Are international students entitled to full scholarships?
Source: Yanibel Minaya Cruz/Unsplash

A popular question that international students ask is whether they can get full scholarships to study abroad. The short answer is ‘yes’!

While many scholarships come in the form of tuition fee waivers, or only cover living expenses, there are in fact, several scholarships that are fully-funded, covering both tuition fees and living expenses.

There are some that also include travel costs, book allowance, insurance, and everything else you need during your time overseas.

Bear in mind, however, that although there are indeed full scholarships available for international students in several countries, it depends on your eligibility: your grades, your extra-curricular activities, the country you’re from, your socieconomic background, or your research interest (for graduate scholarships).

Remember to apply early so you don’t miss out on important application deadlines.

Here are some fully-funded scholarships for undergraduate international students in four popular study abroad destinations – the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

United Kingdom

University of Westminster Full International Scholarships

Marylebone Campus at the University of Westminster. Source: Wikipedia

This scholarship is meant for international students from developing countries for any eligible undergraduate programme.

It offers full tuition fee waivers, accommodation, living expenses and flights to and from London.

The annual deadline to apply is 31 May 2019 for courses at the University of Westminster that begin in September 2019.

Who is eligible?

If you’re from a country that is considered a developing or ‘middle-income’ country, you are eligible to apply. The website states which developed countries are NOT applicable, so if your country is not on the list, you are eligible.

Criteria for scholarship recipients include: academic excellence, development potential and financial need.

You must already hold an offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional) to the university before you apply.


Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship at University of Toronto

The University of Toronto. Source: Shutterstock

This prestigious full scholarship is “intended to recognize international students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and creativity and who are recognized as leaders within their school.”

It’s also meant for students who have the potential to contribute positively to the global community and make an impact.

The scholarship will cover tuition, books, incidental fees and full residence support for four years of study at the university.

The deadline to apply for this year’s scholarship has already closed (31 January 2019), but get in touch with the university to find out next year’s deadlines.

Who is eligible?

Each year, approximately 37 students are named Lester B. Pearson Scholars. To be eligible, you must be an international student, receive a nomination from your school, apply to study at the University of Toronto, and complete your application for admission by the appropriate deadlines.

Once the university has received your nomination and you’ve applied to attend, you can complete the online Lester B. Pearson Scholarship application.

United States of America

Berea College

Draper Hall, Berea College. Source: Wikipedia

Fully-funded scholarships for international undergraduate programmes in the US are rare, though there are a few for graduate degrees, such as the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.

But there are exceptions, such as Berea College; the only school in the United States that provides 100 percent funding to 100 percent of enrolled international students for the first year of enrollment.

The combination of financial aid and scholarships cover the cost of tuition, room, board, and other fees.

Although accepted international students are expected to pay a US$50 entrance fee and a US$2,200 deposit to confirm their enrollment at the university, the deposit can be used for certain expenses incurred during their four years of study. Additional financial aid is available for students who are unable to pay all or a portion of the deposit.

For the next three years, students are expected to bear the tuition costs themselves, but they are also expected to save US$1,000 per year to contribute toward their expenses – earned through summer jobs provided by the university specifically for international students.

Although it is not a fully-funded scholarship for the full length of the programme, students are guaranteed an on-campus job and costs for the first year taken care of.

Deadlines and eligibility for this scholarship depend on the university’s admission requirements.


Australia Awards Scholarships

Sydney, Australia. Source: Shutterstock

This scholarship is awarded by the government, available for undergraduate and graduate programmes (Bachelor’s, Masters, and PhD) that are related to your country’s priority areas for development, as listed on the participating country profiles.

Formerly known as the Australian Development Scholarships (ADS), it is meant to provide opportunities for people from developing countries, particularly those countries located in the Indo-Pacific region.

The scholarship covers full tuition fees, return air travel, establishment allowance, contribution to living expenses (CLE), Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), Introductory Academic Program (IAP), Pre-course English (PCE) fees, and more.

The deadline to apply is 30 April 2019 for most countries, for courses that begin this year at any participating Australian institution. It’s an annual scholarship, so you can also apply next year.

Who is eligible?

Citizens from one of the participating countries in Asia, Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East may apply.

You must also be able to satisfy the admission requirements of the institution at which the award is to be undertaken; you cannot be a currently-serving military personnel; and you must be a minimum of 18 years of age on 1 February of the year of commencing the scholarship.

Scholars are required to leave Australia for a minimum of two years after completing their scholarship, or they will incur a debt  for the total accrued cost of their scholarship.

For the full eligibility criteria, please visit the main website.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

Scholarships for international students in New Zealand

Does Harvard offer scholarships to international students?