Residing between Poland and Russia, Belarus is a small landlocked Eastern European country home to an abundance of culture and history. Also known as “the Lungs of Europe,” this small country is filled with forests and rivers full of many different rare species and natural resources.
It also has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Europe and a lower cost of living relative to its neighbors. All of these are qualities that attract foreigners—travelers and prospective permanent settlers alike—to see for themselves the beauty of this “blue-eyed” land.
What’s more, the Belarusian educational system is internationally recognized for its quality and excellence, attracting at least 6000 foreign students worldwide with the number only ever-increasing each year. In this article, we will be listing some of the best Belarus scholarships we found that could help aid aspiring scholars and fellow students like you aiming to study in this country.
Living Costs in Belarus for International students
The official cost of living for Belarus is stated to have been $115 as of 2019; however, living costs may vary from one city to another and by lifestyle. Generally, estimated annual living costs average from $1200 to $1500 while dormitory rent goes between $40 and $60 per month. Public transportation is also very well developed in the country, making transport very convenient and affordable, allowing transportation fees to start from as little as $0.30.
Student discounts are also widely available around Belarusian establishments.
Can international students work in Belarus?
The type of visas granted for studying (i.e. temporary) does not entitle foreigners to perform labor on par with citizens of Belarus. Be that as it may, international students are technically allowed to work in Belarus so long as they can secure work permits from the government.
Top Universities in Belarus
Belarus is home to four world-ranking universities; two of which ranked within the QS World’s 2020 University Rankings Top 1000 and followed by an additional two in the QS EECA (Emerging Europe and Central Asia) 2020 charts. Among these universities are the following:
- Belarusian State University (BSU), regarded as the best university in Belarus and is one of the top picks for international students to enroll in
- Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU), the prime technical university of Belarus
- Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (BSUIR), the leading ICT institution of Belarus
- Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno (YKSUG), the largest regional university of Belarus with a lean towards the liberal arts and another contender for international students due to its multitude of partnerships with foreign universities and foundations alike.
All of these universities are based in Minsk except for the Yanka Kupala, which is based in Grodno.
Best Scholarships in Belarus for International Students
1. Erasmus+ Programme
The European Region Action Scheme for Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) is a project founded by the European Union (EU) in 1987. This Belarus scholarship provides numerous opportunities for both individuals and organizations, with the goal of building a European Education Area in mind.
It enables studies and traineeships abroad by supporting international student exchanges between its program and partner countries; Belarus falls under the latter.
Scholarship periods vary between 3 to 12 months (or even 24 months) and cover all expected fees for the receiving institution (i.e. tuition, library access, registration). An Erasmus Grant is also be awarded to help eligible students offset travel or daily costs depending on the context, such as living costs and availability. These grants went between €300 to €350 per month during the 2018-2019 cycle.
2. Visegrad Scholarship Program
The Visegrad Fund was established by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia (hereafter referred to as “the V4”) to promote cooperation and strengthen diplomatic ties with each other through financially supporting developmental activities such as research or projects initiated by NGOs. It offers three types of scholarships: In-coming, Intra-Visegrad, and Out-Going. International students who wish to study in Belarus fall on the 3rd type (Out-Going), which is open for anyone from the V4 pursuing or finished with their Master’s.
Every student is to receive €2,300/semester (as of 2018) at a maximum of 4 semesters and are eligible to apply for travel grants through receiving this Belarus scholarship.
3. German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
The DAAD is the biggest independent scholarship organization in the world and has supported around 2.6 million scholars since its inception in 1925, awarding grants to students both German and international for abroad study or research pursuits.
Among its many offers, the best deal for those interested studying in Belarus (and learning German) would be the Jahresstipendien für Studienaufenthalte im Ausland (undergraduate program) and its counterpart, Stipendien für ein Masterstudium im Ausland (master’s program). Scholarship duration may vary but generally include insurance benefits, a travel allowance, a monthly scholarship rate, and tuition grants up to €2,500 per academic year.
4. Boren Awards
The Boren Awards is an initiative set by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), which aims to further globalize the U.S. by sponsoring American students who wish to further build their foreign language and international expertise outside of the country.
It is divided into two parts: the Boren Scholarship (for Undergraduate Students) with a maximum scholarship amount of $8,000 or $25,000 and the Boren Fellowship (for Graduate Students) eligible for grants capped at $12,500 or $25,000 to $30,000 depending on the immersion’s duration.
This scholarship at Belarus is definitely worth looking into for aspiring scholars looking into learning Belarusian and/or Russian as Belarus is among its listed preferred countries; unlike most other grants, the Boren Awards does not place a maximum or minimum proficiency requirement on its prospects as well.
The Fulbright Program has made its name for being one of the most critically acclaimed exchange programs due to its wide range of partnerships and benefits. Their grants generally include health insurance, an allowance, and a temporary non-competitive eligibility (NCE) status within the U.S. federal government.
Unfortunately, its Student Program to Belarus is suspended for AY 2024-2025. On the brighter side, the English Teaching Assistant Awards program is still available for international students who wish to gain experience teaching English in Belarus.
We hope that you’ve found this post on Belarus scholarships to be helpful!