5 lesser-known scholarships for Indians to study abroad

scholarship essay
With these great tips on writing a scholarship essay, you can win university tuition more easily. Source: Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

Finding a great scholarship that can pay for your programme in an expensive country is a big relief. With so many scholarships for Indians studying abroad, however, how do you know which one you can apply for and which are specifically designed for Indians?

Plus, many of the popular ones — the likes of Rhodes, Chevening, Fulbright, among others — are either too competitive or too limiting. A better strategy is to aim for those lesser-known, but offers benefits just as good, or even better.

We’ve done the legwork by compiling the five top scholarships for Indians below:

Government of Israel Scholarship

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Israel has a special agreement for scholarships for Indians studying abroad in Israel – you can apply for a scholarship to pursue either a summer language course (Ulpan) or one academic year course (master’s, PhD, Post Doctorate or research studies) for up to eight months.

You should have at least a BA or BSc (or higher), a good academic record, aged below 35, an Indian national, proof of English or Hebrew language proficiency, and meet the requirements of the Israeli university you plan to apply to.

Scholarships for Indians studying abroad

If you’re looking to study abroad, these five scholarships for Indian students studying abroad can help you get started on your journey. Source: Aamir Qureshi/AFP

You can apply only once. If you get selected for the academic scholarship, you will get a partial tuition fee waiver (50% up to a maximum of US$6,000 for tuition fees costing US$12,000 and above), eight monthly allowances (October to June) and basic health insurance. The partial academic year scholarship includes the monthly stipend and health insurance only.

Successful summer language course applicants receive a full tuition waiver, dormitory, and three weeks worth of allowance as well as basic health insurance. Universities and programmes must be approved by the Israeli Council for Higher Education; the Ulpan scholarships will be granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information, contact your local Israeli embassy; you may download the application form here as well.

Royal Thai Government Scholarship

The second choice on the list of scholarships for Indian students studying abroad is the Royal Thai Government Scholarships, available for outstanding Asian nationals including those from India who want to study at Thailand’s top university: Asian Institute of Technology.  These scholarships for Indians studying abroad in Thailand include His Majesty the King’s Scholarship for both Master and Doctoral programmes and Her Majesty the Queen’s Scholarship for the Master programme only.

Fields of study for this scholarship include engineering (civil and infrastructure, industrial systems), environment and development sustainability among others. Students interested in food, agriculture and resources, energy, management and information and communication technology can apply as well.

The scholarships cover full tuition, registration fees, accommodation and a living stipend throughout the study period. The closing date of this application is 28 February 2022; for more information, click here.

Orange Tulip Scholarship

Coordinated by the Netherlands Education Support Office India, some 18 higher education institutions in the Netherlands offer the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS) to exceptional students from India. The majority of these institutions have Masters scholarships for Indian students studying abroad in the Netherlands.

Applicants must not have a degree from any Dutch institution or should not be working in the Netherlands. More importantly, they should be applying or have been admitted to a OTS-participating Dutch institution.

Benefits vary in each institution – some may offer full tuition, others may give 25 or 50% reduction in fees, and for certain institutions, only living expenses or visa fees may be covered. It is best to check out each university and confirm what kind of sponsorship can be given.

Apply here.

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Scholarship

The MEXT Scholarship is available for Indian nationals wanting to study in Japan at a specialised training college, a college of technology or a university for undergraduate studies. Scholarships for Indian students studying abroad in Japan include: research, teacher training, undergraduate, Japanese studies, College of Technology, Young Leaders’ Programme, and Special Training College.

Applicants can expect to receive monthly living stipends on top of airfare tickets and tuition fee waiver. However, only the Young Leaders’ Programme – for Masters studies – is currently open; for other scholarships, please check with the Embassy of Japan in New Delhi.

At the same time, the Japanese embassy or consulate and/or Japanese institution handles the MEXT applications – so it is best to contact them directly for more information on this MEXT scholarship. Applicants should understand there is no application charge.

Alliance of International Science Organisations (ANSO) Scholarship

Another scholarship for Indian students studying abroad is the ANSO Scholarship. For students wanting to do postgraduate studies – either Master or PhD – in China, this is a good choice.

Founded to train young scientists from all over the world, this Scholarship will fund studies at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) or the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) or institutes under Chinese Academy of Sciences across China.

 Successful applicants will receive full tuition waiver, monthly stipend of RMB 3000/RMB 6000 (Master/PhD), health insurance, application fee waiver and subsidised travel to China (one trip). They have to successfully complete centralised training in Chinese language and Chinese culture on top of their degree thesis before graduating.

You may apply for this scholarship either through UCAS or USTC but not both; and you must not be a current Master or PhD student in China. Besides not holding any Chinese nationality, you have to demonstrate proficiency in English or Chinese, and follow all applicable Chinese laws as well as USTC/UCAS rules.

Altogether, these scholarships for Indians studying abroad are great, particularly if you are planning to go overseas to further your studies in 2022.