Top International Undergraduate Scholarships in 2020!

Top International Undergraduate Scholarships in 2020!

Dreams are not what you see in sleep. They are things that do not let you sleep.

— Dr. Abdul Kalam

Who does not dream about studying abroad in a world-class university after 10+2?

But, with the majority of our population being the middle class, not all of us can afford such dreams. This financial affordance is not only about the tuition fees for the university but also include the living costs and other expenditures. As a result, studying in international universities proves to be an expensive affair.

But what if you get some or total relief in this funding based on your academic performance and financial requirements?

Well, to save you from cringing while calculating your proposed study abroad expenditure, many International Undergraduate Scholarships and Grants are available for aspiring students like you to aid you with the funding.

There are numerous sources that provide overseas opportunities for Indian students after their 12th. The trick is to play smart and know where to search for the right scholarship for you and how to score the opportunity.

While undergraduate scholarship programs might not totally save you from all the funding, they might be helpful enough for you to reduce your expenses and be able to afford your dreams.

Know The Kinds Of International Scholarships That Universities Offer

Since finding undergraduate scholarships and grants that suit your requirements can be quite challenging and exhausting, here is a Scholarship Guide for you to understand what type of scholarship suits you the best.

  1. Merit-based scholarships : These scholarships are granted to deserving students who have performed academically excellent or shown extracurricular talents such as sports, dance, music or communal services.
  2. First come-first served scholarships : Many international universities try to attract students from around the world to their institutions by providing grants and monetary aid to early applicants.
  3. Fixed bursaries : There are many universities that offer a fixed amount of bursary to all international students applying for undergraduate degree programs.

Based on some criteria, there are some specialized scholarships that you must be able to identify.

  1. Student specific scholarships : Some scholarships limit their grants to the targeted students based on several factors such as gender, religion, race, family and medical history.
  2. Location/country specific scholarships : Many local organizations, public authorities, government as well as universities allow students from specific countries such as commonwealth countries.
  3. Subject/program/course specific scholarships : To encourage enrolment in certain courses and specific fields of study, universities offer international undergraduate scholarships for students from abroad.
  4. Need-based scholarships : Government funded scholarships or grants that are targeted over students who belong to a family background that might not be financially strong enough to fund international education. However, for these scholarships, proper verification of documents is performed such as family income sources and tax statements to identify the genuine cases.
  5. Athletic scholarships : Some international universities look for students who can represent their universities at events with top-notch sporting talents along with educational excellence, and provide special grants to them.

International Undergraduate Scholarships For Indian Students

In America:

1. Tata Scholarship (USA)
As a prestigious honour to one of the most respected businessmen Mr Ratan Tata, a Cornell Trustee and the chairman of Tata Sons, the Tata Education and Development Trust offers about 20 scholarships annually to Indian students who wish to apply for undergraduate programs in Cornell University.

Eligibility: Only Indian students or students who completed their secondary schooling from India will be eligible for the scholarship. After their completion of the admission process in the Cornell University, they need to apply for need-based financial aid after the admission is accepted by the university.

Areas of Study: Preference is given to the students admitted to the College of Architecture, Arts and Planning, the College of Engineering, the Applied Economics and Management majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and majors in Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Hard Sciences like Biology, Physics and Chemistry, and Social Sciences.

Duration: The Tata Education and Development Trust provides funding for a maximum of eight semesters. So, except for the Architecture degree that has ten semesters or double majors and dual degrees that have additional semesters, the students get their tuition fees covered for their undergraduate courses. Along with this, the funding also includes accommodation, food, medical and travel expenses.

Number of Seats: 20 students are offered the trust fund every year.

How to Apply: The undergraduate scholarship applications open in October/November every year, whereas the funding awards are announced in December. For the application process, the students need to complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) profile and provide any additional information asked by the Office of Financial Aid.

For more information, check out the official Tata Scholarship at Cornell’s website here.

2. Asian Women In Business Scholarship (USA)

A non-profit organization that determines to aid Asian businesswomen, the Asian Women In Business (AWIB) offers undergraduate scholarships to female Asian students aspiring to study in an accredited US university. These scholarships are subject to fund availability, which is why there can be times that the scholarship count may vary, like in 2019, there was no scholarship due to lack of fund donations.

Eligibility: Female students from Asian countries pursuing an accredited 4-year undergraduate program from a US university with at least a 3.0 GPA at the time of application will be eligible for the scholarship.

