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Scholarships and Grants for Indian Students Planning to Study Abroad

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Written by  Geetika Arora, MBA

Reviewed by  Priyanka Bhargava, MBA - Marketing and HR

Published on Tue, May 23, 2023 10:21 AM   Updated on Tue, May 23, 2023 10:23 AM   17 mins read

Studying abroad is a dream come true for many Indian students, and it’s a golden opportunity that a lot of Indian students are getting these days. 

But, Studying abroad comes with a high cost, and not every Indian family can fulfil that cost. 

Then what should one do? Leave the dream of studying at Howard, MIT, Princeton, etc.

Well, not at all! Where there is a will, there’s a way! Scholarships are your key savers here!

Scholarships for international students to study abroad are provided by numerous universities, institutions, and over 50 governments worldwide. These scholarships are awarded based on merit, financial need, specific fields of study, or to support underrepresented communities, aiming to empower them and enable them to achieve their full potential.

Not only that, the Indian government is offering scholarships to provide financial assistance to Indian students and facilitate their international educational endeavours.

We have compiled a list of top scholarships, Grants, and fellowships that will be helpful for Indian students planning to study abroad. 

Indian government scholarships to study abroad

Indian government scholarships to study abroad
Source: Canva

Here are some of the most trending scholarships offered by the Indian government in 2023 to support Indian students in studying abroad:

1. National Overseas Scholarship 

The National Overseas Scholarship is a prominent Indian government scholarship available in 2023. It aims to uplift low-income students’ economic and social status from marginalized backgrounds, including Scheduled Castes, Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers, and Traditional Artisans, through higher education opportunities abroad.

This need-based foreign scholarship targets Indian students pursuing Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in various fields. 

Area of study: The eligible areas of study include Engineering and Management, Pure Sciences and Applied Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Medicine, International Commerce, Accounting and Finance, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

Duration: 2 years

Type: Need-based


To be eligible for the National Overseas Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Belonging to a minority community in India.
  • Attain a minimum of 55% marks in the last academic degree.
  • Be below 35 years of age.
  • Have no more than one sibling.
  • Come from a family with an income of less than 6,00,000 INR.

2. Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship

The Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship is a fully funded scholarship administered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on behalf of the Government of India. This prestigious fellowship provides Indian students with an opportunity to pursue their studies at the University of Oxford.

Under the fellowship, selected candidates are granted a status equivalent to that of a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. 

Area of Study: The fellowship is specifically available for students interested in the fields of History, Economics, and Political Science.

Duration: 1 year but can be extended to 2nd year based on performance.

Type: Merit-based


Applicants for the Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain a minimum of 60% or above throughout their Ph.D. studies.
  • Be between the ages of 30 and 40.
  • Possess a minimum of three years of teaching experience.

3. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme

The Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme provides financial assistance to students from developing countries who wish to pursue a master’s degree at universities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Portugal. The scholarship is awarded on a 50% grant and 50% loan basis.

The Aga Khan Foundation scholarship is well-recognised among Indian students as it covers tuition fees and living costs, making it an attractive opportunity for those seeking financial support to study abroad. In order to be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be below the age of 30 and have a strong academic track record.

Area of Study: The fellowship is available for the fields of History, Economics, and Political Science.

Duration: 1 year but can be extended to 2nd year based on performance.

Type: Fully-funded


To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The candidate must have a strong academic background.
  • The candidate should have completed or be in the process of completing their Master’s degree or equivalent qualification.
  • The candidate must demonstrate a genuine interest in pursuing research in History, Economics, or Political Science.
  • The candidate should fulfil any additional requirements set by the Ministry of Human Resource Development or the University of Oxford.

4. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship 

The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship program focuses on providing funding for researchers involved in climate change-related studies and research. The program’s primary objective is to promote education among technical and scientific research scholars in this field.

This government scholarship is targeted explicitly toward Indian scholars with a Ph.D. qualification from a recognised Indian institution.

Area of Study: The fellowship program focuses on climate change-related studies and research. 

Duration: It varies depending on the specific project and research plan. Typically, the fellowship lasts for a duration of six to nine months.

Type: Prestigious government scholarship


To be eligible for the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must be an Indian citizen with a Ph.D. qualification from a recognised Indian institution.
  • The fellowship is primarily aimed at early-career researchers in their careers’ initial stages and requires financial resources to support their work.
  • The research proposal and study plan must be specifically focused on climate change and related areas.
  • Applicants must demonstrate strong academic and research credentials and a genuine commitment to addressing climate change challenges.
  • The Fulbright Commission or the U.S. Department of State may impose additional requirements for qualifying.

