Scholarships for Study Abroad for Students in Kenya
Scholarships for Study Abroad for Students in Kenya
Looking for scholarships to study abroad wile in kenya for undergraduates. Here you will find
scholarships for kenyan students in undergraduate medicine, diploma scholarships in kenya, kenya scholarships and bursaries and education sponsors in kenya for university education sponsorship, masters scholarships for kenyans 2017-2018 and also scholarships for kenyan form four leavers.
How we landed scholarships to top schools abroad
- While applying for scholarships, many people only consider universities in the UK and the US, oblivious of the fact that some of the world’s best universities are located in Asia and even Africa.
- The application process was rigorous, but I did not give up. The university required me to submit four letters of recommendation from my former teachers. This made me realise that even though I had made good grades, my reputation and discipline while I was a student played a larger role in my getting admitted at Duke. I also had to write four essays during the application process that would reveal my personal side other than academics.
- SAT tests are American standardised entrance examinations used by many universities across the globe. In Kenya, SAT tests are provided by accredited examination centres based in Nairobi.
Imagine studying in an Ivy League university or college and not having to worry about school fees. You also do not have to break your back working three jobs to raise pocket money because you receive a decent monthly stipend to cater for your needs. Even better, you do not have to worry about your accommodation or put up in substandard hostels off-campus because that is already taken care of, as is the case with food. When you want to go home for Christmas, you do not have to worry where a plane ticket will come from because you are granted a yearly return ticket. Sounds too good to be true? Well, that is the life of hundreds of young Kenyans studying abroad on full scholarships in various universities. My Network tracked down a few who narrated how they landed scholarships in prestigious institutions.
Middle-East Technical University, Cyprus
Course: Civil Engineering
“When I completed my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2013, I was not so keen to study abroad because I love Kenya very much. In fact, I was admitted to study an architectural degree at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in 2014, and studied there for a semester.
My time here left me deeply dissatisfied with the Kenyan system of higher education. As a former student of Precious Blood High School, where teachers interacted freely with students, the lack of a personal lecturer-student interaction at JKUAT made learning difficult and a bit of a drag for me.
One day, during a conversation with friends, the issue of foreign universities came up and I decided to give it some thought. I researched on organisations that facilitate scholarships for students in Kenya and resolved to approach Uniserv, located in Westlands.
They guided me through the application process free of charge and offered me a list of foreign universities. I picked Middle-East Technical University in Cyprus as it had the highest ratings when it came to courses related to construction. While applying for scholarships, many people only consider universities in the UK and the US, oblivious of the fact that some of the world’s best universities are located in Asia and even Africa. In addition, while approaching an organisation for college funding, there is a higher chance for success with smaller foundations than with major scholarship agencies.
On the Christmas morning of 2014, I received the good news that I had been accepted to the university. The punishing winters aside, life in Cyprus is enjoyable. I have since changed my field of study from architecture to the more challenging civil engineering. While my class at JKUAT had over 100 students, my class only has 25 students, allowing for personalised interactions between us and our teachers. I thought I’d feel lonely while I was miles away from home but I am not. In fact, the bond between my family and I has only grown stronger since I started school in January last year.
Adapting to a new country was tough though, and my hardest experience was when I was cyber bullied by a classmate because I was black. The bully blackmailed me on Facebook and released embarrassing information about me on my timeline, calling me black trash. Save for that isolated incident, the people at Cyprus are nice.
For my next academic year, I am changing my campus from Cyprus to Turkey, since Turkey is a much more vibrant country with more opportunities.
After I complete my university degree, I want to get a second degree, this time in Literature, because I am passionate about writing. Later on, I may proceed to the UK for an MBA before returning to work and settle in Kenya.
Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Getting good grades in KCSE provides solid ground, but I advise students who want to study abroad to sit for SAT exams immediately after Form Four. The tests are an added bonus and are usually inexpensive.
