4 Steps for Study Abroad Scholarship Success
Make your goals make sense. As an art history major looking to study abroad in Florence, Italy, the heart of the Italian Renaissance, it was clear that this experience would further my education. In every essay and application, I belabored how important it was to me to study abroad because of how valuable an experience it would be to study historic, classic art in person as opposed to a textbook. Many scholarship offices look for students who'd get the most out of the experience. Specifically for the awards I won, the offices looked for someone who didn’t just want to have fun, but who would most benefit scholastically.
Have people read and review your applications before you submit them. Does your school have writing tutors? Utilize your campus resources to ensure your essays are grammatically correct. If your school doesn’t have writing tutors, ask your professors for their thoughts on your essays. I recommend having at least three different people read over your application before submitting it.
This tip is specifically for the Gilman Scholarship - Do not talk about coming from a low-income household in your application. Every eligible applicant for the Gilman comes from a low-income household. Brainstorm other reasons that make you a great candidate to be a Gilman Scholar. Do you have good grades? What is your work ethic like? How will studying abroad help you achieve your long and short term goals?
Talk about how you’ll be an ambitious ambassador during your time abroad. You’ll be a guest in another country, so it’s important respect other cultures and represent the U.S. well. You not only represent your country, your school, and your study abroad program, but, if you win a scholarship, you represent that organization as well. Your application will be more competitive when you demonstrate your understanding that you’ll represent something larger than yourself during your time abroad and hold yourself to a higher standard.
I hope these tips are helpful! Don’t let cost stop you from accomplishing your study abroad goals. Apply for all of the funding you can. Trust me, it’s well worth it.
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