5. The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust 

The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust offers scholarships to Indian women graduates from recognised universities who aspire to pursue higher education abroad. These scholarships are specifically designed to provide financial support towards the tuition fees for esteemed universities in the United States, United Kingdom, or Europe.

Area of Study: No specific area. It is available to Indian women who have graduated from reputable universities and want to study abroad for an advanced degree in any subject they choose. 

Type: Merit-based


The following standards must be met in order for candidates to qualify for this scholarship:

  • A minimum of two years of work experience.
  • According to their academic transcripts, candidates must have demonstrated a high academic record during their bachelor’s degree programme.
  • Admission to a respected university in the United States, United Kingdom, or Europe is required of applicants. This guarantees that the scholarship will be used to further one’s study at prestigious universities.

Best Scholarships for Indian Students in the United Kingdom

Scholarships for Indian Students in the United Kingdom
Source: Canva

1. Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship

The Commonwealth Scholarship scheme aims to support students from Commonwealth countries who would otherwise face financial barriers to studying in the United Kingdom. 

Area of Study: This scholarship is awarded based on merit and covers various subjects and fields of study, including Engineering & Technology, Science (Pure & Applied), Agriculture & Allied Fields, and Humanities & Social Science. 

Type: Fully-Funded

Duration: It varies depending on the level of study. Generally, it covers the duration of the Master’s or Ph.D. program. 


The following requirements must be satisfied by applicants in order to be eligible for the Commonwealth Scholarship programme:

  • Candidates must be residents of a Commonwealth nation.
  • The scholarship normally has an age restriction, and applicants need typically be under a certain age, such as 40.
  • With minimum academic standards like 60% for arts-related topics and 65% for STEM-related subjects in their prior degrees, applicants are expected to have a strong academic record.
  • Since the majority of programmes in the UK are taught in English, proficiency in the language is often necessary.
  • Each scholarship programme may have its own unique requirements, such as ones including work experience, research proposals, or letters of recommendation. These requirements vary depending on the scholarship and university.

2. Chevening Scholarship

The Chevening Scholarships, provided by the UK Government, are prestigious awards for outstanding international students, including those from India. The scholarships support individuals in pursuing a one-year postgraduate degree at any university in the UK in the field of their interest. The program is designed to nurture and develop future leaders on a global scale.

Area of Study: Chevening Scholarships are available for various fields and disciplines, including arts and culture, business and economics, development studies, engineering and technology, environment and sustainability, governance and public administration, health, media and communications, and social sciences. 

Duration: One year

Type: Fully-Funded


In order to be considered for a Chevening Scholarship, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Candidates must have acquired a graduate or postgraduate degree.
  • The scholarship is available for individuals pursuing a master’s degree in the UK.
  • While not mandatory, a minimum of 2 years of work experience is preferred for applicants.

Best Scholarships for Indian Students in the United States:

Scholarships for Indian Students in the United States
Source: Canva

1. Fulbright- Nehru fellowships

The Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships, administered by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF), provide opportunities for Indian students to pursue a master’s degree or conduct research at educational institutions in the United States.

Area of Study: The Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships support study and research in arts and culture, humanities, social sciences, science and technology, environmental studies, public health, and business administration.

Type: Full-Funded

Duration: The master’s degree program lasts two years, while research programs may range from six months to one year.


To be eligible for the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of a four-year education or an equivalent bachelor’s degree from the United States.
  • Minimum of three years of work experience.
  • Evaluation is based on criteria such as communication skills, community service, leadership abilities, and more.

2. Cornell University Tata Scholarship

The Cornell University Tata Scholarship is a need-based financial aid program offered exclusively to Indian students studying at Cornell University. This scholarship is granted by the Tata Education and Development Trust and is awarded to approximately 20 scholars per year. It supports undergraduate students for a maximum of 8 semesters, covering a significant portion of their undergraduate education expenses. The exact scholarship amount varies depending on the college and course of study and must be renewed annually.

Type: Need-based & College-specific


Here are the eligibility criteria for the scholarship: 

  • Applicants must be Indian citizens.
  • Admission to Cornell University for an undergraduate degree.
  • Minimum requirement of 70% marks in school.
  • No year education gap.
  • TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS score of 7.

Best Scholarships for Indian Students in Canada

Scholarships for Indian Students in Canada
Source: Canva

1. UBC Leader of Tomorrow Award

The UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award is a prestigious scholarship for international students who apply to the University of British Columbia (UBC) for undergraduate programs. 

Area of Study: The UBC ILOT Award is available for students in any undergraduate program offered at the University of British Columbia. Students can choose from a wide range of academic disciplines, including arts, sciences, business, engineering, and more.

