Top Scholarships and Fellowships for Indian Students to Study Abroad

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – Pursuing education abroad is an aspiration cherished by numerous Indian students. It is driven by the desire to broaden the horizons, gain international exposure, and acquire a world-class education. However, the cost of expenditure to study overseas can often pose a big hurdle. 

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Fortunately, scholarships and fellowships to study abroad provide a lifeline, enabling talented students to commence their academic pursuits without incurring financial burden.

These scholarships and fellowships enable Indian students to pursue their ambition. Beyond alleviating financial burdens, it unlocks doors to personal growth promoting cultural exchange. It also provides invaluable opportunities for global networking.

By exploring a multitude of available opportunities, diligently adhering to eligibility criteria, and submitting an impressive application, applicants can be a potential winner in their pursuit of attaining quality education on the global stage overseas.

This article provides curated selections of prestigious and coveted scholarships and fellowships that open doors to education overseas. It is also a sincere attempt to inform, educate and inspire applicants in their pursuit.

Advantages of Applying for Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad

  1. Financial Relief: Scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, travel costs leading to reduction of financial liability on students and their families.
  2. Prestigious Institutions: Many scholarship programs are associated with prestigious universities, allowing students to access quality education overseas.
  3. Career Enhancement: Studying abroad enhances a student’s employability by offering exposure to international standards and diverse perspectives.
  4. Cultural Enrichment: Living in a foreign country provides opportunities for networking and  cultural exchange, fostering personal growth.

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – Countries Offering Fully Funded Scholarships

Scholarships are primarily merit-based or a combination of merit and need-based. They are offered on the basis of several qualification criteria including gender, race, nationality, chosen field of study, etc. 

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In addition, scholarships are also offered in various monetary forms, such as one-time lump sum payments or renewable stipends. This may be fully or partially funded.

Fully funded scholarships for Indian students are open to several offshore destinations. The UK, USA, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, and EU member states notably the Netherlands, renowned for its plethora of scholarship programs. This extends opportunities to Indian students for gaining distinctive scholarships.

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – A Detailed List

National Overseas Scholarship Scheme 

The National Overseas Scholarship Scheme aims to support economically disadvantaged students from marginalised backgrounds, including Scheduled Castes (SCs), Denotified Nomadic/Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers, and Traditional Artisans. 

This initiative enables eligible individuals to pursue higher education, specifically Master’s or PhD programs, at international institutions, thereby getting a chance to improve their economic and social status.

Scholarship Provider: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI

Eligibility Criteria:

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Candidates must have a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent grade in the qualifying examination.

  • For PhD courses, the qualifying exam would be a master’s degree.
  • For master’s degree courses, the qualifying examination would be a bachelor’s degree.
  • If a student has completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree after a diploma (lateral entry to the 2nd year), marks obtained in the bachelor’s degree program will be considered.

Candidates must not exceed 35 years of age as on the first day of April in the year of selection.

Income Criteria:

Total family income from all sources should not exceed ₹8 lakh per annum.

  • The income of the candidate applying for the scholarship, their parents, and siblings below the age of 18 years will be considered.
  • For married women, the income of the in-laws, spouse, and children below 18 years will be considered.

Not more than two children of the same parents/guardians will be eligible for the scholarship.


Type of Assistance United States of America (USA) & Other Countries Except UK United Kingdom (UK)

Great Britain Pounds (GBP)

Annual Maintenance Allowance USD $15400   9900 Great Britain Pounds (GBP)
Contingency Allowance USD $1500  1100 Great Britain Pounds (GBP)
Tuition Fees Actual as Charged  Actual as Charged
Visa Fees Actual Visa Fee in Indian Rupee  Actual Visa Fee in Indian Rupee 
Medical Insurance Premium Actual as Charged  Actual as Charged 
Incidental Journey Allowance & Equipment Allowance USD $20 for Each or its Equivalent in Indian Rupee USD $20 for Each or its Equivalent in Indian Rupee
Air Passage a) Awardees can purchase air tickets from authorised travel agents.

b) Tickets must be of economy class/shortest route on the booking date.

c) Awardees can claim airfare reimbursement from the Indian Mission abroad after joining the university and providing a joining report.

a) Awardees can purchase air tickets from authorised travel agents.

b) Tickets must be of economy class/shortest route on the booking date.

c) Awardees can claim airfare reimbursement from the Indian Mission abroad after joining the university and providing a joining report.

