USA)
- USF Fellowships - University of South Florida (USA)
- Graduate Recruiting Fellowships and Scholarships - University of Mississippi (USA)
- University Research Fellowship - Royal Society (UK)
- Research Fellowship Program - University of York (UK)
- Nottingham Research and Anne McLaren Fellowships - University of Nottingham (UK)
- Mervyn & Katalin Paterson Fellowship - Australian National University (Australia)
- Seeing Machines ANU PhD Fellowship - Australian National University (Australia)
- Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowships - University of Technology Sydney (Australia)
- University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF) - University of Manitoba (Canada)
- Google PhD Fellowship Program - Google Research
- Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships - Government of Canada (Canada)
At graduate-level, you may have the opportunity to cover part of your tuition and fees by working for the university too! An assistantship can have you taking on one of a few different roles. As a teaching assistant, you would be helping your professors conduct classes, consult with students, grade papers, and so on. As a research assistant, you would work with professors leading studies within your field. Some assistantships also involve administrative or clerical roles working as university staff. All of the above options can contribute toward offsetting part of your tuition. They sometimes also include allowances for your living expenses! Alongside getting to work for your degree, assistantships are great opportunities for students to get some valuable work experience too.
Here are a few examples of assistantships available in major study abroad destinations!
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship (Employment and Scholarship) - University of Kent (UK)
- Sheffield Graduate Teaching Assistantship - University of Sheffield (UK)
- Teaching/Research Assistantship - University of Kentucky (USA)
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship - University of Birmingham (UK)
- Graduate Assistantship - Ball State University (USA)
- Teaching/Research Assistantship - McGill University (Canada)
- Graduate Assistantship (Teaching/Non-teaching) - University of Lethbridge (Canada)
Scholarships for Indians to Study Overseas
Applying for scholarships tends to be a competitive process. And universities recognise this, with several setting aside opportunities for specific socio-demographic groups to create a more diverse and uniformly-represented community. Yes, this means that many universities specifically offer scholarships for Indians applying to their programs! We’re listing just a few of the scholarships available for Indian students studying abroad below:
- Deakin India Postgraduate Bursary 20% - Deakin University (Australia)
- Deakin India Merit Scholarship 25% - Deakin University (Australia)
- Deakin Vice-Chancellor's Meritorious 100% Scholarship (India) - Deakin University (Australia)
- Deakin India Undergraduate Bursary 20% - Deakin University (Australia)
- Sydney International Student Award (India) - University of Sydney (Australia)
- Sydney Scholars India Scholarship Program - University of Sydney (Australia)
- Faculty of Law International Asia Scholarship - Monash University (Australia)
- ANU-Study Canberra India Scholarship - Australian National University (Australia)
- Research School of Accounting South Asia Merit Scholarship - Australian National University (Australia)
- Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics India High Achievers Scholarship - Australian National University (Australia)
- Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics South Asia Merit Scholarships - Australian National University (Australia)
- India Global Leaders Scholarship - University of Queensland (Australia)
- UQ Economics India Scholarship - University of Queensland (Australia)
- Felix Scholarship - School of Oriental and African Studies (UK)
- Cardiff India Scholarship - Cardiff University (UK)
- Global Futures Scholarship - University of Manchester (UK)
- Manchester Science and Engineering International Excellence Scholarship - University of Manchester (UK)
- Tata Scholarship - Cornell University (USA)
- Asia-Pacific Scholarship (LLM) - University of California, Berkeley Law (USA)
- Khursheed Fatima Scholarship - Northern Arizona University (USA)
- Sister Cities Award - University of Toledo (USA)
- India First Year Excellence Scholarship - University of Alberta (Canada)
- University of Alberta India Centenary Scholarship - University of Alberta (Canada)
- Five Faculty of Mathematics International Elite Awards; India - University of Waterloo (Canada)
- Ten Faculty of Mathematics International Excellence Awards; India - University of Waterloo (Canada)
- Principal's International Scholarship; India - Queen’s University (Canada)
Again, this is by no means a complete list - which is great news, because it means you have many more options to look into for international scholarships for Indian students!
The competition for international scholarships as a whole can be stiff. But looking into scholarship options specifically set aside for your country of citizenship can open additional doorways for you! Dig into what your chosen universities are offering for your country, or even your geographical region. Since these scholarships are more niche compared to the bigger and most popular scholarships, there’s a chance that qualifying for them will be comparatively easier too.
External Scholarships for Indians
We touched on a couple of scholarships on offer by external organisations that Indian students studying abroad may find interesting. But there are plenty more to look into, meaning you don’t exclusively have to rely on the aid options your chosen universities are offering.
