Top 15 Excellence Scholarships for International Students

Although not all, most scholarship programs are merit-based meaning scholars are chosen based on academic merit or in others forms such as leadership, athletic, or artistic merits.  Merit-based scholarships are sometimes referred to as excellence scholarships since it seeks out the most bright and most talented students.  In this list, highlights the most popular merit-based scholarships out there.



Merit-based Government Scholarships »


Fulbright Scholarships
The Fulbright Scholarship Program is the flagship international exchange scholarship program between the U.S. Government and 155 countries. Each year, approximately 1,800 Fulbright scholarships are awarded to the most excellent foreign students who wish to pursue a Masters or PhD Degree in the United States.  The Fulbright Scholarship Program provides full funding for the duration of the study which includes tuition, textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance.

Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The Scholarships are awarded to outstanding scholars with leadership potential.  Every year, it provides scholarships to around 1000 outstanding students from over 130 countries who wish to pursue postgraduate study in the UK.  Chevening Scholarships are full scholarships which cover tuition fees, monthly stipend and various one-off allowances as well as international travel to and from UK.

Endeavour Postgraduate Awards
The Endeavour Postgraduate Awards provide full financial support for high-achieving  international students to undertake a postgraduate qualification at a Masters or PhD level either by coursework or research in any field of study in Australia. The scholarship award is worth around $AUD228,500 for PhD and $AUD118,500 for Masters and covers tuition fees, monthly stipend, travel allowance, establishment allowance as well as health and travel insurance.

Eiffel Scholarships
The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Programme is funded by the French Government and was launched to attract elite overseas students who wish to pursue Master’s, Engineering and  PhD degrees in France. The Eiffel Programme does not cover tuition fees but scholarship holders are given a monthly allowance, travel costs, health insurance and possibly an accommodation allowance.  Approximately 400 new scholarships are awarded each year.


Merit-based University Scholarships »


Rhodes Scholarships
Established in the will of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world.   The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards that supports exceptional international students from selected countries at the University of Oxford.   A Rhodes Scholarship covers all university fees, personal stipend, health insurance, and airfare to and from the student’s home country.  A class of 83 Scholars are selected each year.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships
Gates Cambridge Scholarships are full-cost awards for graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.  The scholarships are open to all international students from all over the world.  A Gates Cambridge Scholarship covers the full cost of studying at Cambridge namely: university fees, maintenance allowances, airfare, and some dependant’s allowance.  About 100 new Gates Scholars are awarded annually (although the exact number of awards may change from year to year).

Sydney Achievers International Scholarships
The Sydney Achievers International Scholarships provides new international students who wants to study in University of Sydney in Australia.  These prestigious scholarships are aimed at attracting high achieving, academically meritorious, international students to enjoy the ‘Sydney experience’ at one of the finest institutions of higher education in the world.  Up to 100 of these prestigious Scholarships (worth AUD 10,000 per annum) will be offered to high achieving, academically meritorious, international students.

University of Maastricht Scholarships for High Potential International Students
Maastricht University (UM) aims to further strengthen its position as a leading European university offering high-quality education with an international orientation. To this end,  scholarships are made available by the UM Scholarship Fund with the aim of encouraging talented students from outside the EEA to follow a master’s programme at UM.  These scholarships are fully-funded scholarships which includes tuition fee, living expenses, visa costs, and insurance.

University of Birmingham Scholarships for International Students
The University of Birmingham is offering  18 individual merit-based scholarships worth £10,000 towards the cost of tuition fees for a one year masters course to outstanding international candidates. Applicants must have an excellent academic background. Due to the level of competition for these scholarships, only applicants with a 1st class bachelors degree will be considered.

Leiden University Excellence Scholarships for International Students
The Leiden University Excellence Scholarship Programme (LExS) is open to outstanding  Non-EU/EEA students pursuing a master’s degree programme at Leiden University.  The scholarship value (up to 100% tuition fee) depend on prior academic education abroad, the applicant must have achieved excellent study results which are relevant for the programme for which the student wishes to enrol. As an indication, the student will be among the top 10% for the relevant programme followed abroad.

University of Bern Excellence Scholarships for International Students
The University of Bern Masters Grants are for international students who wish to pursue a Master’s programme at the University.  Criteria for selection are academic excellence and the candidate’s potential and motivation.  The grant consists of 1600 CHF per month for the duration of the Master’s programme.

La Trobe Academic Excellence Scholarships for International Students
La Trobe’s Academic Excellence Scholarships (AES) are targeted towards high achieving international students from all countries across all of La Trobe’s undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs. You are eligible if you scored a minimum of 80 per cent or equivalent in their previous degree/award.  The scholarships are non-renewable tuition fee awards of A$10,000-$20,000 paid across a maximum period of two semesters (or twelve months).

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships
The University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships (UMGF) are merit-based awards that are open to students including international students who will be registered as full-time graduate students (Masters or Ph.D.) at the University of Manitoba regardless of nationality or discipline.  The scholarships are targeted to students with a minimum GPA of 3.75 (above B+) at a recognized university based on a Bachelor, Masters, Graduate Diploma or a Doctoral degree.  The value of these fellowships is $16,000 (Ph.D.) and is $12,000 (Master’s).


Merit-Based Institution Scholarships »


Heinrich Boll Scholarships for International Students
The Heinrich Böll Foundation awards scholarships to international students who gained their university entrance qualification from a school outside of Germany who wish to study a Masters or PhD Degree in any subject in Germany.  The scholarship awards are €750 per month for Masters students and €1000 per month for PhD students.

OFID Scholarship Award
OFID (The OPEC Fund for International Development) offers a fully-funded scholarship to qualified applicants who wish to study for a Master’s degree in any approved University around the world.   The winner of the OFID Scholarship Award will receive a tuition support of up to US$50,000 plus a a monthly allowance to cover living expenses, books and accommodation.  To be eligible, you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 rating system, or its equivalent.


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