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Women’s International Education Network Scholarship: Apply Now

Introduction

Education is a powerful tool for empowerment and social change. By pursuing advanced education, women gain skills, knowledge, and self-confidence that allow them to maximize their full potential and become leaders in their communities. However, accessing quality educational opportunities can be challenging, especially for women in developing countries who face significant economic, cultural, and societal barriers.

This is where Women’s International Education Network (WIEN) scholarships step in. For over 30 years, WIEN has worked to promote global understanding and empower women worldwide through education. They offer generous scholarship programs specifically designed to support women pursuing degrees at accredited universities abroad. 

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Overview of WIEN Scholarship Programs

WIEN currently administers three main scholarship programs to support women students from developing countries:

1. WIEN International Scholarship Program

This is WIEN’s flagship scholarship available to women residing in developing regions who wish to pursue an undergraduate or master’s degree at a university abroad. Scholarship awards cover tuition, fees, books, room & board and include a modest living stipend. The maximum award amount is typically $25,000 USD per academic year and scholarships are renewable for the standard duration of the chosen degree program (4 years for a bachelor’s, 2 years for a master’s).

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2. WIEN Professional Fellowships

Geared towards working professional women, this fellowship provides funding and leadership training opportunities for mid-career women to pursue non-degree certificates, executive education programs, and professional courses ranging from 2 weeks to 1 year at accredited institutions globally. Awards cover direct educational costs and include a small living allowance.

3. WIEN Education USA Scholarship Program

Administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s EducationUSA advising network, this program supports women from underrepresented regions who wish to earn an undergraduate degree in the United States. Scholarships cover all tuition and fees at a public U.S. university as well as room and board for the standard 4-year duration of a bachelor’s program.

All WIEN scholarships are highly competitive and designed to fund the full direct and living costs of an internationally accredited educational experience abroad. In addition to the financial award, scholars also receive mentorship, career guidance, and access to WIEN’s global alumni network, which provides extensive professional and personal development opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for WIEN scholarships, applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

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  • Identify as a woman
  • Be a citizen and resident of an eligible developing country
  • Demonstrate significant financial need
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 (or local equivalent)
  • Intend to return home and apply skills upon completion
  • Be proficient in English (international scholarship program only)

Scholarship eligibility and admissions assessments are also based on:

  • Leadership potential, community engagement and career aspirations
  • Recommendation letters highlighting character and commitment
  • Personal essay communicating how education will create social change
  • Academic merit and preparedness for the chosen program of study

Certain programs have additional eligibility filters such as citizenship or residency in target countries/regions, minimum age or career level requirements. It is important to thoroughly review the eligibility checklist on WIEN’s website for your choice program.

The Application Process

The WIEN scholarship application is a rigorous multi-step process to assess candidates holistically. Key stages include:

1. Program Selection

Applicants must first determine eligibility for and select the specific WIEN scholarship program and educational level (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) that matches their qualifications and goals.

2. Online Application

The application portal opens annually in late summer. Candidates submit basic information, essays, resume, transcripts, recommendations, and standardized test scores through the portal by the early fall deadline.

3. Video Interview

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a video interview with the WIEN selection committee to further explore experiences, leadership, and future plans. Interviews are scheduled in late fall.

4. Admissions Steps

Conditional awardees then work directly with partner universities on regular admissions requirements like additional essays, portfolios, etc. by early winter.

5. Final Decisions

Final scholarship awards are determined and announced by mid-spring after all components are fully assessed. Successful candidates will be matched with their WIEN-funded university placement.

The application is highly competitive so candidates are advised to start the process early, utilize available advising resources, and draft materials well in advance of the deadlines. Scholarship placement is contingent upon admission to a partner university which has separate entrance requirements as well.

Scholarship Details and Packaging

As noted earlier, WIEN scholarships aim to fully fund all direct and living costs associated with an accredited educational program abroad. Exact award amounts will vary based on the university and country of study, but generally include:

  • Tuition & Fees: Paid directly to the university for all required credits and expenses.
  • Room & Board: Living accommodations and a meal plan as per university housing. Stipends are provided for off-campus options.
  • Books & Supplies: An estimated allotment for all required textbooks, materials, and computing equipment.
  • Travel: Roundtrip airfare at the beginning and end of the program.
  • Living Stipend: A modest monthly allowance of $1000-1500 for living expenses like transportation, personal items, etc.
  • Insurance: Health insurance is required by most universities. Premiums may be covered.
  • Conference Support: Limited funds for academic conferences as approved by advisors.

Additional funding may be available on a case-by-case basis for eligible expenses like language training, research projects, or internships that are integrated into the degree plan. All scholarship awards and disbursements are coordinated directly between WIEN, universities, and scholars. Multi-year scholarships are renewed annually, contingent upon satisfactory academic performance and progress reports.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What countries/regions are eligible for WIEN scholarships?

Eligible countries generally align with developing regions as categorized by the UN but may vary slightly by program. The WIEN website maintains an up-to-date eligibility checklist for each scholarship. Some of the regularly included regions are Sub-Saharan Africa, South/Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

2. Do I need to have my university placement arranged before applying?

No – WIEN scholarship application and admission to a partner university operate on separate but coordinated tracks. If awarded, WIEN will match successful candidates with placement at eligible schools based on their qualifications and available slots. University admission is typically finalized after initial scholarship approval.

3. What standardized tests are accepted for the application?

Common entrance exam results like SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL are accepted depending on the applicant’s academic background and level of study. WIEN does not have a minimum test score requirement but competitive scores will strengthen the application. Official or self-reported test results can be submitted through the online application portal.

4. How do I find and contact a WIEN recommender?

Recommendation letters are an important component evaluated by the selection committee. Applicants should select recommenders who can attest to their leadership abilities, community engagement work, and future potential in detail—such as professors, employers, or mentors. WIEN provides directions and a downloadable recommendation form for recommenders to submit through the online portal. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact and follow up with recommenders well in advance of the deadline.

5. What careers do WIEN scholars typically pursue?

WIEN aims to support women making an impact in their countries and fields of interest. Scholars have pursued a wide variety of careers enhancing sectors like healthcare, education, business, environment, technology, law, social services, and more. Examples include physicians, researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, human rights advocates, and government leaders across public and private industries. The international learning experience and skills-building focus of WIEN programs help equip scholars to succeed in their career goals and community leadership aspirations.

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