10 min

From China to Switzerland: scholarships for international students

There are so many different scholarships for international students: full or partial, for Bachelor, Master, or Ph.D. studies!

Have a look at this selection of scholarships that open doors to universities around the world – in China, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. 

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists


Are you a researcher dreaming to do your Ph.D. in one of the top-ranking Swiss schools? There is a way to reduce the living expenses while doing your project. To promote international exchange and research cooperation, the Government Excellence Scholarships are awarded to excellent researchers around the world. 

There are two types of scholarships: aimed at foreign young researchers and at artists (applicable only for a limited number of countries).

The research scholarship is available to postgraduate researchers in any discipline looking to pursue research or further studies at the doctoral or postdoctoral level.

Who can apply: 

To apply for Ph.D. or postdoc research, you have to have a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. Of course, you will also have to impress the commission with your research proposal.

For Ph.D. studies, you have to be born after 31 December 1986 (i.e. no more than 35 years old)

Application procedure: 

Make direct contact with a professor in an eligible Swiss university. Declare your interest in collaborating on a specific project and in applying for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship. Make sure you attach to your letter all the needed documents such as a short CV, letter of motivation, 2-3 convincing letters of reference, research plan (2-3 A4 pages), all in English. If the professor decides to support your application, they will write a support letter. 

Submit all the documents, including the support letter, to the Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS). 

Please check the specific requirements for your country at the website. 

What scholarship covers: 

The scholarship lasts for 12 months (starting in September) and may be prolonged for up to 36 months based on the achieved academic results.

For Ph.D. studies, the scholarship amounts to a monthly payment of CHF 1,920 (around EUR 1,752). For postdoc research, it amounts to a monthly payment of CHF 3,500 (around EUR 3,207). The scholarship includes a special CHF 300 (around EUR 274) housing allowance (paid once at the beginning of the scholarship), a one-year half-fare public transportation card, as well as support services, various trips, dinners, and sightseeing tours organized for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders.

For non-EU and non-EFTA grantees, the FCS pays mandatory Swiss health insurance. Scholarship holders from non-EU and non-EFTA countries also receive a flight allowance (lump sum) for a ticket back to their country of origin (provided at the end of the scholarship).


The deadline varies from country to country, but usually it is between September and December. For example, for Indian scholarship seekers, it is the 12th of November.



Even though public universities in France are basically free, high living expenses in this country, especially in Paris, can put a lot of pressure on your budget. The good news is: all those expenses can be covered by a scholarship, designed for foreigners to study and do research in France!

Established by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program aims to train future decision-makers and attract applicants from all over the world to French Master’s and doctoral programs.  

The program has two components: the Master’s component (12 to 36 months of funding) and the doctoral component that supports up to 12 months of doctoral research in France as part of a joint doctoral program.

Eiffel scholarships are available in four fields: 

  • Law 
  • Economics and management 
  • Engineering at the master’s level and the sciences more broadly at the doctoral level (engineering as well as mathematics, physics, chemistry, the life sciences, nano- and biotechnology, earth sciences, space sciences, environmental sciences, and information and communication sciences and technologies) 
  • Political science

Who can apply: 

You are eligible for the program if you are a non-French national, under 25 years of age (for Master’s component), or under 30 years of age (for the doctoral component).  Make sure that you haven’t had any other French governmental scholarship before, even if it only covered health insurance. You have only one try to apply for this program because if you are rejected, you cannot reapply in the future. 

When preselecting non-French-speaking candidates, institutions may require some proof that your language skills meet the requirements of the academic program.

Students who have previously received an Eiffel master’s scholarship are not eligible to receive another at the master’s level. However, they may be awarded a doctoral scholarship. Candidates previously awarded a doctoral scholarship are not eligible to receive another one. 

Application procedure: 

You should contact the International Relations department of the university/school through their website, by email or phone, to find out the deadline for the submission of applications. 

Then, you should contact the French embassy or Campus France office of your home country. You have to choose by yourself the French institution related to your study project. Any French higher education institution may apply. 

If a French university/school has decided to support your application to the Eiffel scholarship, they will send you the application form and help you fill it out. Then, they will send the application on your behalf.

What scholarship covers: 

For Master’s students, the Eiffel scholarship covers a monthly allowance of EUR 1,181. For doctoral students, the scholarship includes a monthly allowance of EUR 1,700. 

In addition, the following benefits are provided for both options: air travel, train travel to the education facility, reimbursement for local transportation, health insurance, cultural activities.


8th of January.

Holland Scholarship


Are you planning to study in the Netherlands and need cash for living expenses? The Holland Scholarship, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, is one of the options providing much-needed financial aid that can be crucial for those on a tight budget. The scholarship is for the Bachelor’s or Master’s students studying at one of the eligible Dutch educational institutions. Note that not every program participates even at the eligible schools!

All participating universities set up a fixed amount of scholarships they grant each year, selection criteria, and deadlines. To select the scholarship holders, the universities usually look at the academic background, motivation (relevance of your study in the Netherlands to your future goals), the quality and feasibility of your financial plan, and the ability to comply with the conditions for obtaining a Dutch residence permit. 

