Study Abroad Scholarship Essay 101

Four steps to the perfect essay for funding for your study abroad

CGE Grant deadlines:

Summer Programs Feb. 20 – March 14, 2019
Fall Programs Apr. 12 – Apr. 30, 2019


CGE Scholarship deadlines:

Summer Programs March 4, 2019 – 12 p.m.
Fall Programs March 25, 2019 – 12 p.m.


With scholarship and grant application deadlines steadily approaching, it’s important to start thinking about how you are going to make your scholarship stand out from the crowd in order to make your dream study abroad trip as financially smart as possible. Sometimes this is not very easy, especially if there are dozens of applicants vying for the same prize.   

This is why application essays can make all the difference. Making your essay superior could be your best chance to tell the scholarship committee why you should  receive funding.

If you follow these steps while writing your essay, you can give yourself the advantage you need in order to receive a “congratulations” email rather than a “thanks for applying” email:



  • Cater to your audience


If you are applying for study abroad, make that clear. Don’t just use a basic scholarship essay that you can use for any scholarship. Appeal to those at the CGE who aim to enhance students’ educations by exposing them to the world. Explain why traveling to another country to study will be important to you and help you, specifically.


  • Think, and plan ahead


While there are advantages in spilling your inner thoughts and emotions spontaneously onto paper, it is important to think strategically in this case. Craft an outline with specific, concise points to bring up in order to stay on topic. Use the basic structure you learned in high school: a few main points, supporting information, and an intro and conclusion. Once you have this outline out of the way, the rest of the essay writing process is a breeze.


  • Be passionate and personal


Get gritty with the details, get deep, and don’t be afraid to make the scholarship committee either revere or pity you (or maybe both). Talk about your hardships, your dreams and aspirations, and what made you love what you love now. Don’t just say that you want to go abroad because you traveled a lot when you were younger and loved it. Explain how you loved it because you were able to see other cultures and you finally understood just how small you are in the great expanse of the world, or maybe how it encouraged you to improve yourself. Having your unique perspective will go a long way in making you stand out against the rest of the applications.


  • Edit, edit, edit!


When you think your essay is ready, think again. Edit your essay for content, grammar, and readability. Then, get someone who knows English well to edit it. Then, get anyone to edit it. Then, get them to edit it again. The bottom line is, the more people you get to proofread your essay, the more sure you can be that anyone who reads it will be able to understand and empathize with you.