Duration: The AWIB Scholarship is a one-time $2500 fund provided to all the selected applicants. 

Number of Seats: The scholarship fund count varies every year on the basis of fund availability with the AWIB organization.

How to Apply: With the deadline for applications submissions in October every year, the AWIB Scholarship requires a pdf document for the application along with an official college transcript and community experience. All applications are reviewed and reverted by November with the list of scholarship holders. 

For more information, check out the official AWIB Scholarship here.

3. UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award (Canada)

The Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award is a need-cum-merit scholarship that helps deserving international undergraduate students to study in the University of British Columbia, Canada as per their academic, extracurricular and family financial background.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the scholarship, the candidate must be a non-Canadian student who has completed senior secondary from a recognized school and meets all requirements of UBC along with a Canadian study permit. Since this is a merit-cum-need based scholarship, it is demanded that the student be academically outstanding and demonstrates a level of financial need that otherwise prevents one from affording a degree at the University of British Columbia.

Duration: The UBC Award funds the tuition and living expenses of up to three years of study in a full time undergraduate course. It values the student’s ongoing satisfactory academic performance, financial need as well as the terms of Canadian Student Visa.

How to Apply: The scholarship applications open November/December for the next year in consideration and the students need to complete and submit the online application forms with two choices of programs, however the selection committee considers only the first choice mentioned.

For more information, check out the official UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award’s website here.

In Europe:

1. Oxford and Cambridge Society of India (UK)

Based in Delhi, the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India is a non-profit alumni organization that offers part-cost scholarships for Indian students to be able to afford the heavy educational expenditure of the two top institutions of Britain, i.e. Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The selected scholar may get up to ₹3, 00,000 as the scholarship fund.

Eligibility: Candidates must be Indian students, in terms of residence and schooling, and not more than 30 years of age as on 1st September of the year of the grant. Application for the scholarship can only be made after enrolling in a full-time undergraduate course via normal admission process in either University of Oxford or University of Cambridge


  • Along with the monetary sum, the scholar gets a letter of support from the OCSI for other scholarship awarding bodies.
  • On the basis of the scholarship letter, the OCSI assures assistance in obtaining a fast-tracked education loan from an Indian financial institution, with automatic loan qualification-status from a leading financial institution.
  • The scholar gets a complimentary life membership of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India.
  • Mentorship, guidance and support by an OCSI member in regard to accommodation at the university abroad.
  • OCSI shall provide assistance to the scholar in returning back to India and reintegrating in the professional environment in the country.

Number of Seats: With a varying amount of grant each year, the scholarships are distributed as follows:

  • OCSI Scholarship(s) worth ₹3, 00,000 tenable at either the University of Oxford or University of Cambridge.
  • One scholarship worth ₹3,00,000 tenable at One scholarship worth ₹1,00,000 tenable only at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, from Emmanuel College Cambridge Trust, India.
  • One scholarship worth ₹1, 00,000 tenable only at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, from Ritika Dhamija.

How to Apply: The scholarship applications open in February every year, whereas the funding awards are announced in June/July followed by interview sessions. 

For more information, check out the official OCSI Scholarship here.

2. British Council GREAT Scholarship (UK)

As a tied-up with the Government of the United Kingdom’s GREAT Britain Campaign, the British Council offers a total of 35 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for Indian Students who wish to enroll into any of the courses of study in the UK.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the GREAT Scholarship, the candidate must be an Indian resident and must have completed their secondary education in India. Along with this, they must have availed the admission offer from the University they applied to, before they apply for the scholarship. Like any other scholarship, excellence in academics, extracurricular and expertised personal qualities in a student are a plus.

Areas of Study: The scholarship is offered to the students of Art (visual and creative), Biological Sciences/Life Sciences, Climate Change, Sustainability and Environmental Science, Conflict Resolution/Peace Studies, Education, Engineering and Technology, Gender Studies and Ageing, Human Rights, Humanities, Math, Statistics and Data Sciences, Natural and Physical Sciences, Public Administration, Governance and Social Policy, Public Health and Behavioural Science, Social Sciences and Developmental Studies, Urban Planning and Infrastructure Development.

Duration: The GREAT scholars will benefit full tuition fee for the first year of their study in any UK university, but will have to bear the transportation, accommodation and other expenses on their own.  

Number of Seats: 35 students (full time undergraduate+ postgraduate) are offered the scholarship every year.

