Commonwealth Scholarships for International Students

Commonwealth scholarships

Commonwealth scholarships

If your an international student then highly consider the Commonwealth scholarships; here’s why. As an international student it can sometimes be difficult to find financial aid for attending college. Many bursary programs are available specifically to citizens of a given country, and are normally available through specific institutions. Scholarships, although being much more open and aimed at a broad audience, can sometimes be restrictive in who is awarded and what areas they may have come from. The Commonwealth Scholarship Program in sharp contrast is specifically designed with the international student in mind. Commonwealth scholarships are offered around the world through an organization called the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan which was conceived and implemented at the 1959 Commonwealth education conference. Its goal is to establish scholarship programs in individual Commonwealth nations available to students from other countries.

Though the Commonwealth scholarship is not available across the board for all member nations, it is available in 12 including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, India and Malaysia. Initially these programs were created to fund primarily students pursuing graduate studies but it has since been opened up in many countries to include undergraduate students as well. These Commonwealth scholarship programs are hotly sought after and considered highly competitive, so students should plan carefully before application and make sure they have provided the best information they possibly can to put themselves in the best light.

In many ways, the application process for commonwealth college scholarships has advanced and simplified since 1959. For some countries, a single electronic application system is available for all interested applicants, though this has not been implemented in all nations equally. It is useful to know that there is no single commonwealth scholarship plan available, but rather these programs are designed and implemented by individual countries. Because of this, though easier now than in days past, the commonwealth scholarship programs are still rather complicated and students will need to take their time when reviewing scholarships they may apply to.

Applications may be restricted to certain nations in the commonwealth, or they may be broadly available to all member states. Other programs may be available only for graduate or undergraduate students, and eligibility criteria will vary by specific scholarship. Further, it is also important to know that not all programs are scholarships, and that some are designed as fellowships which are a completely different category. The basic message in this is simple: review available programs very carefully and make sure that they are applicable to your interests and financial needs.

Many of these scholarships by Commonwealth are offered through exchange programs, so an important step in gaining access to them is to first check with your university to see if such a program exists. If a students’ institution does not offer such an exchange program they will be ineligible for a number of the scholarships, though this should not stop them as there are many more that will still be available. A good example of such a program is the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship which, while prefers students be enrolled in an existing exchange program, accepts applicants from many different institutions. Students at a college who do not have an exchange program with a college in Canada may begin the process at home, encouraging their university to generate such an arrangement with the student’s chosen destination. Successful applicants to this specific program can receive up to $10,000 to cover travel, living costs and other financial needs while staying in Canada. While the 2010 awards have been given out already, the Canadian 2011 Commonwealth Scholarship Program is expected to announce a new competition for 2011 in the near future.

Commonwealth scholarship programs are a useful way for international students to find financial aid to continue their studies abroad. It may require a little footwork on the part of the student, but the rewards can be enormous. Further, their legwork where exchange programs do not currently exist may facilitate future students in gaining access to these awards, so their efforts are important across the board.

Again, it is important to remember that these programs are highly competitive, so students who apply should have a sincere passion for the work they are doing. Their applications should display their passions, and in all hopes they will find themselves awarded handsomely for their interests.

Study Abroad Scholarships Grants

Scholarships for International Students


  1. Scholarships in Canada | - pingback on February 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm
  2. plzzzz tell me how i can apply because i am a poor student but interested in higher education plzzzz help me for this purpose……..

  3. sonia,

    just click on the link at the bottom of the article.

  4. Mirriam Dlamini

    How can my son access the scholarship.He is an accounting student at Witwatersrand University.He is an orphan,SWAZI by birth doing first year in accounting.Can you help my son ,I am a primary teacher and cannot afford to pay for him
    .To confirm the truth othe issue , check Sihle Sikhondze student number;573275

  5. Mirriam,

    start here: Commonwealth Scholarships for the countries which offer the awards first.

  6. Looking for Assistance and Masters program in Rural/ Community Development

  7. Pastory,

    search for Community Development student aid Masters programs. You would have to talk to the individual colleges about a specific program which you qualify for. You may want to read up on government programs which may help. Also read about federal scholarships too.

  8. i want to do fellowship in forensic pathology from uk as we donot have the same in india.i am a forensic physician and working with the government of himachal.

  9. sangeet,

    you may want to visit to read more. I can’t give you any help here.

  10. Anasua Amal Chakrabarty

    this is Anasua,an undergraduate student from Bangladesh,looking for a scholarship on architecture in canada.can you help me in finding out a suitable scholarship there?


  12. lam looking for a schoo;aship to study in parsons fashion school for undergraduate,kindly consider my request,lam currently in south korea s a volunteer.thank you.

  13. Onzima Donald Degason

    Hello, I am looking for scholarship for Msc Environmental and Public health. I am currently serving as a volunteer with Volunteer Overseas Service (VSO) as public health management advisor in Terekeka county health department – South Sudan. (this is health in development perspective)
    I already have a provisional offer to study in University of Salford (UK) but I am un able to meet the finances. I differed the offer till September 2014.
    I shall be grateful for any offer.
    My regards

  14. Onzima,

    have you considered student bursaries? If not, I would based on your field of study. Easier to apply to, and easier to get! look into your very own government bursary programs firstly.

  15. dormuo dery castor

    am looking for masters in range and wildlife management or environmental and climate change related courses or any agriculture related course with a BSc.agric technology student and majored in renewable natural resources in uds- Ghana in 2010

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