Additional Notes:

  • The Contingency Allowance covers expenses for books, essential apparatus, study tours, travel costs for attending subject-related conferences and workshops, thesis typing and binding, and fees directly associated with the student’s studies, such as Student Service Fees, Student Amenity Fees, and more. However, it does not cover fees for language courses.
  • Students must return any equipment and apparatus provided, such as laptops.
  • For transportation, second or coach class railway fare is provided from the port of disembarkation to the place of study and vice versa. In cases where the destination is not accessible by rail, bus fares from the residence to the nearest railway station, ferry crossing charges, and airfare to the nearest rail-cum-air station are eligible expenses.
  • Awardees also have the option to supplement their allowances through Research/Teaching Assistantships.
  • For students pursuing online classes in India, maintenance allowances will adhere to the approved rates of Academic Allowance as outlined in the Post Matric Scholarship for SCs.

Note:- To read additional details about this scholarship, please refer to the official document released by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI.

Fulbright Kalam Climate Fellowship for Post Doctoral Research

The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowships are designed for Indian faculty and researchers who are at the initial stages of their research careers in India. These fellowships offer a unique opportunity for these talented individuals to bolster their research capabilities. 

Postdoctoral fellows, during their tenure, gain access to some of the most exceptional resources in their respective fields of interest, while simultaneously fostering enduring collaborative relationships with U.S. faculty and institutions. The duration of these fellowships ranges from eight to 24 months.

The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship encompasses a wide range of fields, which include but are not limited to Energy Studies, Earth Sciences, Geology, Environmental Sciences, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities, Agriculture, Public Policy, Environmental Engineering, and Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Name of the Fellowships Provider: United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF)


The selected candidate will be associated with a host institution in the United States of America. USIEF highly encourages all applicants to proactively identify institutions they intend to affiliate with and establish prior communication with potential host institutions.

 If the applicant has obtained a formal letter of invitation from a U.S. institution, it should be included as an integral component in the online application. This invitation letter should specify the intended duration of the visit, preferably with specific dates.

Eligibility Criteria: 

In addition to the General Prerequisites:

1. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or D.M. (Doctorate for Medicine) degree awarded within the past four years, specifically during the period July 17, 2019, and July 16, 2023. It is mandatory for applicants to upload their Ph.D. or D.M. degree certificate or provisional Ph.D. or D.M. certificate while completing the online application.

2. Furthermore, applicants should have at least one publication in reputable journals and provide substantiating evidence of exceptional academic and professional achievements. 

  • They are also required to upload a recent significant publication (paper or article) as part of the online application, with the document not exceeding 30 pages.

3. If the applicant is currently employed, it is crucial to carefully adhere to the instructions with regard to employer endorsement. 

  • When applicable, obtain an endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority on the Letter of Support from the Home Institution. 
  • The endorsement should explicitly confirm the willingness to grant leave for the fellowship period. 
  • For candidates employed under government-funded projects, endorsement from their affiliated institutions in India is also mandatory.


1. These fellowships offer comprehensive support, including J-1 visa sponsorship, a monthly stipend, coverage under the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges as per the U.S. Government guidelines, round-trip economy class airfare between India and the U.S., a modest settling-in allowance, and a professional allowance.

2. Additionally, subject to the availability of funds, a dependent allowance and international travel may be extended for one eligible accompanying dependent, provided that the dependent is present with the grantee in the U.S. for a minimum of 80 percent of the grant period.

Also Read: Top Fine Arts Scholarships for Indian Students 

Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme 

This scholarship programme aims to support exceptionally talented students from developing countries who have limited access to other sources of funding. It aims to empower applicants to pursue full-time postgraduate studies at prestigious higher education institutions of their choice.

Name of the Scholarship Provider: Aga Khan Foundation


  • Must be an Indian national under the age of 30 years
  • Enrolled in a recognized postgraduate institution for advanced studies
  • Demonstrates a track record of strong academic performance, professional experience, noteworthy extracurricular achievements, volunteer involvement, and leadership aptitude


  • The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses for the entire duration of the degree program.
  • However, it does not extend to cover the living expenses of family members or international travel costs.
  • For Ph.D. recipients, the scholarship supports the first two years of their program, with the expectation that they will secure alternative funding thereafter.

Award Details:

1. The International Scholarship Programme (ISP) awards are structured as 50% grants and 50% loans, implying that 50% of the award amount must be repaid by the recipient.

2. Master’s degree scholarships are granted for the entire duration of the program, while Ph.D. students receive scholarships for initial two years, after which they are encouraged to seek alternative funding sources.

3. A 5% cumulative service charge is applied annually to the loan amount. The student’s head of family or another guarantor is required to co-sign the loan agreement.

4. The repayment period spans five years, starting six months after one of the following events: 

  • graduation
  • termination of studies
  • withdrawal of support due to academic performance falling below the expected standards for ISP students

5. Graduates pursuing further education after completing an ISP-funded program are eligible for a moratorium. 

6. Additionally, graduates who return to work in a developing country and remain there can receive a two-year moratorium.

