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How to get a scholarship to study at a Dutch university?

Questions about scholarships to study at universities in the Netherlands are among the most frequently asked. We decided to give detailed answers to them.

How to start looking for scholarships?

First of all, you should start with a search for suitable universities and curricula. Your ultimate goal is to get an education in a certain specialty with maximum savings of your finances (thus, a scholarship is not a goal, but a means). Most Dutch scholarships are provided and / or coordinated directly by universities.
As a rule, Dutch organizations and the state transfer funds to finance foreign students directly to universities. Universities decide: what programs and categories of students scholarships apply, and to what extent, how they can apply. Accordingly, when choosing a particular university and program, the student limits himself to the scholarship opportunities of this university. Getting funding from a third-party Dutch organization is usually extremely difficult.
So, your first step is to find out if there are any training programs in the Netherlands that are appropriate for you. Dutch universities offer a large selection of programs in English (only there are more than a thousand magistracies), the Studyfinder catalogwill help you not to get confused with the choice Selecting suitable programs with the help of it, be sure to go to the websites of universities to learn more about the curriculum, admission requirements, application deadlines, etc. If the program suits you completely, check the information about the cost and availability of scholarships. It can usually be found in the “tuition fees & scholarships”, “financing your studies”, etc.
You can search for scholarships using the Grantfinder directory. But it should be borne in mind that the full information about the scholarship is available on the website of the university that provides it.

What do scholarships cover?

There are more scholarships for studying for master's programs than for undergraduate programs. In addition, the majority of scholarships for bachelor students cover only about 50-70% of the tuition fee and apply only to the first academic year (the duration of the bachelor degree in Dutch universities is 3-4 years). Bachelor scholarships often cover only a small part of the cost.
Most scholarships for graduate studies are a discount on tuition fees, approximately 20-80% of the cost of one year of study (the duration of the magistracy is 1-2 years). The student does not get money on hand, but simply pays less for tuition. In some universities there are scholarships covering 100% of the education, so that having received such a scholarship, the student studies for free. In the case of a two-year magistracy, a scholarship may be extended under certain conditions in the second year - but it all depends on the rules of a particular scholarship program.
In addition to tuition fees, a foreign student needs to have about 11 thousand euros per year of study (about 900 euros per month for a period of 12 months) to apply for a student visa. This amount is required for accommodation. Scholarships, which in varying degrees, cover the cost of living, quite a bit. Look for study programs and scholarships based on the financial resources you already have. 
It may happen that there is no suitable scholarship for the curriculum of interest to you, so choose as many universities as possible to increase the chances of getting and receiving a scholarship.

How is the scholarship competition?

Each scholarship will have its own requirements, but there are conditions characteristic of the majority:
  • Scholarship applicants must have good grades. Often there are clear requirements for the average score in the certificate / diploma.
  • Sometimes for participation in a competition for a scholarship, documents must be sent much earlier than the general deadline (the deadline for submitting documents for a scholarship may be in December or January)
  • There are age restrictions 
  • It is necessary to provide additional documents, for example, an essay / motivation letter, letters of recommendation or an example of scientific work (thesis or scientific articles), etc.
There are usually more applicants for scholarships than scholarships, so this is always a competition, and the scholarship is awarded to the strongest candidate. What pay attention in the first place when choosing a winner? As a rule, grades and academic potential, previous education, and also a motivation letter are most important. But other indicators (level of English, work experience or the availability of scientific publications, etc.) with other things being equal can play a decisive role. It is impossible to say in advance which of the indicators will be the most important and will ensure the award of a scholarship. When applying for a grant, try to prepare all the documents as carefully as possible, accurately and efficiently. Of course, you will hardly be able to change grades in a diploma, but to write a bright, convincing letter of motivation quite possible.
When all documents are ready, send them to the university before the specified deadline. It will not be superfluous to verify whether their university received it, if you did not receive the corresponding notification. After that you should wait for the decision of the university Terms of consideration of the application are different and depend on the specific university (on average, 1-1.5 months, but maybe longer) 
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