Scholarship to Study Abroad: Options for Indian Students

Hey, all of you itching to conquer the world of higher education abroad, we get it.

The thought of rubbing shoulders with the brightest minds at those fancy-schmancy international universities gives you goosebumps, right?

But damn, the price tag on that dream is no joke. Fear not, my ambitious friends!

Scholarships are your badass lifeline to snagging that top-tier education without emptying your pockets. In this no-holds-barred guide, we’re going to dive balls-deep into the universe of scholarships for Indian students dying to study abroad on a student visa.

So buckle up, because we’re about to uncover a metric ton of opportunities just for you!

The primary advantage of scholarships is that they provide financial assistance to deserving students, reducing or eliminating the burden of tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs associated with studying abroad.

Scholarships also offer recognition for your hard work, dedication, and achievements, which can boost your resume and help you stand out in the competitive job market.

Scholarships may provide opportunities for networking, internships, and research, further enhancing your educational experience and career prospects.

Types of Scholarships

Scholarships can be broadly categorized into the following types:

  • Merit-based: Awarded based on academic excellence, extracurricular achievements, or other talents.
  • Need-based: Granted to students with demonstrated financial need.
  • Subject-specific: Offered to students pursuing a specific field of study.
  • Destination-specific: Designed for students planning to study in a particular country.
  • Student-specific: Targeted at students with specific backgrounds, such as gender, ethnicity, or disability.
  • Athletic: Awarded to students with exceptional athletic abilities.

Top Study Abroad Destinations and Their Scholarships

United States

The United States is home to some of the world’s top universities, making it a popular destination for Indian students. Here are some prominent scholarships for studying in the US:

  • Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships: For Indian students pursuing a master’s degree at selected US colleges and universities.
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program: A non-degree, professional development program for mid-career professionals.
  • AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships: Offered by the American Institute for Foreign Study for students studying abroad on their programs.
  • Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships: Provided by Rotary International for students pursuing studies in various fields.

United Kingdom

The UK is renowned for its prestigious universities and rich history. Check out these scholarships for Indian students:

  • Chevening Scholarships: Offered by the UK government to outstanding Indian students pursuing a one-year master’s degree.
  • Rhodes Scholarships: For students from India to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.
  • Commonwealth Scholarships: Awarded by the UK government to students from Commonwealth countries, including India.
  • GREAT Scholarships: Offered in partnership with UK universities, targeting Indian students across various subjects.


Canada is known for its top-tier universities, quality of life, and welcoming atmosphere. Here are some scholarships for Indian students:

  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: For doctoral students studying at Canadian universities.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS): Offered to students pursuing master’s and doctoral programs in Ontario.
  • University of British Columbia International Leader of Tomorrow Award: For international undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills.
  • University of Toronto International Student Scholarships: Various scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Toronto.


Australia’s world-class education system and stunning landscapes make it an attractive destination for Indian students. Some popular scholarships include:

  • Australia Awards Scholarships: Funded by the Australian Government, aimed at students from developing countries, including India.
  • Endeavour Leadership Program: Offers merit-based scholarships for Indian students to pursue postgraduate studies or research in Australia.
  • University of Sydney International Scholarships: Provides funding for international undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.
  • Monash University International Merit Scholarships: Awarded to high-achieving international students enrolling at Monash University.


Germany’s excellent education system, low tuition fees, and vibrant culture draw many Indian students. Scholarships available for studying in Germany include:

  • DAAD Scholarships: Offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to Indian students for various degree levels and fields of study.
  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships: For international students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Germany.
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation Scholarships: Available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students with a focus on social, political, or environmental issues.
  • Deutschlandstipendium: A merit-based scholarship for students at German universities.

Other European Countries

Europe offers a diverse range of study destinations, with many countries providing scholarships for Indian students:

  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees: Funded by the European Union, these scholarships are available for various master’s programs across Europe.
  • Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program: Offered by the French government to international students pursuing master’s or doctoral studies in France.
  • Swedish Institute Scholarships: Available for Indian students pursuing a master’s degree in Sweden.
  • Holland Scholarships: For non-EU/EEA students, including Indians, to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s program in the Netherlands.

Indian Government Scholarships

The Indian government also provides scholarships for Indian students to study abroad:

  • National Overseas Scholarship (NOS): For SC, ST, and other marginalized students pursuing higher studies abroad.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholarships: Offered for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral studies in various countries.
  • K.C. Mahindra Scholarships: For Indian students pursuing postgraduate studies abroad, primarily in the fields of engineering, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Scholarships Offered by Private Organizations and Foundations

Several private organizations and foundations offer scholarships for Indian students:

  • Tata Trusts Scholarships: For Indian students pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies abroad in various fields.
  • Inlaks Scholarships: Offered to Indian students for postgraduate and doctoral programs at top international institutions.
  • R.D. Sethna Scholarship Fund: Provides interest-free loans to Indian students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies abroad.
  • Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust Scholarships: For Indian women pursuing higher education abroad in social work, social sciences, and other fields.

University-Specific Scholarships: Get Ready to Flex

Many universities around the world offer their own scholarships for international students, including our homegrown Indian geniuses. Here’s a taste of what’s on the table:

  • Stanford University’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program: For students pursuing graduate studies at Stanford, where you can rock that iconic red sweatshirt and brag about being a Cardinal.
  • Harvard University Scholarships: A plethora of scholarships for international students, including Indians, looking to call the hallowed halls of Harvard home while pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies.
  • University of Cambridge International Scholarships: Offered to international students, including our desi warriors, aiming to crush postgraduate studies at this historic British institution.

Nailing Those Scholarships: Tips and Tricks

Now that we’ve covered the scholarships available for Indian students, let’s talk about how to actually score one. Here are some pro-tips to get you started:

  • Start early: Like, yesterday early. Researching and applying for scholarships takes time, so don’t procrastinate. Get a head start to maximize your chances of success.
  • Be thorough: Don’t leave any stone unturned. There are plenty of scholarships out there, but you’ve got to dig deep to find them. Explore all possible avenues – government, private, university-specific, etc.
  • Nail your application: Treat your scholarship application like it’s the only thing standing between you and your dream life. Craft a killer personal statement, collect kickass recommendation letters, and showcase your achievements like a pro.
  • Ace the interviews: If you’re shortlisted for a scholarship interview, bring your A-game. Be prepared to answer questions about your aspirations, motivations, and the impact you want to make with your education.
  • Apply, apply, apply: Don’t be shy. The more scholarships you apply for, the higher your chances of scoring one. Just make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and tailor each application to suit the specific scholarship.

Wrapping It Up: The Future is Yours, Kid

There you have it, folks – the ultimate guide to scholarships for Indian students looking to study abroad on a student visa.

Remember, the world is your oyster, and with a little persistence, research, and effort, you can make your higher education dreams come true without going broke.

So, get out there, find the scholarships that fit your aspirations, and take the plunge. Your global adventure awaits!

You might find these articles interesting
Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
I share everything I learned on this blog, so that you benefit. Here’s more about me.

Learn how to make a side income
from online business.