How to Apply: After checking and ensuring the required course and University falls under the list of GREAT UG Scholarship, the student needs to register at the University and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS) website and fill up the form with all the necessary documents. The required documents to be attached would be a valid Indian passport, mark sheet of senior secondary and other related certificates, English Language Proficiency Certificate and other documents required as per the course and University applied to.

For more information, check out the official British Council GREAT Scholarship website here.

3. Trinity College Global Excellence Scholarship (Ireland)

The Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, provides loads of scholarships for full time undergraduate students from India and the Global Excellence Undergraduate Scholarship is the first preference of all aspiring students who wish for Trinity Dublin. It offers about 5000 to each scholar as a reduction in the tuition fee of almost all programs. 

Eligibility: The Scholarship offer is available to all normal residential Indian students who have completed their 12th from India with a minimum of 90% in overall subjects. They must have been accepted at the Trinity College Dublin for a full time undergraduate course, must be of non-Euro status and be willing to pay non-Euro fees. Apart from this, the students must have secured a minimum score of 36 in International Baccalaureate and a level score of AAB or similar.

Areas of Study: Students of all courses except Medicine, Dental Science and Acting can apply.

Duration: Global Excellence Scholarship awards each selected student with a grant of 5000 which is applied as a reduction in the tuition fees of the first year of study in a full time undergraduate program.

How to Apply: After securing an admission offer from Trinity in an undergraduate program that falls under the Global Excellence Scholarship criteria, the student needs to mail the offer letter along with their CV, copy of Indian passport, previous academic transcripts, Statement Of Purpose (SOP), Letter Of Recommendation (LOR), IELTS Certificate and a brief statement on ‘How I Will Contribute To Trinity Community’ within two weeks of the opening date.  Apart from this, the course admission acceptance fees needs to be deposited before the scholarship application. 

For more information, check out the official Global Excellence Undergraduate Scholarship at the Trinity Dublin website here.

In Asia :

Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship (Japan)

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology of the Government of Japan, (Mongukagakusho: MEXT) offers its own undergraduate scholarships program to international students who wish to study Social Sciences and Humanities and Natural Sciences in Japanese Universities. 

Eligibility: Students of all nationalities are eligible for the Japanese Government Scholarship Program as long as their date of birth lies between April 2, 1995 to April 1, 2003 and have completed their schooling from a non-Japanese school. In addition, the students must not have any physical or mental condition that might be an obstacle during the accommodation in Japan.

Duration: The MEXT Scholarship lasts for five years counting from April including a year of preparatory education in the Japanese language and other subjects that shall be provided upon or before commencement of the course. It covers the tuition and other fees to the extent of ¥1, 17,000/month along with the travel costs to and from Japan, and provides a monthly stipend of ¥2000-3000 for the students studying or researching in specially designated regions.

How to Apply: The deadline for the application process is in June every year. All interested candidates need to apply according to and with the references of the local Japanese embassies and with all the required documents the Japanese embassy may ask for.

For more information, check out the official Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship details here.

In Australia :

UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship 

In collaboration with the Bradman Foundation, the University of Wollongong offers an undergraduate scholarships to a full-time undergraduate Indian student every year. This UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship helps the meritorious student to get exactly 50% of reduction in the tuition fees for each year of any program. 

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply, the student must have received an offer from the UOW for a full time undergraduate program and must be turning eighteen prior to the commencement of the relevant UOW program. Along with this, he or she must be an Indian resident who has completed the schooling from India securing 70% (for ICSE or CBSE Board) or 77% (for any other State Board) in the best four academic subjects in 12th standard. The student must also be a high level player of cricket. 

Number of Seats: One student ever year is selected for the scholarship.

Duration: The UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship deducts 50% of tuition fees each academic year until the degree completion.

How to Apply: The application forms open in August and must be duly filled and submitted along with the letter of application. The applicants need to attach the original copies of Certificate of Academic Record, References for Participation in Cricket, Character, Academic Achievements, Birth Certificate and a proof of residency in India.

For more information, check out the official UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship at the University of Wollongong website here.


Never stop trying your level best to achieve the life you have always imagined. These were the most common and popular international undergraduate scholarships in the top International Universities across the globe. We wish all the students, All The Best!

Check out the Top International Scholarships to look out for in 2020!!

(Article contributed by Shifali Gulati, Graphics by Anulipi Debnath for Precisely)

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