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Top 10 scholarships and exchange programs for Indonesian SMP & SMA students

Are you looking for a high school scholarship abroad?

Perhaps you’d like to spend a semester overseas? 

Unfortunately, for many students studying abroad is just too expensive. In fact, the cost is the main reason why students cannot study abroad. 

But the good news is that more and more opportunities are becoming available to help high-achieving students to realize this dream.

So, in this article we’re going to tell you 10 scholarships or exchange programs that could be your ticket to achieving your dreams! If you’re looking to study abroad for a discounted price or even for free, you’ll want to keep reading. 

Top 10 scholarships and exchange programs

1. Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program

Founded in 2002 following the 9/11 attacks, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program is a full scholarship program funded by the US Department of State. It is awarded to high school students from Muslim-majority countries and is aimed at establishing mutual respect between the US and other countries. 

Even though YES program targets students from Muslim-majority countries, students of any religion are welcome to apply. The awardee will spend one academic year in the US, living with an American host family and attending an American high school. 

During this time, they have the opportunity to learn leadership skills, promote their own culture, and learn more about American culture.

More information on this scholarship can be found on and

2. Study in Hefei Scholarship

Established by the city of Hefei in China, the Study in Hefei Scholarship is aimed at attracting more international students to study in Hefei. This scholarship is available to high school students to take a university prep school, after which they can apply for a bachelor’s degree. 

There are three scholarships on offer: 

  • Type A for university students is worth 40.000 Yuan per year with a maximum duration of four years;
  • Type B for high school students is worth 30.000 Yuan per year with a maximum duration of three years; and 
  • Type C for interns of partnership cities to take a short course. This is worth 20.000 per semester with a maximum duration of one year. 

To apply for type B, high schools students need to have some proficiency in Chinese as well as fluency in English. If accepted, awardees will stay with a host family for the duration of their study.

More information can be found on

3. Edmonds College Scholarship

Edmonds College is a public community college located in Seattle, in the state of Washington, USA. In Edmonds College, international students aged 16 or above can complete a Washington State high school diploma while taking university-level classes, thus allowing students to transfer credit points to their university and fast-track their time in university by up to 2 years. 

As a bonus, admission to Edmonds College automatically gives students a conditional offer to continue studies at Edmonds College University Partners and there are lots of them! 

International students can get a partial scholarship if their overall school grade in the home country is equivalent to 3.3 GPA or above. However, the scholarship only covers tuition and does not cover living expenses or health insurance (which is mandatory for all international students). 

More information can be found on

4. Global Connect Scholarship Program

The Global Connect Scholarship Program is offered by Regent’s International School in Bangkok. The award varies from partial to fully funded depending scholarships depending on the applicant’s achievements and financial background. 

There are two Global Connect Scholarship programs:

  • The first is a two-year scholarship for high school students about to finish grade 11 to take the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.
  • The second is a four-year scholarship for students about to finish grade 9 to get a International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Providing the awardee has outstanding academic achievement, they will continue to receive a scholarship for another two years to get the IB. 

To apply, applicants must provide a recommendation letter from their school principal and sit a Math and English test in addition to undergoing online assessment. Shortlisted candidates will then be notified for an interview. 

Many Regent school graduates continue their studies to some of the best universities in the world including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, Stanford, Cornell, and UCLA.

This scholarship only covers tuition and boarding fees and excludes transport cost to and from Thailand and personal expenses. 

More information can be found on

5. The Music Scholarship by Regents School

This scholarship is also offered by Regents School (mentioned above). Regents School prides itself not only on academic excellence but also excellence in sport, art and music. 

To apply, applicants must send a recorded performance of themselves playing their musical instrument. If successful in this stage, they will be invited to audition at the Bangkok campus. 

If successful, the awardee will be able to improve their musical talent through the Regents School partnership with the Yamaha Music School. 

More information can be found on

6. Madam Tsang Chor-Hang Scholarship

The Madam Tsang Chor-Hang Scholarship is offered by the Yew Chung International School of Beijing. This full scholarship is given to students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of academic achievement, leadership skills, critical thinking, and serving the school and community. 

