15 Master’s Degrees Abroad to Pursue a Better Life

by Sojourner
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And by better, I mean cheaper – because the U.S has lost its mind. So now is the time to consider Master’s degrees abroad! Just as there are overseas fellowships to work abroad, there are Master’s degrees too. They offer a way for you to learn, travel, and advance in a career you love. Not to mention, getting an international Master’s degree means you can experience a new country. Heck, you may even learn a new language!

As someone who got a Master’s degree in the U.S., and has loans because of it, be better than me. Do not get me wrong – I love my degree choice. I wish it would have been cheaper or even free! Higher education can be full of opportunities. However, it is rarely worth the debt accumulated by students in the U.S.

That is where this post comes in! Yeah, I am making fun of overpriced education in the U.S. But truly, I want to see you win. If you are contemplating a Master’s degree abroad, consider the following scholarships. They are mostly geared for U.S. citizens/nationals. However, a few are for non-U.S. students too. Therefore, double-check all websites and let’s get you paid to go to school.

International Master’s Degrees Abroad

Photo: Yenching Scholarship and Academy

Yenching Scholarship

Location: China

Website: https://yenchingacademy.pku.edu.cn/

Are you interested in Chinese Studies? If so, the Yenching Scholarship is for you. An interdisciplinary program, Yenching explores Chinese culture, history, and future as a global power. The courses come from the humanities and social sciences, choose six research areas, and more. The scholars are developed personally and professionally to be equipped with key skills. Plus, you get to live in China too, and explore outside the classroom. Chinese Studies awaits you. Check out their website for more information on how to apply for this international Master’s degree.

Eastern Mediterranean University

Location: Turkey

Website: https://www.emu.edu.tr/postgraduate-scholarships

Maybe Turkey is calling your name? Eastern Mediterranean University offers Master’s and Ph.D. programs for Turkish and international students to pursue. Subjects include, but are not limited to, digital media and film, international relations, finance, and urban design. Others to choose from are education, tourism management, chemistry, and more. There is a program for everyone. International students can get 50% off their Master’s degree program. They can also get 50% to 100% off their Ph.D. program. Turkish citizens can get 50% to 100% off either type of program!

Photo: The Rotary Foundation

Rotary Peace Fellowship

Location: Worldwide

Website: https://www.rotary.org/en

Do not let the name confuse you because this is a Master’s program abroad. And they are sponsored by Rotary Clubs around the U.S! While the Rotary Global Grant broadly funds graduate degrees abroad, this one is more specialized in Peace and Conflict Studies and requires at least 3 years of experience. You can go to Japan, North Carolina, Sweden, Australia, and England. If you are a professional who meets these requirements, there are partner universities globally where you can study and earn a degree. Referred to as Rotary Peace Centers, each university and Rotary Club have their own requirements, so use their website to search for the Rotary club in your district.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Location: Cambridge, UK

Website: https://www.gatescambridge.org/

How does a fully-funded Master’s or Ph.D. program in the UK sound to you? The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is offering exactly that. Past winners have studied criminology, social anthropology, computer science, music, and more. Go through their ‘Our Scholars’ page to see all the possibilities. With this Master’s degree scholarship, you have the option to pick the program. Yet, there are a few restrictions. Refer to their website for more information. You will also find out how and when to apply, in key attributes they are looking for in applicants. Gates is one of the Master’s degrees abroad that is completely paid for – go get it!

Photo: Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals

Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals

Location: Sweden

Website: https://si.se/en/apply/scholarships/swedish-institute-scholarships-for-global-professionals/

The SI Scholarship for Global Professionals is for those students who want to work towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Options of study include engineering, international marketing, sports technology, math, and more. You will also need to gather documents such as your CV, letter of reference, motivation letter, etc. Interested applicants can apply for one or two-year Master’s programs at participating institutions. To get more in-depth details on how to apply, click on the website linked above.

Rhodes Scholarship

Location: Oxford, UK

Website: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/office-of-the-american-secretary/

Comparably prestigious as Marshall Scholars and Gates Cambridge, Rhodes Scholars also study in the UK. The biggest difference is that Rhodes Scholars study solely at the University of Oxford. It is one of the top universities in the world. The scholarship covers all costs and has many components, including five to eight letters of recommendation, college or university endorsement, a personal interview, and a headshot. Winners pursue one two-year Master’s program or two one-year Master’s programs. Get started with this application as soon as possible! Alumni of this program include former U.S. Presidents, Nobel Peace Prize Winners, and more.

Photo: Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars

Location: China

Website: https://www.schwarzmanscholars.org/

A Master’s in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing is what you would receive as a Schwarzman Scholar. Students learn about leadership in business, history, diplomacy, and public organizations for their core classes. Other class options include understanding China’s foreign relations, international development, technology policy, and more. You even get Chinese language courses and have the opportunity for internships and mentorships. Schwarzman recipients include tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books, and health insurance. Thus, it is the total package and one of the highly-sought after Master’s degrees abroad!

Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degrees

Location: Europe

Website: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/opportunities/

For all my travel lovers and learners, Erasmus Mundus may sound like a dream. As a traveling Master’s program, you have many opportunities to learn on the go. How amazing is that? There are options based on your interests, including humanitarian work and education. Students can also choose from wine tourism, social work, and urban studies, etc. You qualify for a full scholarship if you have not lived and/or studied in Europe for more than 12 months. Partial scholarships may be available too. You can apply to up to three programs in that year. The Erasmus Mundus website updates which programs offer these scholarships. Furthermore, there is also a self-funded route.

Photo: Rotary Global Grant

Rotary Global Grant

Location: Worldwide

Website: https://www.rotary.org/en

Hey, are you passionate about international issues? This Master’s degree abroad program may be of interest to you. Rotary is an ideal option for those interested in obtaining a degree abroad in six areas. Those areas are Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, Water and Sanitation, Disease Prevention and Treatment, and Economic and Community Development. Rotary Clubs commonly fund one-year Master’s programs of your choosing. They provide a minimum of $30,000 per student. However, remember there may be other costs to budget for to relocate. To apply, connect with your local Rotary Club and district for program guidelines and deadlines.

Mitchell Scholars

Location: Ireland

Website: https://www.us-irelandalliance.org/

Ireland awaits! The Mitchell Scholarship program is a fully-funded opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree in Ireland. Applicants can apply to study in fields such as Foreign Affairs, Medicine/Healthcare, the Arts, Tech, and more. Recommendations and a video interview are required for a complete application. You also have to provide basic information such as achievements, transcripts, and community service. The program is competitive, with only twelve scholars chosen every year! Applications open in the summer and are due in September.

Photo: Fulbright U.S. Student Program (Master’s, PhD and Research)

Fulbright U.S. Student Program (Master’s, PhD and Research)

Location: Worldwide

Website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/

One of Fulbright’s best-kept secrets is their Master’s programs and research opportunities for Ph.D. candidates. The teach abroad program gets more exposure, but Fulbright has many Master’s opportunities in countries worldwide. In most cases, applicants are required to secure a university affiliation. The Master’s degrees abroad you can choose from include business management in Madrid or Korean Studies in South Korea. Applicants can also choose from a field of their choice at a university in Mexico. The application process is rigorous and competitive but is well worth it in the end. For tips on applying to Fulbright, read this post here as I am an alum of the ETA program (similar application rules apply).

Marshall Scholarship

Location: United Kingdom

Website: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Another program based in the UK, Marshall Scholars can study UK universities. Institutions of study include SOAS, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, London School of Economics and Political Science, etc. These are highly competitive free Master’s degrees abroad! The minimum undergraduate GPA to apply is a 3.7 that loves active school and community involvement. Interviews are required for the program and perhaps by your university too. Fifty scholars win every year. Nevertheless, for all the high achievers, this graduate program abroad may be a good choice. 

Photo: Utrecht Excellence Scholarships

Utrecht Excellence Scholarships

Location: The Netherlands

Website: https://www.uu.nl/masters/en/general-information/international-students/financial-matters/grants-and-scholarships/utrecht-excellence-scholarships

Now, the Netherlands is calling! Especially if you are in the top 10% of your graduating class. You can use the scholarship money to cover tuition and fees or tuition plus 11,000 euros in living expenses. Programs that would be counted toward the Utrecht vary. It is important to read over which programs are included and which one is not. Master’s programs vary between one and two years in duration. Even though this is not a fully-funded scholarship opportunity, something is better than nothing. Do not hesitate to research if a Utrecht Scholarship may work for your career path.

High North Scholarship

Location: Northern Norway

Website: https://www.studyinnorway.no/High-North-Scholarship

Higher education in Norway is free and does not charge tuition from international students. High North also offers a stipend for housing and living expenses. The fields you can study include natural resource management, technology, natural resources, environment, and social sciences relevant to the oil and gas sector. If you love cold weather, beautiful scenery, and free education, the High North Scholarship may be the ideal program. 

Photo: United Nations University

United Nations University

Location: Bonn, Germany

Website: https://ehs.unu.edu/education/masters/international-joint-msc-programme-geography-of-environmental-risks-and-human-security.html#overview

This is probably the most specific program on the entire list! Nevertheless, it is well worth it if this is your passion. The International Joint MSc Programme: Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security is made possible through a partnership. This collaboration is between the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn and the United Nations University in Bonn. Students with interests in environmental risks and hazards should apply. You get incredible learning opportunities in the classroom, through research, and with international organizations. 

Consequently, pursuing a Master’s degree abroad can be one of the best decisions, especially if it is funded. There are many Master’s degree scholarships abroad to choose from! Do not settle for one that you may not want. Also, do not pursue one solely because it is free. Master’s degrees are an investment of time, just as much as they are money. You do not want to waste your time studying for a degree you are not passionate about. Above all, go get the international Master’s degree that is right for you!

A full-on Master’s degree abroad too much for you right now? Consider getting your feet wet with an internship abroad.

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