How to Write a Study Abroad Scholarship Essay and Win

Jun 14, 2017 5:30:00 PM / by Regan Charie

We've all had those times where we find ourselves sitting at our computer for 45 minutes, staring at the bliking line at the begining of a word document. We end up not writing a single sentence that we’re happy with despite knowing how important the essay is. If you're finding it hard to start writing a scholarship essay, you're not the only one. How can you write something that's compelling, honest, and really conveys why you deserve this gift that will help you study abroad?

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Photo: public domain

When wondering where to start, be creative. Whichever scholarship foundation you're applying to is likely to receive many applications, so the more creative and unique your essay is the more likely it will stand out. Be sure to read the prompt carefully and then tailor your story to that question. Point out the most unique parts of your story to make it as special as possible, so that you're exciting the reader and not boring them.

This is why it's a good idea to look at your own life for ideas and make it personal. In elementary school we all learned to “show not tell” when we write, so make the reader feel whatever you are writing about rather than showing it to them. Try to put them in your shoes rather than telling them how it feels from the outside. You can do this by using action words and using vivid imagery to describe how you were feeling and what you were seeing.

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Although you’ll want to make your story relatable and spectacular, it's important not to over exaggerate. Be sure to be as truthful as possible; this will not only make you sound more credible, but it will also make your story more relatable. The more relatable and truthful your story is, the easier it will be for the scholarship judges to connect with it. You should also be honest about how helpful the scholarship will be to you. If the only way you’ll be able to study abroad is by getting the scholarship, then make that clear. Define your own goals that you want to achieve while abroad, and make it known that the scholarship money could help you achieve these goals. Discuss what you think you will gain from the experience, and how it will help you grow not only as a student, but as a world traveler and member of a global society.

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Photo: public domain

Lastly, mention all the clubs and activities you participate in. The area you want focus on the most is describing the impact of your involvement in your community. You must describe how and why your roles in these organizations have taught you various lessons that will enhance your experience abroad. If you can show a balance in your life between school and outside activities, then you’ll be in better shape when submitting your essay.

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Topics: Practical Study Abroad Advice