As soon as my KCSE results were released, I went online and researched on the best universities in the world that offered Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering courses. The Middle-East Technical University came up as one of the best, and I decided to apply.
It’s amazing what a simple Google search can yield. Prior to my Internet research, I had never heard of The Middle-East Technical University before. I applied directly through the university’s website and two months later, I received confirmation that I had been accepted.
I joined the institution on a full scholarship in November 2014, but two years later, I applied for a transfer to Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology which is currently ranked as the 17th best university in the world. I was lucky to be the only Kenyan that got in, retaining my full scholarship status.
There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for Kenyan students in universities across the world. The only problem is that many students who wish to study abroad do not have the courage to apply for financial aid. They view the process as rigorous and extremely demanding, hence passing up opportunities that could dramatically change their lifestyles.
In high school, I happened to be a member of different clubs and societies, where I engaged in various co-curricular activities. Little did I know that these co-curricular activities would be a major determining factor in getting a scholarship. My stellar record in sports and dedication to the school exchange programme impressed the university’s selection panel.
University: Duke University, North Carolina, USA
Course: Computer Science with a minor in Finance
“I always wanted to study in one of the best universities in the world, and that’s why I took the American standardised SAT test as soon as I completed high school. However, I did not perform so well in my first attempt and I had to redo the test later on.
I first realised my dream when the 2013 KCSE results were released. I was position 13 countrywide. Soon after, I went online and read a lot about scholarships. I would advise a student searching for scholarships to go on www.topuniversities.com and view the QS ranking, which is the list that compares top universities in the world. Click on the individual university’s website and apply through their scholarships portal.
After thorough research, I finally picked Duke University because its software engineering degree programme could be tailor-made to suit my preference for finance and economics. The application process was rigorous, but I did not give up. The university required me to submit four letters of recommendation from my former teachers. This made me realise that even though I had made good grades, my reputation and discipline while I was a student played a larger role in my getting admitted at Duke. I also had to write four essays during the application process that would reveal my personal side other than academics.
Duke University has an acceptance rate of less than 10 per cent. I could not believe I had made the cut when they confirmed my admission on a full scholarship in November 2014.
One academic year later, the experience here in Carolina is blissful. I am currently working as a data translator at the university’s research centre. My job is to I translate data from research projects in Tanzania from Swahili to English.
I have sampled many delicacies from across different nationalities but I believe Kenyan food is the best. Once every month, I make a point of visiting the nearby Palace International Hotel, owned by a Kenyan, for my fix of ugali and nyama choma.
Brian Kirotich, Ian Oluoch and Tom Osborn
McGill University (Canada), Watson University (USA), Harvard University (USA)
When Brian Kirotich and Ian Oluoch completed their studies at Alliance High School three years ago, they were in no rush to join university despite having scored straight As. Instead, alongside their buddy, Tom Osborn, Brian and Ian chose to focus on their entrepreneurial venture.
The three had started making charcoal briquettes for an innovation project while still in high school. They opted to go full-throttle into the large scale manufacture of their eco-friendly fuel after high school and started a company, Greenchar, which has its factory in Migori.
“At first, our parents did not understand why we weren’t eager to join university. Our persitence has paid off nevertheless, as we produce one metric ton of clean fuel in our factory each day. We have bagged many awards and recognition through Greenchar, including scholarships to world-class universities,” says Brian Kirotich.
Through the MasterCard Foundation that seeks to reward zealous entrepreneurs, they applied for and got accepted to different prestigious universities. Tom Osborn, 2013’s Forbes Magazine Top 30 under 30 social entrepreneur, joined Harvard University to study Economics. Brian Kirotich applied to three universities; in the US (San Fransisco), South Korea and Canada. He was accepted into all of them on full-scholarships but chose to study Software Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Ian Oluoch decided to focus on entrepreneurship at Watson University in Colorado, USA.
“Our story,” Ian says, “is a true testament that dreams always come true with passion, determination and lots of hard work.”