Duration: 4 years

Type: Merit-Based


To be eligible for the UBC ILOT Award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of an international student’s initial bachelor’s degree
  • Fulfilment of the program’s requirements and English language proficiency
  • Demonstration of financial need to receive need-based financial support

Best Scholarships for Indian Students in China

Scholarships for Indian Students in China
Source: Canva

1. Chinese government fellowships

Chinese Government Scholarships are offered through the India-China Cultural Exchange Program to support students who wish to pursue undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral programs at universities in China. Through these scholarships, students receive financial support that covers various expenses, including tuition fees, accommodation, and living allowances. 

Area of Study: The Chinese Government Scholarships cover a wide range of academic disciplines and fields of study. Students can pursue undergraduate, postgraduate (master’s and doctoral), and postdoctoral courses in their chosen field at universities in China. The universities and programmes that are offered decide the particular fields of study.

Duration: It depends on the educational level.

Type: Fully-funded


The following are among the qualifications needed to be eligible for Chinese Government Scholarships:

  • The minimum grade point average for applicants’ previous degree or academic certification is 60%.
  • Candidates must show they have a sufficient grasp of Chinese history, culture, and education. By doing so, they demonstrate their knowledge of and enthusiasm for studying in China.
  • Candidates must complete a one-year Chinese language training course before enrollment. 

By taking advantage of these scholarships and awards, Indian students can expand their horizons, get a global perspective, and advance their academic and personal development.

The scholarships offered for studying abroad can be a significant step towards achieving your dream of studying abroad. You will be one step closer to reaching your goals once the scholarship application is approved. 

Wrapping Up

Scholarships and Grants for Indian Students
Source: Canva

To wrap it up, scholarships and grants are like golden tickets for Indian students planning to study abroad. They offer financial support and open doors to international education. Start early, research thoroughly, and apply to a range of opportunities.

Don’t forget to showcase your achievements, goals, and aspirations in compelling essays. Remember, with determination and a proactive approach, you can make your study abroad dreams a reality.

Best of luck in your scholarship journey!

Keep your ambitions high, and take advantage of the financial aid to make the most of your educational opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions 

If a student from India wants to study abroad, are any scholarships available?

Yes, grants and scholarships are available just for Indian students who want to study overseas. Numerous governments, academic institutions, and nonprofit groups provide scholarships to help Indian students pursue higher education abroad.

What are the eligibility criteria for scholarships for Indian students studying abroad?

Eligibility criteria for scholarships for Indian students studying abroad can vary depending on the specific scholarship program. Common criteria may include academic excellence, financial need, specific field of study, language proficiency, and leadership qualities.

Can I apply for multiple scholarships at the same time?

You can submit applications for several scholarships at once. To improve your chances of receiving funding for your study abroad trip, it is advised that you submit applications for as many scholarships as you are qualified for. 

About the Author & Expert


Geetika Arora

Author • MBA • 13+ Years

Geetika Arora is the Sales Manager at AdmitKard. Born and brought up in Delhi to support her family, Geetika started working immediately after schooling at Medsource Healthcare Group of Fortis Healthcare in the Operation department and simultaneously completed her Graduation, i.e., B.Com from Delhi University. She is an excellent communicator with the ability to effectively manage internal and external teams, leads the Sales front of the organization, and is trusted by the industry’s best. She has also completed her MBA in Business & Finance. Geetika is a dynamic, accomplished, and result-driven professional with 13+ years of experience in the education industry with exposure to managing Sales and Operations, Business Development, Administration, Customer Relation Management, and MIS. With overall 5 years of experience in the study abroad industry, she is equipped with the ins and outs. Geetika’s relationship-building and Interpersonal skills set her class apart and makes her a star performer. She is a strong, creative, and inventive individual with a flexible and detail-oriented attitude. At AdmitKard, she is continuously working with students and counselors of various backgrounds to get them admitted into their dream programs in top-tier universities across the globe.


Priyanka Bhargava

Expert • MBA - Marketing and HR • 13+ Years

Priyanka possesses more than 13 years of extensive experience. Having pursued a Master's in International Business from a reputed university abroad, she has first-hand insight into the entire gamut of the study abroad admissions process. She has collaborated extensively with all categories of study abroad aspirants be it for Undergrad, Master’s (technical and non-technical), MBA, MPH and PhD. She boasts of an impeccable university placement record, including top-notch global universities such as Stanford, UPenn, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, Cambridge, and several others. She has an overall perspective of the admissions process of countries such as the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, European Union.

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