How To Study Abroad Without Debt? Top 11 Scholarships

Last updated 18 Dec 2018 . 1 min read

scholarships for Indian students to study abroad scholarships for Indian students to study abroad

As the world becomes global, Indian students are looking to study abroad. But, the high cost of education can be a deterrent to the dream. The top universities come with a hefty price tag for the fees. Even the most talented students may not get an opportunity to study abroad because of the lack of means. There are several scholarships offered by both universities and governments that help.

What exactly does receiving scholarship mean?

Scholarships are awarded in the form of financial aid to deserving students. They can reduce the cost of tuition or even make it completely free. Some even provide a stipend to cover your cost of living. Scholarships are for different reasons. These include academic merit, excellence in extracurriculars or even financial need.

The application procedure varies for each kind of scholarship. But most institutions need an essay from you about why you think you deserve it. Applications happen during the admission process for prospective students itself. But some institutions can even offer them to current students.

Does that mean you can get a full scholarship to Harvard? The good news is that you most definitely can. Harvard provides scholarships to students based on financial need. Students with family income less than $65,000 a year receive a fully funded scholarship. They are not expected to contribute to the cost of attendance.

Students with family income between $65,000- $150,000 a year must pay 0%- 10% of their total income per year. Students with a family income of more than $150,000 a year ply more than 10%. The exact amount is different for each student based on their circumstances.

Harvard isn’t the only institution to offer such financial aid. All over the world, most universities have this available. In several countries, even the government offers scholarships to international students.

Here are the top 11 scholarships for Indian students who would like to study abroad:

#1. Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships

Postgraduate students wishing to study in the USA can apply for the Fullbright-Nehru fellowship. The USIEF (United States-India Educational Foundation) offers these scholarships to Indians. It's for students who wish to pursue either a master’s course or research.  There are no specific seats, it is awarded to all deserving students. The application covers tuition fee, economy airfare, and textbooks. It also provides a living stipend. Applications open in the June of the previous year and selections are announced in March.


The U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (16 years of education). They also need at least 3 years of work experience in the area they wish to study in. Other qualities like community service, communication skills, leadership, and nation-building offer brownie points. Ensure that you highlight them in your application.

#2. Tata Scholarship

Undergraduate students who wish to study at Cornell University in the USA.  It covers the tuition fee up to 8 semesters, living expenses, food, medical and travel expenses. Applications open with regular college applications in October-November. Results are in December.


Candidates must be Indian Citizens. They must \ have secured an admission to Cornell University. It is a need-based financial aid.

#3. The Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships

The Commonwealth Scholarships Commission offers scholarships to students from the Commonwealth countries. This includes India. It is for students applying to master’s and Ph.D. programs in the UK. It covers Engineering and Technology, Applied Sciences, Agriculture, and Humanities & Social Sciences.  It covers the tuition fee, travel, and living expenses. Again, there isn’t a specific allocation of seats. All deserving candidates get scholarships. Applications open in the August of the previous year.


Indian citizenship and education in the English language are a must. The candidate must have secured at least 60% in Social Sciences and Humanities. Physical Science candidates need at least 65%

#4. Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarships

The Newcastle University in the United Kingdom offers this to students who have been offered a seat at the university. They give 255 awards out every year. All admitted students are eligible for a scholarship. It is given out based on merit and diversity. It encourages international applicants. It covers all undergraduate, postgraduate and integrated masters programs. They provide partial tuition aid for £3,000 for one year. As all admitted students stand a chance, there is no need to apply for the aid.


All admitted candidates at Newcastle University are eligible for this scholarship.

#5. Chevening Scholarships

This is an initiative by the UK government encourage Indian students. It allows them to complete a one-year master’s program in any discipline. It covers all UK universities associated with Chevening. 65 Indian candidates get scholarships every year. It covers the tuition costs, living expenses, travel and provides other allowances. Full or partial aid is provided based on the need of the candidate. The application begins in the 2nd week of August every year and takes about 6 months to complete.


Students and professionals who have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Preference is to candidates with at least 2 years of work experience.

(Check out - Best MBA colleges in India in 2018)

#6. Chinese Government Scholarships

Under the India-China Cultural Exchange Program, the Chinese government provides scholarships to students. It is for students applying to Chinese Universities for all levels. The Chinese government covers tuition fee and living expenses. The Indian Government reimburses the return airfare expenses. There is no predetermined number of scholarships. Students applying for Science, Literature & Language, and Humanities & Social Sciences have a preference. Applications begin in March for the same year.


Applicants must have at least 60% marks in their last academic qualification. They also need to be well-versed with the geography, culture, and heritage of China. Courses are in Mandarin. Hence, candidates must undergo a yearlong training in the language before admission.

#7. Inlaks Scholarship

The Inlaks-Shivdasani Foundation grants this scholarship to exceptionally talented Indian Students. It is for students seeking to study at top international universities in US, UK, and Europe. It covers tuition and living expenses up to US $100,000.  Applications begin in January of the same year and close in April. The number of candidates selected varies based on a rigorous interview process.


Students applying for the scholarship should be Indian residents. They should hold an undergraduate degree from a recognized Indian University. Candidates need to be under 30 years of age.

#8. Erasmus Mundus Scholarships

They're funded by the European Union. These scholarships are for students to study at European Universities. They offer full scholarships including tuition, travel, insurance, and living expenses for students. Non-EU students are typically offered higher scholarships than EU students.  There is no particular number of awards mentioned. Applications are open from October to January for the next session.


It is for students selected to attend an Erasmus Mundus Joint Program. It can be at the Masters or Doctoral Level. Each programme has its own eligibility criteria. Students should consult the same before applying.

#9. UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award

The University of British Columbia, Canada awards this scholarship to undergraduate international students. An outstanding academic record is a must. Achievements in Sports, Performing Arts, etc. are also the selection criteria. The scholarship depends on financial need. The University assesses the financial situation of candidates and determines an amount. It can cover the tuition fee as well as living expenses. The University can renew it for the three years of study. The student must continue to display satisfactory academic performance and financial need.


International students need to be nominated by the school they're currently attending. The student must be enrolling for his or her first undergraduate degree. He/she must meet all the programs requirements including English language fluency. They should also show financial need.

#10. Hornby Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to English language teachers from developing countries like India. The aim is to support English language specialists by offering MA scholarships. This allows them to study teaching for one academic year in the United Kingdom.  


The applicant must have an undergraduate degree in education. He/she must have at least 5 years of experience as an English language teacher.

#11. Felix Scholarship

The Felix Scholarship is for talented students from developing countries. It is a chance to further their postgraduate education at a university in the United Kingdom. They offer up to 6 scholarships per university every year to Indian graduates. Eligible universities are the University of Oxford, University of Reading & School of Oriental and African Studies.


The candidates must be under 30 years of age. They must hold a Bachelors degree from a recognized Indian University. The Scholarships are for academically gifted citizens of India, demonstrating financial need.

Allow your study abroad dreams to take flight with these scholarships.

Let us know in the comments below if you find this article useful and tag someone who can benefit from this list. Do let us know what else you would like us to cover for you.

Palak Kapadia

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