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How to get a Scholarship

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

University graduation © Leon Wu /Public Domain / Unsplash

There are many different ways to get a scholarship to go abroad.

Top Tips

  • You’ve got to be in it to win it. Just apply for it!

  • Contact everyone. It can be tiresome finding the right person, the right website and the right time to apply. Email your university, home and foreign embassies and anyone else you can think of!

British Council - the Generation UK-China programme

Check out the British Council Website. There are so many amazing opportunities on there in China including doing internships and intensive language courses. They don’t just cover China, but also many other places as well.

Chinese Government Scholarship Programme

Check out the Chinese Government Website. You can apply for this for many different programmes from short-term language study to fully funded PhDs. The Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union gives out around 140 fully funded scholarships a year to EU nationals. This includes a tuition waiver, university accommodation or subsidy, medical insurance and a monthly allowance. One can write a novel about complex and time consuming the process is, but it will be worth it in the end.

  1. Apply for the course you want to do at your chosen/eligible university. Although not necessary, it certainly helps to show motivation on your application.

  2. Once accepted, apply for the scholarship at your local Chinese Embassy and/or the Chinese Mission to the EU. The application includes sending your application forms online and by mail. There is also a mandatory medical health check by a doctor of your choice called a ‘Foreigner Examination Form’, which isn’t as bad as it sounds.

  3. A few months (maybe six) later, you may be one of the lucky ones to get a one-line email congratulating you on your success. A little bit more paperwork is needed to get a student visa, and then if all goes well you’ll be in China in no time.

Some students who are doing courses of more than one year can apply for the scholarship if they are unsuccessful the first time.

Confucius Institute Scholarship Programme

The Confucius Institute offers a wide variety of scholarships from four-week study to PhDs to study Chinese Language, Literature, History and Philosophy. The scholarship includes the tuition fee, accommodation, a living allowance and medical insurance at a similar level to the Chinese Government Scholarship. Depending on your level, it’s necessary to know some Chinese. Contact your preferred university to know more.

Local Government Scholarship Programmes

Some cities and provinces have their own local scholarship programmes. You can find a list on the China Scholarship Council website. Your university should know about these and often give the government recommendations on who to choose. Be sure to sweet talk your programme coordinator into giving you the details.

Universities in Europe

Many universities across Europe who have students eager to travel/work/study abroad offer scholarships or bursaries to students.

Universities in China

Universities in China appreciate their foreign students and the global image they represent. Sometimes, universities give you and your classmates free or heavily subsidised trips to places nearby your places of study or even far-flung points of interest. When you visit, don’t be surprised to see a local TV crew there to greet you. Some students have even been given unexpected cash awards for their academic achievements. You never know, you might be one of the lucky ones.


Help us make this list better, we’d love to hear about your experience.


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