Aimed at middle and high school students, the scholarship is for a maximum duration of four years with the awardee’s performance being reviewed each year. 

Joining the Yew Chung International Cohort gives awardees access to an international curriculum, a diverse school environment, and a vibrant culture where both Eastern and Western culture are valued.

More information can be found on

7. Yew Chung International School Discipline-Specific Scholarship

Offered by the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, this scholarship is awarded to recognize student excellence in the following fields: 

  • The visual arts
  • The performing arts
  • Community service 
  • Language and literature 
  • Science and mathematics, and 
  • Sports. 

To apply for this scholarship, applicants must submit a portfolio showcasing their excellence and achievements in one of the above-mentioned fields. Students can receive a 10-100% reduction in tuition fees depending on their achievements. 

This scholarship is awarded to successful middle and high school students and is given for a maximum of 4 years. Awardees’ performances are reviewed annually. 

More information can be found on

8. ASEAN Scholarship for Indonesia

The ASEAN Scholarship for Indonesia is given by Singapore’s Ministry of Education to Indonesian students with a strong proficiency in English, outstanding academic achievement, and active participation in extracurricular activities. 

The scholarship is divided into two programs: 

  • Secondary 1 for students who are currently in 6th or 7th grade (for a duration of 6 years), and 
  • Secondary 3 for students who are currently in the 8th or 9th grade (for a duration of 4 years). 

Both scholarships enable the awardee to get a Singapore-Cambridge GCE A-Level qualification, which is accepted by many universities worldwide. The scholarship covers tuition and accommodation fees, a settling-in allowance, airfare to and from Singapore, and subsidised medical benefits and insurance to cover accidents.

More information can be found on

9. Asia Kakehashi Program

Established in 2018 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan, the Asia Kakehashi Program is a relatively new program aimed at exchanging culture between students from 20 countries all over Asia and Japan to get to know Japanese culture, as well as improving their fluency in Japanese. 

Granted to 15-18 years olds, successful applicants will spend one academic term (one semester) in a Japanese high school and will live either with a host family or in a dorm. 

Applicants must demonstrate achievements in academic or non-academic fields and have a basic command of the Japanese language. To date, 40 Indonesian students who have studied in Japan via this fully funded program. 

More information can be found on

10. United World Colleges Scholarship

The United World Colleges is a diverse network of 18 schools in 18 countries with students from all over the world. Located in more than 150 countries, including Indonesia, United World College committees recommend students who they believe would most benefit from receiving this scholarship. 

The United World Colleges was founded on the idea that education is a valuable tool to shape empathy, compassion, and lifelong action. 

Applicants are chosen based on academic and non-academic achievements or outstanding community service and the scholarship varies from partial to fully funded depending on applicants’ financial capacity. 

Indonesian applicants must be in grade 10 during the scholarship application if they are enrolled in an international school or grade 11 or 12 if they are enrolled in a public school or private school using the Indonesian curriculum. 

Alumni of United World Colleges include royalty (the current King of Holland), as well as prominent politicians, businessmen, artists and academics. 

More information can be found on and


We have just discussed the top 10 overseas scholarships and exchange programs for Indonesian high school students. We hope you enjoyed this article and find it useful for your scholarship application process. 

Next Steps

Do you want to win a overseas scholarship to study abroad?

Most overseas scholarships require proficiency in English. Unfortunately, many Indonesian high school students fail in their scholarship applications because they lack fluency in English. 

If you want to guarantee a successful scholarship application, please contact us at IELC to see how we can help you gain the English proficiency to achieve your goal. 

We offer the best Online and On Campus English courses in Indonesia and we have helped dozens of high school students get the English they need to successfully apply for scholarships to study abroad. 

We would love to help you get your scholarship too.  So contact us now and take your first step towards success. Your dream starts now.   


Anthony McCormick, 

IELC Managing Director