The trio has organised a forum dubbed Youth Excellence Summit (YES) that will offer information to high school and college students on how to land scholarships at leading universities across the globe.
The YES summit will take place on 6th August at the Trinity Centre in All Saints Cathedral.
“From our own experience, it is very hard to get into top Ivy League schools. Seeking information on what it takes for the application process can be a discouraging experience for many students who are clueless. Our event seeks to close this gap of information by sharing the stories of youths with exceptional academic traction who have managed to land scholarships in different universities,” Brian explains.
Brian and Ian have been visiting different schools in an effort to sign them up for the event. Meanwhile, visit
www.opportunityforKenyans.com, a website Brian recently launched to help students access information on scholarships and grants.
I turned down a scholarship to follow my dream
Lameck Orina was always passionate about journalism, a profession he was determined to succeed in. While waiting for his KCSE results in 2013, Lameck joined Strathmore University, where he enrolled for the ACCA business course.
It was while he was studying at Strathmore that he fell in love with rugby. He would keenly watch matches cheering on the university’s team, the Strathmore Leos. His zeal for journalism saw him accompany the squad to all their games in an official capacity as its spokesperson and reporter. “I have always wanted to be a sports reporter, and the opportunity offered by Strathmore University was a perfect training ground. I would attend matches during the day and then file reports on the university’s website later on,” narrates the 22-year-old, who once worked as a sports columnist with a local daily.
Thanks to his literary prowess, Lameck’s pieces on the university’s blog became so popular, that when he was about to complete his short course, the management approached him with an offer few could resist.
“Strathmore University offered me a chance to study a course of my choice on a scholarship, provided I continued writing about the Leos,” says the former student of Nakuru High School. “While learning at Strathmore had been a wonderful opportunity, I had to turn it down as the institution did not offer a degree course in Journalism and Mass Communication at the time.”
Lameck later joined the United States International University (USIU) where he is currently taking an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication. “Many found it hard to understand why I had to struggle to pay for my college fees while I could have studied a more popular course free of charge. To me, it all boiled down to passion and my life-long goals,” he says.
When he is not in class, Lameck works with Brand 2D Designs as a graphic designer and video editor.
Tips to guide you through the scholarship application process
While in Form Three, Ernest Ochieng was approached by his school mate, George Kathiani, who asked him if he had ever thought of studying abroad. At the time, George was a member of Akad Education Group Africa, a mentorship organisation that helps students to apply for scholarships in overseas universities. George is currently a student on scholarship at George Washington University in America.
Ernest joined Akad Africa soon after completing high school. There, he found a team of other like-minded youth and was introduced to mentors from various leading universities across the world. Akad Group also facilitated seminars and practical training in areas such as essay writing to enable the students to draft winning application letters.
Ernest was especially impressed by Harriet Kariuki, a Kenyan who was then a student at Harvard University. “I resolved that I would join Harvard come hell or high water,” he says. Akad urged him to register for SAT examinations, which he passed with flying colours.
“SAT tests are American standardised entrance examinations used by many universities across the globe. In Kenya, SAT tests are provided by accredited examination centres based in Nairobi. At Akad, we help students to register and revise for their SAT tests by providing peer teachers,” explains Dr Julius Weche, the founder and CEO of Akad Education Group.
Apart from SATs, other standardised tests that Akad prepares its members for include TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) that tests for English proficiency and GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) that is usually administered to students seeking to undertake their masters’ degrees abroad.
After passing his SATs, Ernest was later guided through the process of applying into Harvard University, where he got admitted to study engineering. He now works as a peer mentor with Akad Group.
To increase their chances of being accepted, students are encourage to apply for financial aid through reputable mentoring organisations such as Uniserv and Akad. Dr Weche says that his organisation has also been approached by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and asked to nominate students for engineering scholarships at the institution.
“We also offer many seminars where we mould the youths’ aspirations. For instance, our next Mentoring Future Leaders Conference will take place in Thika on August 14.