The paper chase has never been more intense. In recent years, it seems like landing a job without a degree is quite the challenge — and nearly impossible, in certain fields. While education is the key to breaking barriers, there is a price tag placed on education; not every student can afford the same opportunities, so scholarships are their golden ticket.
Here are some great scholarships which will allow you to travel and pursue your education simultaneously, without the financial burden hovering above you like an ominous cloud.
South Korean Government Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Love seeing your dreamy Korean actors and idols? Pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the land of kimchi, and you just might be seeing them around campus.
You can apply for the South Korean Government Undergraduate Scholarship Program, which provides funding for international students to pursue 4-year courses at designated universities. Singaporean students who are below the age of 25 are eligible to apply for undergraduate programmes, while applicants for master’s programmes should be below the age of 40.
Applicants must have decent academic standing and must undergo a year of intensive Korean language studies in order to qualify. The scholarship covers airfare, tuition fees, medical allowance, resettlement allowance, and even printing costs for dissertation.
Scholarships in the UK
Scholarships funded by the British government for international students in the UK is usually reserved for Master’s Degree courses and above. These include the Chevening Scholarship (which covers tuition) and the Commonwealth Scholarship (covers tuition, airfare to and from the UK, and allowance).
Individual schools also provide scholarships to deserving students.
The Warwick Singapore Scholarship, funded through the Friends of the University of Warwick in Singapore Trust, is awarded to one to two outstanding undergraduate students from Singapore (citizens and PRs) who are financially disadvantaged. The bond-free scholarship supports three years of undergraduate study in any field at the University of Warwick, covering tuition, compulsory fees, and a generous stipend.
King’s College London offers the Singapore Scholarship for Singapore citizens studying at the university. This scholarship applies to the fields of Law, Natural & Mathematical Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Social Science & Public Policy. The postgraduate scholarship is worth £10,000 for one year, and the undergraduate scholarship is worth £20,000, payable over three years.
Students are eligible for the Denys Holland Scholarship at the University College London as long as they hold a valid UCL Student Number— which means once they qualify for the institution, they can apply for the scholarship. The scholarship applies to all Bachelor’s Degree Programmes in any discipline offered at the university, and is worth £9,000 per year for three years of study.
Scholarships in the USA
While most government funding is provided to graduate students, like the Fulbright Program which is tailored for Master’s degree students, there are plenty of scholarships for undergraduates provided by individual schools.
Wesleyan University’s Wesleyan Freeman Asian Scholarship Program provides full scholarships (tuition, fees, and room & board, totalling nearly US$80,000) for a four-year bachelor’s degree for Singaporean students who are dedicated to positive civic and social change in their home countries.
Berea College – a private liberal arts college – is the only school in the US that provides 100% funding to all international students for the first year, covering the costs of tuition, room, board, and fees. Plus, students are provided with a paid, on-campus job throughout the academic year (about US$2,000 the first year) for personal expenses.
International Summer School, University of Oslo (Norway)
This would be the perfect scholarship to consider if you are hoping to do a summer exchange abroad. The University of Oslo, a leading European university, is generously offering International Summer School scholarships to academically outstanding students for its Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes.
Up to 50 outstanding applicants will receive a scholarship which covers tuition fees, reading materials, as well as a transportation card. Summer school courses usually run from early June to mid-August.
Scholarships from Singapore Government
Eligible students will receive full scholarships plus airfare and living allowance for most disciplines (except Medicine, Dentistry, and Architecture) at reputable overseas schools for the duration of their degrees. Students must serve a bond duration of 5-6 years.
Scholarships are provided to exceptional students under various Singaporean ministries and departments. These include the Home Team, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, A*STAR, Changi Airport Group, and many more.
Alternative options — A’s Ain’t For Everyone
Don’t think you can make the cut for an overseas scholarship? Fret not — your dreams are not dashed yet. Some countries offer tuition that is nearly free, or affordable, at least, for international students.
In Germany, for example, there are no tuition fees for both German students as well as international students, at the undergraduate level. Administrative costs are still payable to the universities, however it is quite a small fee which typically does not exceed S$400 per annum.
In Iceland, you will find that there are no fees at public universities, while private universities charge comparatively lower rates as compared to other countries. Students need to pay a registration fee, which should not exceed S$400.
A value for money option closer to home would be Taiwan – tuition fees at the National Taiwan University, the country’s leading tertiary institution, is very reasonable. International student fees start from S$2,400 for international students, and S$1,200 for Overseas Chinese students per annum.