Who can apply: 

The main criteria: you must be a non-EEA citizen and be applying for a full-time Bachelor or Master’s program at one of the participating Dutch higher education institutions. The scholarship is for those who don’t already have a degree from a Dutch university.

You also need to meet the specific requirements of the school you are applying for. The requirements are published on their respective websites.

Application procedure: 

You should apply directly to the participating institution of your choice. 

First, you will have to apply to a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree program. Then, you submit your application for the Holland scholarship. Some universities ask for a motivational letter and a statement of financial resources demonstrating that you can afford to cover the remaining costs. 

What scholarship covers:  

The scholarship amounts to EUR 5,000. Yet, some universities, for example, Utrecht University, also offer Holland scholarships amounting to EUR 10,000 or EUR 15,000

If you are selected for the scholarship, you will receive the money in the first year of your studies, even if the studies are going to last for a few years. The grant can only be received once.


The deadline for application is either 1 February 2022 or 1 May 2022. Please check the website of the institution of your choice to confirm the correct deadline. Some universities have deadlines as early as January.

Global Korea Scholarship


There are many reasons why international students choose South Korea to study: top-ranked universities, advanced education system, rich culture, high employment opportunities, and high quality of life. The South Korean government offers a variety of scholarships for international students, and one of them is Global Korea Scholarship (GKS). This program allows studying for free at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

For this scholarship, 220 undergraduate and 1,080 graduate students are selected (number may vary every year). Scholarship recipients are required to take a Korean language course.  

Who can apply: 

To be able to apply for GKS, you should have a non- Korean citizenship and be in good health. You cannot apply if you already have a degree from a Korean university. 

If you apply for an undergraduate course, you should be under 25 years of age at the date of entrance. All your formal school education prior to this course should be finished or scheduled to be finished!

If you apply for a graduate course, you should be under 40 years of age, and hold a Bachelor’s or a Master's degree. 

At the same time, if you have already received this scholarship in the past and hold an overall grade of 90% or above, as well as high marks from a Korean language course, you can reapply!

Application procedure: 

You should submit all the documents related to the scholarship application to the Korean Embassy in your country of residence (‘embassy track’) or the domestic university concerned (‘university track’).

The Korean Embassy or the domestic university sends all applications to the governmental agency that manages scholarships (NIIED). NIIED evaluates potential candidates and makes a decision. 

What scholarship covers: 

The scholarship covers a full tuition fee, but no more than KRW 5 mln (around EUR 3,607) per semester. The scholarship offers a living allowance (up to KRW 1 mln, around EUR 720 per month), air tickets, resettlement allowance, medical insurance, language courses, research support, and some other expenses related to the studies. 


The application deadline may differ from one country to another or by university. Some universities require all documents to be submitted by the 28 of February, so roughly mid-February should be the time to keep in mind.

Visby Programme Scholarships for master’s level studies


Swedish universities embrace sustainability, innovation, and creativity, and this is what attracts international students from all over the world to study in Sweden. Visby programme, along with other 350 Master’s degree scholarships provided by the Swedish Institute, offers an opportunity to have all your study expenses covered. The Program’s goal is to create a scientific research region centered on the Baltic Sea, which will be composed of the EU's Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.

The Visby Program is a scholarship for master’s level studies that is open to over 600 master's programs in Sweden, taught in English. The eligible Master’s programs cover a wide range of disciplines from mechanical engineering and nanotechnology to art history and English literature

Who can apply: 

You must be a citizen of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, or Ukraine. Moreover, you are required to have some work experience and be able to certify it. You are not eligible if you have already resided in Sweden for cumulatively two years or more, prior to the scholarship period; or have been awarded a Swedish Institute scholarship, or hold a degree from a Swedish university/university college.

Even though it is not obligatory, the Swedish institute seeks candidates with leadership experience and prioritizes those who worked in a civil society organization or the public sector, in the fields of environmental and social sustainability, innovation, management responsibility, or sustainable economic growth.

Application procedure: 

To get the scholarship, you have to be admitted (including conditionally admitted) to the eligible Master's program. 

First, go to and apply for the eligible Master’s programs (the deadline is around February 1), submit all the documents, and pay the application fees. Then, go to the Swedish Institute website and fill out your scholarship application. Prepare all the required documents using SI forms. Attach all your documents to the application and apply online during the application period (February 8-18). If you have been accepted to the Master’s program, your application for the scholarship will be evaluated, too. 

What scholarship covers: 

The scholarship covers the tuition fee and all costs of studies, as well as living expenses (SEK 10,000 / month - around EUR 980), travel costs (SEK 5,000 / academic year - around EUR 490), health insurance. The scholarship gives you membership in SI Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) to help you grow professionally and build your network of contacts while in Sweden, as well as membership in SI Alumni Network after your scholarship period.


18 February, and by then you have to be admitted to a Master’s program

Orange Tulip Scholarship


One of the options to reduce your costs of education in the Netherlands is to apply for the Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme (OTS). This scholarship offers talented students from certain countries an opportunity to reduce or completely waive the tuition fees and even, in some cases, to cover other expenses such as visa and residence permit costs, and health insurance. The scholarship is managed and promoted by the Nesos (Netherlands Education Support Offices) in several participating countries.

