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How to Apply to Schools Abroad with Scholarships: School Selection Guide

Schools selection for study abroad programs with scholarships can be a major hurdle, however, EduAbroad 411 seeks to make this process less stressful by providing you with a simplified guide on choosing the right institution. The next step on your path to a successful study abroad application with funding and scholarship opportunities is identifying the suitable school for your studies. There are several factors that you need to consider when making your decision about the preferred institution of study. This is very central to the entire application process, as making the right choice of school will greatly influence your chances of getting into the program of your choice. These are some key factors that you should consider when making your decision about your preferred institution: 

Post Graduation Work Authorization Eligibility

  • Firstly, check if your institution offers programs that will make you eligible for an opportunity to work after graduation. You need to know if you are eligible to work after your studies as not all designated learning institutions make you eligible for a post-graduation work permit in Canada. So, take some time to review if your designated learning institution, from the Designated Learning Institutions List, offers programs that makes you eligible for a post-graduation work permit. In the United States, International students with F-1 status who have completed at least one academic year of study on a full time basis at a college, university, conservatory, or seminary that has been certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enrol F-1 students are eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) that allows temporary employment in areas directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. In addition, F-1 students who have earned degrees in certain areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from the STEM Designated Degree Program list are eligible for a 24-month extension of your OPT employment authorization. These opportunities are crucial in the life of an international student as they will provide a chance to acquire some work experience abroad.

Funding and Scholarship Availability

  • The next key factor is to ensure the availability of funding opportunities for your studies that covers the defined length of the program.This can be very tricky and will need a keen attention. Now, what you should have in mind is that education abroad can be quite expensive, and applying to schools that do not offer enough funding opportunities for your studies can make life very difficult. Take some time to review the institution’s website for all the available funding and scholarship opportunities for international students. I will be writing a week’s article on the steps to review available funding, scholarships, research fellowships and bursary opportunities to support you as an international student. The goal is to bring you the 411 about studying abroad with adequate funding. 

  Employment Opportunities

  • Another interesting factor to look out for is the availability of on-campus employment opportunities such as Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships, if you are considering schools in the U.S. and Canada, for instance. These opportunities are very important in the life of an international graduate student as you will need student-friendly employment opportunities that will allow adequate time for your studies. As an international student, you will need a reasonable amount of time for your studies, given that the successful completion of your program impacts your status post graduation. So, take some time to inquire about the availability of these opportunities before making a decision about the school. 

Program Availability

  • Above all, you need to ensure that the school offers your preferred study program. The availability of your preferred program of study is as important as the factors discussed above. As well, funding opportunities are awarded based on courses and specific programs of study. So, take some time to review the available courses and programs in the school before making a decision to apply to that school. I will be spending more time on this topic in the immediate future to highlight the importance of choosing the right program of study, and how to ensure that you are checking both the university requirements and program specific requirements. So, keep your cool and let me get you into your dream program of study in your preferred institution abroad with adequate funding opportunities.


Studying abroad as an international graduate student can be stressful if the necessary opportunities are not available, such as scholarships and funding, a strong faculty, study materials and on-campus employment opportunities. Hence, it is important to consider the above factors when choosing an institution for your graduate studies. Take some time to research the availability of these factors in the institution before making a choice. See the article on country selection guide to understand some of the factors you need to consider before making a choice to study abroad.


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