5 ways to get funding to study abroad in 2024

Toluwani Omotesho


For international students planning to study abroad in 2024, getting admitted into your preferred school and program is just the first step. To have a successful and fulfilling study experience, it's crucial that you figure out how to finance your education while abroad.

Also read: Affordable European Universities for International Students in 2024

So, in this post, we’ll guide you through some of the funding options you can consider as an international student for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.


Scholarships are among the most common ways people get funding to study abroad, and the universities, organizations, clubs, or government agencies can offer them. There are different types of scholarships available based on specific criteria, which include:

  • Merit-based scholarships: this is also called an excellence scholarship, and it is not given based on financial need but instead awarded to students who excel in specific areas such as academics, sports, art, or even leadership. Some merit-based scholarships for 2024 are still open, and you can find them here.
  • Need-based scholarships: These types of scholarships are given to students based on financial need. To qualify for this, you’ll need to prove that you’re from a low-income background and cannot sponsor your education at the time.
  • Activity-based scholarships are given to students based on their involvement in extracurricular activities, hobbies, or even professions.
  • Government-based scholarships: as the name suggests, this scholarship is awarded by the country’s state or federal government. It’s usually fully funded, i.e., covers tuition, living expenses, and travel costs, which makes them very competitive.

Many people get discouraged from applying for scholarships due to the effort and paperwork required. However, getting awarded this type of funding can significantly reduce the financial burden of studying abroad. We’ve gathered some tips to help you with your scholarship application:

  • Start as early as possible: Search and apply for scholarships as early as possible. Many scholarships have different deadlines, so this way, you have more time to research, prepare, and gather the necessary documents.
  • Read eligibility criteria carefully: Scholarships have different eligibility requirements for academic performance, work experience, and nationality. It’s crucial that you read them carefully, as this can make or break your application.
  • Organize your materials: have a checklist of the required documents for each scholarship you’re applying to
  • Write compelling essays: Most scholarship applications ask for essays. It could be a goal statement or a statement of purpose. Ensure your essays communicate your goals, motivations, and accomplishments effectively and highlight your qualities and experiences. A good essay can help make your application stand out and increase your chances of success.
  • Submit a strong letter of recommendation: choose recommenders who know you well enough to submit thoughtful and personalized letters that speak to your strengths, character, and potential.


Grants, usually called bursaries, are sponsored by individuals and organizations. They are typically need-based and can cover fees ranging from tuition to living costs, textbooks, and transportation.

Graduate assistantships:

Assistantships are a great way to finance your education abroad. However, this is only open to graduate students. One significant benefit of a graduate assistantship is that many universities offer a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend. However, aside from this, it allows you to get practical work experience while studying, which helps you in the job market.

As with scholarships, there are also different types of graduate assistantships:

  • Research assistantship: research assistants help the professors they’re assigned to with their research work. This is an excellent opportunity for the students to learn new techniques and expand their knowledge.
  • Teaching assistantships: Students who work as graduate teaching assistants usually have past teaching experience or the academic skills to serve as tutors. Teaching assistants typically help professors with teaching, grading papers, preparing exams, and leading discussions.


Another popular way students fund their education abroad is with loans. Unlike scholarships or grants, you’ll have to pay back the loans you take over a specified period, and they usually come with interest. This is why most people seek student loans from the government, as the interest rates tend to be lower and more favorable.

Part-time work:

International students studying full-time in US, UK, Australian, and Canadian schools can work part-time on campus. However, the working hours and eligibility criteria can differ depending on the institution and country. In the US, UK, and Canada, international students can work up to 20 hours per week during school and 40 hours weekly during school breaks. It’s up to 20 hours weekly and 40 hours per fortnight in Australia.

For US, UK, Australian, and Canadian schools, full-time international students can work part-time on campus. Still, the working hours and eligibility requirements vary by school and country. For instance, while US, UK, and Canadian students can work 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 weekly during holidays, international students in Australia can work 20 weekly and 40 hours per fortnight.

While a part-time job might not cover schooling fees, it’ll significantly help with living and feeding costs.

Wrapping up

As you plan your study abroad, research the available funding options. Some schools offer program-specific scholarships and assistantships. At the same time, others offer flexible ways to finance your education. Researching these options will help you get a successful and enriching study experience abroad.

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