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Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan Women to Study in Switzerland

Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan Women to Study in Switzerland

Opportunity Detail

  • Language RequirementTOEFLIELTSCambridge qualificationCEFR
  • GenderFemale
  • LevelMaster
  • Eligible Region/CountriesAfghanistan
  • Medium of InstructionEnglish
  • Field of studyVarious Fields
  • Opportunity ID72618
  • Funding TypePartially Funded
  • Duration2 Years

Opportunity Description

Application is open for Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan women to pursue their master’s degree at the esteemed Geneva Graduate Institute in Switzerland to enhance their knowledge in international relations and development.

Considering the current situation in Afghanistan and strong restrictions to women’s higher education, the master’s degree programs at the Geneva Graduate Institute aim to extend the reach of Afghan women’s university education abroad. This program gives them a competitive advantage in the global community, and by completing their degrees, they will access an academic and diplomatic career, a job in non-governmental and international organizations, or international corporate companies.

Who is Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada?

Maria Rosario was a high school literature and history teacher who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of Milan, Italy. She graduated from the University with a degree in the History of Christianity.

Maria focused on the woman’s situation, and her thesis on witchcraft grew into a book by two other historians (S. Abbiati, A. Agnoletto, M. R. Lazzati, La Stregoneria, Mondadori, 1984).

In 2005, Maria Rosario established a charity in Afghanistan focusing on women’s education: the Comitato Arghosha Faraway Schools. Since that time, the organization has funded the construction of 15 schools for 8,000 students from grades 1 to 12. The majority of these schools’ students (5,500) are girls. The organization constructed ten (10) schools to host exclusively girls with little to no educational structure access.

The organization has also provided 28 university scholarships for talented girls in different universities in Kabul and supported literacy courses for 500 adult women in Kabul.

Until 2019, when Covid paralyzed international mobility, Maria Rosario visited Afghanistan yearly to assess the project’s implementation nationwide and plan future initiatives.

Important Details of Scholarship

Application  Deadline for Scholarship: 15 October 2023

Application deadline for Graduate Program: January 2024

Application start for Master program: 10 October

Host University: Graduate Institute of Geneva

Location: Geneva, Swiss

Eligible Nations: Afghanistan

Target Groups: Afghan Women

Duration: two year

Fields of study available at Geneva Graduate Institute: 

  • Master in Anthropology and Sociology
  • Master in International Economics
  • Master in International History and Politics
  • Master in International Law
  • Master in International Relations/Political Science

Note: the above list is a program available in Geneva Graduate Institute. Applicants should Ensure that the program they select is eligible for Scholarship.

Benefits of the Swiss Postgraduate Scholarship for Afghan Women

The duration of the Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan Women is two years, with an annual amount of  25,000 Swiss francs. Beneficiaries must prepare a report at the end of their first year of studies to prove their success for the next year. Based on this report, the Institute will renew the scholarship.

Note: The tuition fee for Swiss residents is CHF 5000, and For non-residents is CHF 8000 and the living cost is between  CHF 1460-2700 per month.

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Eligibility Criteria

Afghan women can apply for the Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan women who meet the following criteria:

Nationality and Gender

  • The scholarship is open to all Afghan women, regardless of social class, ethnic and regional origin, or religion.


  • Applicants should be Afghan women residing in Afghanistan or have close ties with Afghanistan.


  • They should meet the Geneva Graduate Institute’s admission requirements. It means applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or a degree deemed equivalent in a discipline relevant to the program.

Language requirement

  • Candidates should also fulfill the Institute’s language requirements.
  • Applicants should send their applications to the Steering Committee (see procedure below). Then, the selected applicants should apply for one of the Institute’s master’s programs. Applicants who receive an admission offer will receive the scholarship.

Required Documents for Scholarship

Applicants should submit these supporting application documents:

  • A motivation letter indicating the following information:
  1. The reason they are applying for the Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada scholarship
  2. Which Geneva Graduate Institute master’s program would they like to apply?
  3. Why they chose the Institute?
  4. What are their financial needs, and what their post-graduation plans are?
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Copy of university diplomas from a university accredited by the Swiss authorities: https://aaq.ch)
  • Official academic transcripts indicating all coursework and grades and their value (credits)

How to Apply?

The Swiss Postgraduate Scholarship for Afghan Women application procedure has two successive stages:

  1. Submit the applications documents mentioned above by email  to the Committee of the Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship for Afghan Women, which initially screens the applications and decides to grant the scholarship
  2. Apply to one of the Geneva Graduate Institute’s master programs and be admitted.
  3. two procedures are independent.

Submission Email of Scholarship application: afghan.scholarships@graduateinstitute.ch

Application to the Geneva Graduate Institute:

The Steering Committee’s candidate in the second stage should apply to the Geneva Graduate Institute by 15 January 2024.

Please note that applicants should provide an English proficiency certificate and two academic references at this stage.

Requirements of Geneva Graduate Institute Master Program : 

  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • Professional experience and extracurricular activities are not compulsory but can be an asset to your application.
  • Language proficiency: TOEFL iBT 100, PBT 600, CBT 250, IELTS , IELTS online 7.0 , Cambridge 80, CEFR C1.

Exemption from language proficiency : 

  • Native English speakers, having used English as their primary language both at home and throughout their educational history
  • Students who can document at least one year of full-time university level studies, using English exclusively as the medium of instruction, with a good academic achievement level.
  • A degree in English Literature or English as a Foreign Language, taught at a non-anglophone university with the local language as the primary medium of instruction does not qualify.

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Who Review the Applications?

The Steering Committee will evaluate the submitted applications, and the Committee will be comprised of the following people:

  • Two members of the Association Arghosha appointed by the Association
  • Two members of the Institute, including at least one professor, appointed by the Geneva Graduate Institute and at least two persons of Afghan origin or with very close ties to Afghanistan

The Committee reviews the applications and contacts the applicants in late November to inform them of their decision regarding the scholarship. The Steering Committee will help prepare the application file for the Geneva Graduate Institute.

For any inquiries regarding study programs or admissions, please contact: directionetudes@graduateinstitute.ch or visit the Geneva Graduate Institute website for detailed information about the Swiss Postgraduate Scholarship for Afghan Women.

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in international relations and development at the Geneva Graduate Institute and contribute to a brighter future for Afghanistan. Apply for the Maria Rosario Lazzati Niada Scholarship today!

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