Every participating university sets up a number of Bachelor, Master’s, and MBA programs available for each nationality, as well as the total amount of the scholarship. Therefore, the courses offered, the application requirements, and the total amount of the scholarship vary per participating country and institution. If you are planning to apply, please check the specific requirements and deadlines relevant to your country. 

Who can apply:

Neso offices are located in the following countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Vietnam, so the scholarship is available to talented students coming from these countries. 

The general requirements:

  • You have applied or have already been admitted into the participating school 
  • You have no degrees obtained in the Netherlands
  • You are a citizen of Neso country
  • Your nationality does not make you eligible for the lowered European tuition fees

Application procedure: 

First of all, you have to apply for a program that is eligible for an OTS scholarship. Then you have to apply for the scholarship through the Neso office in your country – fill out the application form, and prepare all the required documents.

The Neso Office sends the completed applications to the university you have applied to. The institutions will select those who will be granted the scholarship. 

What scholarship covers: 

As the Orange Tulip Scholarship Program (OTS) varies from country to country and from institution to institution, you will have to check this by yourself.  

For example, at Maastricht University OTS covers full tuition fees, but no additional allowance towards living costs or visa costs is granted. 

On the other hand, at Radboud University, the scholarship consists of a reduction of the tuition fee (to EUR 2,168,- in 2021/2022). Also, visa and residence permit costs, liability insurance, and health insurance for your stay in the Netherlands (Aon Student Insurance) are covered.

In some universities, it is just cash money (EUR 3,000) that doesn’t cover the tuition fee and is given to students once they start their study program.


The deadline depends on the Neso office in your country and the institution you are applying to. It is advised to start your application process as soon as possible. Some institution’s deadlines are as early as March 1, and by then you should already have applied for the study program.  

Chinese government scholarship programs


In China, there has been a huge increase in the number of international students over the past few years. Moreover, the Chinese government had really undertaken efforts to attract international students into the country. To achieve this, the Chinese Government Scholarship programs were established. 

There are plenty of programs under this umbrella term - Bilateral Program, Chinese University Program, Great Wall program, and many others! The Chinese University Program is, perhaps, the most well-known one: it aims to recruit outstanding students from all over the world to undertake degree studies on all levels of education in 289 eligible Chinese universities. 

Note that in order to receive a scholarship, the undergraduates have to register for a Chinese-taught program with a one-year preparatory course. Graduate and non-degree students can register to either the Chinese-taught program or the English-taught program, if applicable, and provide their language proficiency certificates. The scholarship covers both the major studies (all years) and the preparatory course. 

Who can apply: 

Everyone will find a suitable program within the Chinese government scholarship programs. Basically, there are only two main criteria: you must NOT be a citizen of China, and you must be in good health! You can apply to more than one program; however, some of them are only offered to persons of certain nationalities.

Application procedure: 

Application procedure, of course, depends on the program that you choose. However, in most cases, you have to apply to a relevant Chinese university and be admitted, and then to complete the online application at CGS Information Management System for International Students. You should submit the Application Form for the Chinese Government Scholarship, and later submit all your application documents before the deadline.

What scholarship covers: 

There are full and partial scholarships. The amount depends on a program, field of study (all disciplines are divided into three categories and the sums of money you receive depend on that category), and the level of education (undergraduate, graduate, or Ph.D.). A full scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, stipend, and medical insurance. It ranges from CNY 59,200 (around EUR 7,775) per year for undergraduate students to CNY 99,800 (around EUR 13,107) per year for doctoral students. A partial scholarship covers one or some items of the full scholarship.


Early April, and by then you already have to be admitted to a university!



Are you dreaming of studying in Italy? Would you like to reduce or completely waive the study expenses? Then, there is a scholarship for you. To promote international cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) offers grants to foreigners and Italian citizens living abroad. The scholarship is available for Master’s degrees, Courses of Higher Education in Arts, Music and Dance, Ph.D. programs, and  research under academic supervision at the Italian research institutions. 

The grants cover a period from 6 to 9 months, and may be renewed. 

Who can apply: 

You should live outside Italy and hold an appropriate academic qualification required to enroll in an Italian University/Institute. 

Applicants for Master’s Degree/Higher Education in Arts, Music, and Dance (AFAM) Programs/ Italian Language and Culture Courses should be under 28 years of age (with exception for those who renew the program).

Applicants for Ph.D. programs should be under 30 years of age (with exception for those who renew the program).

Applicants for Research Projects under academic supervision should be under 40 years of age.

Application procedure: 

Applicants must complete and submit the online application form. Applications will be evaluated by a Committee set up by the Italian Diplomatic Mission accredited in the applicant’s country of origin.

Indian citizens should also register their application on the website of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

What scholarship covers: 

Grantees may be exempted from the payment of enrollment and tuition fees depending on the policy of each University. Regional Fees are due anyway.

Grantees will receive a EUR 900 monthly allowance. Health and medical/accident insurance will be covered, too. 


13 of July