Indian Scholarship for Nigerian Students

Are you a Nigerian searching for a scholarship to study abroad in India? Today, I will tell you about the ICCR Scholarship, a fully funded opportunity for Nigerian students to study in India. If you are interested in learning more about this Indian scholarship for Nigerian students, then stay with me. In addition to ICCR, I have included 8 more scholarships that are actively taking in Nigerians.

What is ICCR or Indian Council for Cultural Relations?

offers this scholarship. It’s one of many scholarships available for studying in India, but you might not know about them until you explore or talk to people who have applied. The ICCR Scholarship is a unique scholarship with different schemes under it such as the AYUSH scheme, and ones specifically for African countries, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and others. In my class alone, we have students from Nigeria and other countries such as Japan and Syria. I’m part of the MEA scheme, which is for African students, specifically Nigeria.

How to Apply for ICCR Indian Scholarship for Nigerian Students 2024

It’s actually very simple to apply for this scholarship. Follow these simple steps and you are good to go:

  1. First, you must go through your embassy. In Nigeria, for instance, you would use the A2A portal where You fill out the application online
  2. Print the application, along with all submitted documents, and submit these hard copies at the embassy.
  3. When filling out your application, you’ll need certain documents: an international passport, a passport photograph, two referees, and your WAEC results, which you must convert to a percentage. You can also use GCE results.
  4. You have the chance to choose three schools and three courses, which can be the same or different.

Unfortunately, you cannot study medicine under the ICCR Scholarship. Make sure to download and thoroughly read all documents on the portal. Under the ICCR Scholarship for Nigerian students, studying medicine is not an option; this is clearly stated in the guidelines. Also, you’re not allowed to work in India while on this scholarship. Since the scholarship is fully funded, working shouldn’t be a concern.

Tips for ICCR Scholarship Programs 2024

Regarding the programs available, you can choose from BSc, MSc, PhD, and possibly MPhil. A common confusion arises with MPhil – Masters of Philosophy. Generally, you should have a master’s degree before pursuing MPhil. You have to carefully check the specific requirements for each program before applying to avoid any issues later.

There’s a medical fitness form available on the portal. You need to download this form, and take it to a government hospital for tests like HIV, hepatitis, your blood group, and genotype. After the tests, ensure the form is stamped. Then scan and upload it to the portal, and also keep a photocopy for your records.

You should print out all your documents, including the medical fitness form, from the website. Staple them together and submit them to the embassy. When choosing universities, you have the option to select 3 universities and three different courses as I mentioned earlier.

When selecting universities for the ICCR Scholarship, only choose ones that are either state-owned or central-owned, with central-owned meaning federal universities. There is a list of eligible universities on the scholarship’s website, so make sure the ones you’re interested in are included under the ICCR.

Also, when choosing your courses, visit the websites of these universities to understand their specific requirements. Ensure you meet these requirements before applying. This is crucial because some courses may not accept you if, for example, your undergraduate program was 3 years long and they require 4 years. This has been an issue for some applicants, so it’s better to confirm these details beforehand.

You should also check the location of the university – consider the state it’s in and what living there is like.

Another very important point is to read the hostel rules of the university you are considering. Many students, including myself, did not do this, and it can lead to disappointment. Make sure to check if your university is an affiliated one and thoroughly understand the hostel rules to avoid any surprises or heartbreak upon arrival. The most important advice I have for you is about hostel rules – they can significantly affect your experience. In some affiliated colleges in India, students are required to wear uniforms. Also, many hostels have strict rules. For instance, you might only be allowed to leave the hostel twice a week, need permission for outings, and may not be permitted to travel out of the state. However, there are also more relaxed hostels where you have more freedom.

Originally, students were not allowed to stay outside the hostel, but this rule has changed, and now you can choose to stay outside. It’s very important to read the hostel rules thoroughly to avoid any shock or discomfort.

Another aspect to consider is the local weather of the university’s location. While this might not be a big issue for everyone, it can be significant for some. In India, some regions experience snow and extreme cold, while others have extreme weather conditions. For instance, I’m in Chennai, where it’s hotter and more humid than in Nigeria. It’s so hot and humid here that you need to constantly drink water, and everyone carries a water bottle around. In fact, it’s so hot that they allow you to drink water during exams. Your skin care also changes with the weather. In Chennai, if you don’t moisturize, your skin gets very dry despite the heat. As for food, it’s a universal challenge regardless of location. While some places in India have more African communities and restaurants, these options are usually more expensive.

When choosing your school and its location, especially concerning food, be aware that not all areas in India include meat in their diet. Beef, for instance, is not widely consumed everywhere. You might find chicken more universally available, but this varies by region. Above all, thoroughly reading the hostel rules is crucial. Ensure you meet the qualifications for your desired course and take note of the local weather.

Apply for ICCR Early

Application timing is another key factor. I initially applied in December but had to reapply in January. There was a case where someone applied in December and received an admission dated for the previous year, causing confusion as it was considered an old admission. So, I suggest applying in the first week of January, from the 1st to the 7th. The final application date on the ICCR website is not the deadline for students, but for the embassy to forward student names to the ICCR. Apply as early as possible.

Each country has a specific number of slots; for Nigeria, there are 20 slots shared among PhD, master’s, and undergraduate applicants. The selection process varies by country. In Nigeria, for example, it’s straightforward without exams or IELTS requirements. Documents are simply submitted. I submitted mine in color, though I’m not sure if that influenced the selection process.

The interview process is quite simple, focusing on questions like your background, reasons for choosing India, and the specific course. It felt more like a casual conversation to me. Once the school accepts you, they communicate with the ICCR in New Delhi, which then communicates with the embassy.

