International Scholarships for Students from Developing Countries
If you’re a student from a developing region of the world – including parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East – you could be eligible for a number of international scholarships aimed at bringing a more diverse and inclusive student demographic to universities across the globe.
Many scholarships for students from developing countries will have additional criteria, such as a specific country of origin or destination, a particular subject of study, or ties to a particular university, so it can take some savvy scholarship hunting and a tad of flexibility to find one that suits you. However, there’s really no reason why you can’t be applying for 10 or more international scholarships in no time at all.
Below are a few of the most prominent funds and scholarships for developing countries, categorized by country of study.
Scholarships to study in Europe
- Erasmus Mundus Scholarships – Initiative led by the European Commission to provide funding for students all over the world to study in Europe at selected institutions.
- VLIR-UOS Training and Masters Scholarships – Scholarships for students from developing countries within Africa, Asia or Latin America.
- Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences Development Scholarships – Six scholarships for students from developing countries to study a program in the faculty.
- Eiffel Scholarships – Funding for master’s and PhD students from outside of France.
- INSEAD Business School International Scholarships – Over 90 different business school scholarships, many aimed at students from developing regions.
- DAAD scholarships – Scholarships for master’s students from developing countries in Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands, Central and South America and central and Eastern Europe to study in Germany.
- Embassy of Ireland, Tanzania Fellowship Training Programme – Scholarships for Tanzanian students to study one of the listed eligible master’s degrees in Ireland.
- University of Groningen Talent Grant for Non-EEA Countries – Funding for specific master’s programs at the University of Groningen, for students from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico or Russia.
- Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Piet Rietveld Scholarship – A scholarship for a student from a developing country to study a master’s in spatial, transport and environmental economics. Covers the yearly tuition fee and provides an allowance for living costs.
- Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange – Scholarships for students from developing countries to study a tuition-free master’s degree in Poland.
- Slovak Government Scholarships – Funding provided by the Slovakian government, for students from developing countries.
- IMD MBA Scholarships – For students from developing countries to study an MBA at IMD Business School in Lausanne.
- Swedish Institute Study Scholarships – Scholarships for full-time master’s students from developing countries, covering tuition fees and living costs.
- Commonwealth Master's Scholarships – For students from developing countries in the commonwealth to study in the UK at master’s level.
- British Council scholarships – For Indian students to study in the UK.
- Saïd Foundation Scholarships – For Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian postgraduate students to study in the UK.
UK universities offering international scholarships include:
- University of Oxford
- University of Westminster
- Cardiff University
- London Southbank University
- London Metropolitan University
- Roehampton University
- University of Birmingham
- University of Nottingham
- University of the West of England
Scholarships to study in North America
- Global Affairs Canada – 650 short-term exchange scholarships are available for Latin American and Caribbean citizens wishing to study in Canada.
Canadian scholarships for Asian students:
- Canada-ASEAN Scholarships – Scholarships for students from ASEAN member states (Southeast Asia) to take part in a short-term exchange program for study and research.
- University of Alberta China and India Centenary Scholarships – For Chinese and Indian students.
- University of Toronto (Hong Kong) Foundation – For students from Hong Kong.
- Dag Hammarskjöld Journalism Fellowships – Journalism fellowships for African, Asian, Latin American and Caribbean nationals.
- East-West Center Scholarships and Fellowships – Funding aimed at nationals from the Asia-Pacific region to study in the US at specific institutions.
US universities offering international scholarships include:
Scholarships to study in Australia and New Zealand
- Australia Awards Scholarships – Scholarships for students from developing countries, particularly the Indo-Pacific region. Unrestricted choice of programs.
- Destination Australia – Government scholarships and fellowships.
Australian universities offering scholarships for students from developing countries include:
Universities in New Zealand offering scholarships for students from developing countries include:
Scholarships to study anywhere in the world
For Latin American students:
- Colfuturo Scholarships – For postgraduate Colombian students to study abroad.
For Asian students:
- Asia Foundation Development Fellows – Merit-based scholarships for students from developing countries in Asia.
- Erasmus-Mundus – India4EU II – For Indian nationals to study in Europe. For more international scholarships for Indian students, see our separate list here.
- UNESCO Fellowships – A number of fellowship programs are offered to Japanese, Chinese or Korean students.
Scholarships to study in a developing region
- MasterCard Foundation Scholarships – For African, Latin American and Caribbean students to study in Costa Rica.
- Wells Mountain Foundation – For students from developing countries to study at home or in another developing country.
Scholarships for African students
- Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship Programme – Need-based scholarships for African students.
- IOE – Commonwealth Distance Scholarships – Commonwealth scholarships for African students from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. Distance learning with a restricted choice of programs.
- Mo Ibrahim Scholarship Programme – For aspiring African leaders to study in the UK or Africa at a partnered university.
- Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders – Scholarships for African students from sub-Saharan African countries to study in the US and gain leadership and business skills.
- Zawadi Africa Education Fund Scholarships for Young African Women – For female students from Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya to study in the US.
Organizations offering scholarships for students from developing countries
- MasterCard – Emphasis on scholarships for African students to study in the US and Africa.
- MIT – Zaragoza Scholarship Program – A number of scholarships for students from developing countries.
- Santander – Scholarships available via partner universities.
- The World Bank – Offers postgraduate scholarships for disadvantaged students from developing countries.
As always, additional funding opportunities may also be available via individual universities and other external organizations. For more opportunities, search online and visit the websites of universities you are interested in for information about international scholarships and funding.
This article was originally published in July 2014. It was last updated in June 2019.
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This article was originally published in June 2019 . It was last updated in March 2021