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Best Scholarship Programmes To Apply To For Your Study In Europe

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Editor's note:This post is a part of #GetEUReady, a campaign by the International Labour Organisation and Youth Ki Awaaz to help students aspiring to study in the EU prepare for their higher education. If you're planning to apply or have applied to a university in the EU, share your story here!

For a lot of Indian students who want to study abroad, we know the process can seem a little overwhelming. Financial worries often top the list, and looking for a good scholarship is important for many, many applicants. Luckily, universities in the European Union are offering grants and assistance to Indian students, and it only makes sense to fully reap the benefits! Without further ado, here are some EU scholarships you should know about:

Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree

For anyone hoping to pursue higher education abroad, this word is going to count for a lot: “Erasmus”. An international study programme, as part of the Erasmus + initiative, provided by the European Union, it offers grants and scholarships to Indian students aiming for a Master’s degree in the EU every academic year.

Under the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree, the 27 nations that make up the EU are listed as ‘programme countries’ where students aiming for a Master’s degree in the EU can apply to study. As India is among the list of ‘partner countries’, desi students have the opportunity to delve deeper into their discipline, and make good use of a community of other bright individuals from different regions and cultures.

You are eligible to apply if you’ve completed an undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent, according to the national legislation and practices in the country you are applying to.

The duration of your course typically lasts between 12 and 24 months, and there are indeed full scholarships for the same.

Apply between October and January. During this time, the EMJMD Consortium will select candidates for the following academic year.

Get to know these tips for applying like the back of your hand! Thousands of people apply for the EMJMD scholarship every year. And it isn’t just your mark sheet that matters. So when you write your motivation letter, a competitive edge will really help. The Erasmus Mundus Association lists the following tips:

Read the full application guidelines for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree here.

Country-Specific Options

Under the aegis of the EMJDM, applicants from nearly every country outside of the EU can make a claim to solid education in the EU. But of course, there are other avenues as well. Several EU nations also have scholarships affiliated with individual universities.

For example, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, begun by Hungary’s government in 2013, is awarding grants to 200 Indian students this year. There are loads of other options such as the Emile Boutmy Scholarship at SciencesPo, France, or at Sapienza, University of Rome.

To find out more about country-specific scholarship options in the EU, head to this link.

Here At Home

While the EU has made all of this possible, the Indian government’s involvement in these joint education efforts cannot be denied.

On February 10, the Ministry of Human Resource Development announced several new schemes for Indian students. For 4-year doctoral studies abroad, the Science and Engineering Research Board will award $24,000 per annum to selected students. Over and above that, it will provide “a one-time Contingency/Preparatory allowance of ₹60,000/- and return airfare”.

There is also an attempt to open opportunities to students from highly marginalised communities in India.

National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Tribes Students

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has secured scholarships, exclusively for students from Scheduled Tribes under the age of 35 years, who are applying to study in foreign universities, including those in the EU.

It offers Master’s, Ph.D, and post-doctoral programmes in the field of engineering, technology, and science.

To apply at either of these levels, you will need to have scored 55% (or the equivalent grade) in a Master’s degree, or

The ministry has also announced that “[t]he family income ceiling for availing [the scheme] is ₹6 lac per annum”.

National Overseas Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students

Similarly, the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has announced financial assistance to Scheduled Caste students who want to do Master’s- or Ph.D-level courses in foreign universities.

The eligibility criteria is the same as for ST students. But there are more courses on offer:

  • Pure Sciences and Applied Sciences
  • Engineering and Management
  • Agricultural Science and Medicine
  • Commerce, Accounting & Finance
  • Humanities, Social Science & Fine Arts.

Currently, 100 scholarships are awarded per year, and the allowance is €14,211 (that’s a little over ₹11 lacs).

Studying in a great university abroad opens more doors than one for a young person. You’ll meet students from around the world. You’ll get to absorb international expertise on the subject you love most. And you’ll steep yourself in the rich cultural heritage of nations far from home.

Across its 27 member states, the European Union promises all of this as you set out to find the university that fits you perfectly.

If you’re thinking of shipping off to the EU for higher studies, knowing about available scholarships is a must! What other things should you keep in mind? We’ve got a checklist for that. Head to this link to plan your study smoothly!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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