When your application is successful, the school communicates with the regional STR, which then communicates with the ICCR in New Delhi. The ICCR in New Delhi then communicates with the embassy, and finally, the embassy communicates with you. You’ll be included in all these communications via email, which will include your admission details, the date you should resume, and your departure date from your country.

You’re advised to have 35,000 rupees upon arrival in India. While it’s not mandatory, it’s beneficial to have this amount, as the scholarship payment might take about two to three months to process. They pay everything at once, though it’s not in advance. If you arrive, for example, on the 20th of a month, your payment will be prorated based on your period of stay.

Benefits of ICCR Scholarship

  1. First, you get assistance with your visa application. It’s not exactly visa-free, but you don’t have to pay the visa application fee, and the process is generally smoother and more prioritized at the embassy.
  2. The scholarship includes a flight ticket to India and also covers your return flight after completing your studies.
  3. ICCR Scholarship includes a housing allowance. The amount varies depending on the city you’ll be residing in. Cities are categorized into grades A and B, with allowances of around 5,500 to 6,500 rupees. All these details are available in the documents online, so make sure to read them thoroughly.

You can stay in the school hostel or outside, depending on what suits you best. Initially, it was mandatory to stay in the school hostel, but this requirement seems to have been relaxed now.

The ICCR Indian scholarship for Nigerian students also provides a monthly stipend. For BSc students, it’s 18,000 rupees; for MSc students, it’s 20,000 rupees; and for those pursuing PhD or MPhil, it’s 22,000 rupees. Previously, the stipend was around 5,000 rupees, but now it’s sufficient to cover your needs for food and clothing.

For those staying in hostel accommodation, the hostel might have a mess (a hostel kitchen) but note that the scholarship doesn’t cover the cost of meals there. You’ll have to pay for that yourself if you eat in the hostel. Also, some hostels might not have a kitchen, so you might need to inquire about this once you arrive. That’s why you need to read the hostel rules carefully. When I arrived, my hostel didn’t have a kitchen, and I had to write several letters to address this. So, make sure to understand your hostel’s amenities before you arrive.

Is the ICCR Funding Enough to Study in India?

Absolutely, the money provided by the ICCR Scholarship is sufficient. You also receive a monthly book allowance, which is about 6,500 to 7,000 rupees. There’s also a one-time project fee around the same amount, payable upon completion and submission of your project.

The Indian scholarship for Nigerian students covers most of your expenses. There’s an ICCR office in every region to assist with any issues, and they are quite effective. Although you can reach out to your embassy, the ICCR offices are usually more directly involved.

The scholarship covers a wide range of costs, including housing, book allowances, project fees, and more. This support goes a long way in ensuring your comfort during your studies.

The flight ticket provided is an economy class ticket both for your arrival and eventual return.

Do You Receive Medical Insurance?

Initially, ICCR handled it, but now they don’t. You’ll need to arrange for medical insurance yourself when you arrive in India. In Chennai, for instance, they’ve made this easier by recommending a company for insurance, which is not too expensive. The insurance cost is manageable. However, the initial challenge might be covering this expense when you first arrive, as the ICCR payment may not have been processed yet.

The 35,000 rupees that you are advised to bring is important because you won’t have received your scholarship payment yet, and you need to get insured when you arrive. That’s probably the only major expense you’ll need to cover initially.

Where Do You Apply for ICCR Scholarship in India?

For Nigerian applicants, all procedures are centralized in Abuja. You can submit your documents to Abuja via mail or courier services like DHL. Also, the interview is conducted with a high commissioner in Abuja, which means you’ll need to travel there.

They don’t usually give much advance notice for the interview. For example, I received my interview notification just two days before. It was quite sudden – I was informed on a Tuesday evening while at the local government, was passing out of NYSC the next day, and had to travel to Abuja right after collecting my NYSC certificate on Wednesday for a Thursday morning interview. So, you might only have about two days’ notice. If you are already in Abuja, they might even give you just one day’s notice for the interview.

The notification for the interview doesn’t come with a long lead time; it’s usually a short period. You will also need to undergo a verification and evaluation of your documents. This occurs after you’ve received your admission, likely before your visa application.

For this process, you’ll need to visit the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja. If you choose to do both in Abuja, you might as well get your yellow fever vaccination there because the rush in Lagos can be quite chaotic. In Abuja, the queue is generally not as long, and the process is smoother. The best part is that the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are all within the same complex, making it convenient.

However, be prepared for some challenges when dealing with the Ministry of Education. They can be quite frustrating, but one way to make it easier is to make your payments online before visiting. On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs usually provides a seamless and professional experience. Although in my case, no one checked my documents at the airport or at my university, but don’t take any chances. While not all universities may be aware of the evaluation process, it’s a simple procedure. When you photocopy your documents, it’s not apparent that they’ve been evaluated.

Other Indian Scholarships for Nigerian Students 2024

  1. Nalanda University Master Fellowship for Foreign Students
  2. Lovely Professional University (LPU) scholarships
  3. Indian School of Business – ISB Merit Waivers in India
  4. SRM Institute of Science and Technology International Economic Scholarship in India
  5. AIIMS Merit Cum Need-Based Scholarships in India
  6. IISc International PhD/MSc Fellowship
  7. TWAS-DBT Postgraduate Fellowship Program for Developing Countries
  8. SIU – ICCR Joint Scholarship for Developing Countries TEC/SCAAP Scholarship Program

Conclusion

So, the best Indian scholarship for Nigerian students is that of ICCR scholarship. I intentionally mentioned 8 more scholarship opportunities that you can also apply for if you are interested. I often advise Nigerian students to apply for multiple scholarships though, so try and apply for as many of them as possible.

Read AlsoShell Scholarship for Nigeria University Students

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