Also Read: Scholarships for First-Generation College Students – India and Abroad

Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships 

The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships are tailored to the needs of exceptional Indian individuals seeking to pursue a master’s degree program at distinguished U.S. colleges and universities. 

This opportunity is available in various fields, including:

  • Arts and Culture Management (including Heritage Conservation and Museum Studies)
  • Economics, Environmental Science/Environmental Studies
  • Higher Education Administration
  • International Affairs
  • International Legal Studies
  • Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Women’s Studies/Gender Studies

Name of the Fellowships Provider: United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF)

Eligibility Criteria:

In addition to meeting the General Prerequisites, the applicant must fulfill the following criteria:

1. The applicant should hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized Indian university with a minimum of 55% marks. 

  • This can be either a four-year bachelor’s degree, a completed master’s degree, or a full-time postgraduate diploma from a recognized Indian institution, if the bachelor’s degree is less than four years in duration.

2. The applicant should possess a minimum of three years of full-time, paid professional work experience relevant to the intended field of study by the application deadline.

3. Demonstrated experience in leadership and active participation in community service activities is essential.

4. The applicant should not hold another degree from a U.S. university or be currently enrolled in a U.S. degree program.

5. If employed, the applicant must adhere to specific instructions with regard to employer endorsement.

  • If applicable, the applicant should secure an endorsement from the appropriate administrative authority using the FNMasters Employer’s Endorsement Form. 
  • This endorsement should confirm the commitment to grant leave for the fellowship period.


The fellowship covers the following benefits:

  • J-1 visa support
  • Round-trip economy class air travel from the fellow’s home city to the host institution in the U.S.
  • Funding to cover tuition and fees
  • Support for living and associated expenses
  • Accident and sickness coverage in accordance with the U.S. Government guidelines


  • The Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships do not offer financial support for dependents.
  • USIEF funding may not cover all expenses, and fellows may need to supplement their grant benefits with additional resources.

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – Other Scholarships

The best scholarships for Indian students:


  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship
  • Chevening Scholarship
  • Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarships
  • Rhodes Scholarships
  • Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships
  • Erasmus Mundus Programme
  • Felix Scholarships


  • UBC Leader of Tomorrow Award
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS)
  • Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program at University of Toronto
  • Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow Award at University of British Columbia
  • York University International Student Scholarships
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for US Citizens to Study Abroad


  • Australia Awards Scholarship
  • Australian Embassy Fully Funded Scholarships
  • University of Melbourne Scholarships
  • Adelaide Scholarship International (ASI)

Note:- To read more about study abroad scholarships

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – Important Links

Scholarships/Fellowships Important Links
National Overseas Scholarship Scheme
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship for Post Doctoral Research
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowships

Scholarships and Fellowships to Study Abroad – FAQs

Can school students apply for scholarships and fellowships programmes to pursue their studies abroad?

Most scholarships and fellowships programmes are meant for applicants pursuing their undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral studies, however, some programmes may have potential opportunities for high school students.

Are scholarships and fellowships programmes to study overseas available in non-English speaking countries?

Yes, scholarships to study abroad exist for a wide range of countries, including those where English is not the primary language.

Are there scholarships available to study abroad for specific courses?

Many scholarships meant for the applicants to pursue their studies abroad cater to specific disciplines or courses. It ensures that students pursuing their studies in specific courses can benefit.

Can overseas applicants already pursuing their studies abroad apply for these scholarships programmes?

Some scholarships may be applicable to overseas applicants pursuing their studies in a foreign country, but the eligibility criteria may vary.

Do these scholarships cover expenditures incurred on family members accompanying the applicants?

Scholarships generally cover costs incurred on tuition fee, including accomodation. Most of the scholarship programmes do not cover living expenses of the family members, however exceptions do exist.

Can students apply for multiple scholarships simultaneously?

Students can apply for multiple scholarships simultaneously, but it’s essential to review the specific scholarship guidelines  carefully in order to ensure a successful application outcome.

1 thought on “Top Scholarships and Fellowships for Indian Students to Study Abroad”

  1. Thank you for sharing this valuable information. Australian Universities are famous for providing career-oriented education which is a big enough point for studying in AU.

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  1. Source of Information: Buddy4Study app compiles details on scholarships/fellowships from government websites and private scholarship sources. Links to the official sources accompany each listing detail pages.
  2. Non-affiliation: The Buddy4Study app is not associated with any government entity in India or elsewhere. When featuring government scholarships, we rely on publicly accessible information from central and state government websites in India.

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