You are a student setting your sights for higher studies in western Asia but are unsure since you have little knowledge of the area. Let me tell you something: it is more than just the beautiful camels roaming the Arabian desert.
The Middle East is an area known for its vast oil and petroleum resources and an attractive region to look for better opportunities outside their home countries. Some of the richest countries can be found here, one of them being the small Islamic nation of Qatar. This modern nation surrounded by the Persian Gulf has become an attractive place for business, aside from its rich culture and arts scene.
Not only does Qatar have the highest human development index in the region, but it also has the highest GDP per capita. Foreign nationals hugely outnumber Qatari people in Qatar, and international students will fit right in. Arabic may be the official language, but since most of the population—from the students to the workers and businesspeople—is from outside Qatar, having a good grasp of English is enough. Now, let’s discuss some of the best scholarships in Qatar for international students.
Top Universities in Qatar
If you define an ideal top university as an academic institution consistently ranking in different international lists, Qatar University is the one for you. QU is a public research university and is a mainstay of those rankings. Meanwhile, most of Qatar’s universities and higher education institutions are in Qatar’s Education City, the brainchild of the Qatar Foundation (QF).
The Education City is where top universities from Europe, the US, and the UK have their campus in the Middle East. These universities include Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Georgetown University in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar (VCUarts), Texas A&M University at Qatar, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, University College London, HEC Paris, and local university Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
Expect to tackle business, foreign affairs, media, and engineering in this coeducational campus near Doha.
Costs of Living and Studying in Qatar for International Students
As an international student, you can get by with the transportation and accommodation provided by your university of choice. QU, for example, charges 800 QAR per student for a shared room or QAR 2000 for a single room. If you opt not to avail, prepare to shell out around 7000 QAR per month, including rent and transport. For food, a decent meal may cost you around 25 QAR (US $7).
The high cost of goods in Qatar can be attributed to their import economy when it comes to food. Regarding university, expect upwards of 25000 QAR (US $7000) for the annual tuition fees from public universities, and even higher for private ones.
Work Opportunities for International Students
Students can obtain part-time work on campus at the Education City while on a student visa. But once you graduate, you need to obtain a work visa to continue working in the country. Qatar is a rich country, and the diverse foreign population of the country means diverse lifestyles and working arrangements, with lots of work opportunities available after graduation.
Top Scholarships in Qatar
1. Qatar University Scholarships
As the top public university in the country, QU has a few scholarships it offers its international students. This includes the Qatar University Scholarship which is open to bachelor students from all its colleges. This full scholarship covers tuition fees for around 96000 QAR.
This Qatar scholarship also covers accommodation worth 800 QAR monthly for transportation and daily meals and a yearly round trip airfare ticket to the student’s hometown. QU graduate scholarships are only available for the diploma programs from the College of Education. Only tuition fees will be paid for which are worth 45000 QAR.
Undergraduate students from member states of the Gulf Coordination Council (GCC) can also avail themselves of GCC States scholarships. These countries include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. For this, endorsement of their respective embassies is necessary before consideration. If successful, they can avail of free tuition and accommodation fees.
This scholarship in Qatar is open to all full-time undergraduate students and requires the student to have already completed two semesters in any of the eight universities in Education City. Only those who have received a 3.6 and above GPA during those two semesters are eligible for the highly competitive scholarship.
The full scholarship coverage varies since different universities have different costs of attendance, but it covers all bachelor’s programs in Education City.
Students also have the option to avail of a student loan if they are unsuccessful with their scholarship application. This is exclusively for international undergraduate students enrolled in any major at the Education City. They can repay either by deducting a percentage of income after graduation or by working for a company approved by the QF for a certain amount of time. To continue being eligible, the student should maintain a 2.5 GPA—apart from proving financial necessity.
Students attending the CMU-Q can expect to pay around 220000 QAR (US $60000) annually, covering only the cost of tuition and other academic fees. Additional fees totaling around 50000 QAR include accommodation, food, and roundtrip airfare. The CMU-Q grant covers the total cost of attendance for students of all nationalities. Students of all five programs of the university are eligible for this fully funded scholarship in Qatar.
For US citizens, they can avail themselves of the Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). Whether they choose to avail of the QF grant or not, it is still mandatory for them to avail of the FAFSA. This is to prevent providing more aid than is necessary.
Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 before being considered for the limited Texas A&M merit-based scholarships. This single-year scholarship in Qatar covers the cost of attendance and is open to all the programs of the university. The university provides the scholarship with the help of the Association of Former Students.
For international undergraduate students, they can expect to pay around a 75000 QAR tuition fee and 60000 QAR for graduate students. This does not include the minimum 8000 QAR for accommodation per semester. Students shall apply every year if they want to continue availing of this scholarship.
The HBKU provides several Qatar scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. These financial aids are renewed annually and can only be availed for the fixed duration of the enrolled program. The undergraduate tuition waiver covers Computer Engineering since this is the only undergraduate program in the university. The total cost of the program is around 292000 QAR for the 4-year duration. The committee can provide from 35 to 100% tuition fee scholarships depending on different factors such as financial necessity and academic performance.
The same goes for graduate tuition waivers. Students from all colleges such as Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, Islamic Studies, Science and Engineering, Health and Life Sciences, and Public Policy are eligible for the 35 to 100% waiver of tuition fees. The expected cost of master’s programs is 182500 QAR, while doctorate programs are 273750 QAR.
Meanwhile, merit scholarships are awarded to international graduate students who perform excellently in their studies. They are eligible for the following: 35 to100% waiver in tuition fees, 35-100% waiver in accommodation fees, an economy class ticket for relocation, and a monthly stipend to be decided by the committee.
Qatar is quite an expensive country for education, and this is especially true for international students. More than the cost of education, international students also need to worry about their daily needs in this Middle Eastern nation. Revenues from the oil and gas industry have greatly helped elevate the standard of living in the country, the education sector included. With all the support given by the government to achieve its development goals, international students will find studying in Qatar an unforgettable experience especially with these Qatar scholarships.