Both your home or host country governments could have attractive merit- or need-based offers to look into! You may also find your ideal scholarship package on offer from a private or public organisation. Here are a couple to get you going:
|Global Wales Postgraduate Scholarship ||Welsh Government||Wales, UK||Students from India, the USA, Vietnam, and EU countries|
|Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships||Scottish Government||Scotland, UK|
Students from India, Hong Kong, China, Pakistan, the USA, and Canada who are studying postgraduate master’s programs in:
|Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan||Commonwealth Scholarships Commission||UK||Students from Commonwealth countries pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees|
|Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship||Fulbright India, United States-India Educational Foundation||USA|
Students pursuing Master’s degrees at select US schools in:
|Destination Australia Program||Australian Government||Australia||Students enrolling with remote and regional Australian education providers|
|Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)||Australian Government||Australia||Students pursuing postgraduate research degrees at select Australian institutions|
|Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarship||Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation||USA, UK, Europe||Indian students pursuing full-time master’s or doctoral degrees at select world-class universities in the USA, UK, and Europe|
|Women in STEM Scholarship||MPOWER Financing||USA, Canada||Female students enrolling in a full-time degree at an MPOWER-supported institute in the USA or Canada, with a valid student visa|
|Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships||Canadian Government||Canada|
Students pursuing postdoctoral degrees in:
|Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarship||Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation||Canada||Students pursuing postdoctoral research in social sciences and humanities|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can Indian postgraduate students get scholarships to study abroad?
Well, first things first, you will have to research the right option for you! As a postgraduate student, you may be eligible for scholarships and fellowships, as well as assistantships. The former refer to monetary “gifts” from universities or other institutions to cover your tuition, research, and/or living and travel expenses. The latter, assistantships, are opportunities for you to work for your university to offset some of your costs!
You can zero in on your best options for scholarships and awards by filtering your search down depending on:
- Where you want to study (destination)
- Which schools and universities you’re considering
- What program you want to study
- Whether there are any scholarships available that match your sociodemographic profile (e.g. country of citizenship, gender, financial status, etc.)
Look into scholarships and other funding opportunities on offer by your home and host governments, as well as domestic and international organisations! Combing through the plethora of options out there is one of the most effective ways of finding and securing a great scholarship ideal for you.
How many scholarships can an Indian student get?
This depends on the scholarships and institutions you’re applying to. Some scholarship applications will only consider your application eligible if you aren’t applying for or receiving any other award. Others let you apply for multiple awards. It’s best to read the fine print for the scholarships you’re considering - including the ones you are automatically eligible for - to determine whether you’re eligible for multiple awards.
Which countries offer full scholarships for Indian students?
Major study abroad destinations, like the USA, the UK, Canada, and Australia, offer generous scholarships to international students. Depending on the university, you may access both full and generous partial scholarships. Please take a look at the options listed in our article to explore some great scholarships!
Which scholarship is best for Indian students?
This depends on what you’re looking for! A subject-specific scholarship might work better for you, or a scholarship by study level, like a fellowship or assistantship. If the value of the scholarship is a key consideration, you might want to consider external award opportunities as well as those on offer by your school. Remember, the major scholarships universities offer are generally the most competitive ones. You may have a better chance of securing the smaller, more niche awards - sometimes these go unawarded since they didn’t receive any applications. Look into scholarships specific to your program and key socio-demographic factors, like your citizenship and gender. You might also be able to apply for multiple awards - if you’re unable to score a full or substantial scholarship, you can still add up the scholarship sum of different eligible awards.
In which country Indian students can study for free?
As fantastic as it would be to get a study opportunity abroad that’s completely free, we have to approach this question realistically. While you likely won’t get an offer to study abroad with all associated costs fully waived, there are opportunities to study in countries like the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia - all major study abroad destinations - where your tuition and living costs will be fully or substantially covered. Take a look at the scholarship opportunities we break down in the article above to get an idea of the options, as well as where to start looking for the right funding opportunities for you!
Our Concluding Thoughts
If we attempted to list down every single scholarship you may be eligible for as an Indian student aiming to study abroad, it’s safe to say we would be here for a long while. But hopefully, with the run-down of options and opportunities in this article, we’ve given you a great place to kick off your search! The great thing is that you don’t have to limit your scholarship quest to the sizeable number we’ve compiled here. Our breakdowns exist to help you better understand how to go about narrowing down and focusing your scholarship search! Whether you’re looking into your options by location, university, program, study level, country of citizenship, or more, putting in the time and effort helps you pinpoint your best options for scoring the top scholarships for Indians studying abroad.