Internships, Scholarships & Fellowships: What They Are And The Basic Difference Between Them

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When you freshly pass out of school on completion of your 10th standard, the world of higher education can get a bit overwhelming given the number of options available at your disposal. In such a situation, it becomes imperative to understand the basic concept at an initial level. The most common concepts you must understand are internships, scholarships and fellowships. 

While you might think they are similar, there are basic key differences between all three. So let us understand what each one means and how beneficial it is to your education and career in the long run. 


Applying for internships is like taking baby steps into the real ‘job’ world. Almost every company today offers internships in various roles for students to pursue. Internships are short-term work experiences that provide students or freshers insights into the industry. An internship can span from one month to six months depending on the company and the nature of the work. Doing internships with firms helps students to build their portfolios and secure a job after completing their higher education. The more internships one does, the better for their career. 

While most internships are paid, some might also be unpaid and certificate-based. As opposed to scholarships and fellowships, internships do not provide any monetary benefits to the students. They are purely designed to help students learn, hone industry skills, gain experience and become industry ready. 


Scholarships are basically helping hands, a kind of financial reward offered to students based on their academic achievements, extra-curricular achievements, the financial status of a family and more. For scholarships, a student’s work experience can be an added advantage however, it is not a mandatory criterion considered. They are offered to students at bachelor’s or master’s degree levels by the government, universities, or other organizations. Scholarships can cover the cost of tuition fees, accommodation, travel and other expenses related to living costs. Students are required to apply for scholarships before the start of their academic session and in the majority of cases, students can also reapply for scholarships. 


Fellowships are one step higher than scholarships. Fellowships are beneficial for those individuals who are pursuant of advanced educational qualifications such as postgraduate degrees, and doctoral and post-doctoral programmes. They are mainly offered to candidates carrying out research studies. While considering offering fellowships, respective bodies look for candidates’ exceptional academic performance, as well as relevant professional experience. A candidate’s work experience is of utmost importance while handing out a fellowship. While most fellowships are monetary-based, some are also non-monetary in nature and only provide the resources needed to carry out the work, and not a salary. Unlike scholarships, fellowships cannot be extended and are available only for a certain duration.

Taking complete advantage of all three will benefit a student by improving their career prospects. It’s important to avail of all the options available for you at the right time with proper guidance from your mentors as well as professors.


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