Song Young-han always wanted to attend an MBA course overseas but could not afford the high tuition fees and the time off from work without financial assistance. He also did not even know where to apply until he found out about the Orange Tulip Scholarship.
The Dutch scholarship programme pays students ― even those who do not speak Dutch ― to study in the Netherlands.
Under its support Song, 35, is now studying full-time at the TiasNimbas Business School.
He said one of the best things about the school ― which is considered one of the top 20 European business schools ― is the diverse mix of international students.
"We have 32 students from 15 different countries in our class. It's a perfect environment for learning global skills, apart from the high quality curriculum," he said in an email interview.
"Studying again can be challenging sometimes, but I'm really enjoying being here. It wouldn't be possible if it were not for the scholarship."
Faced with a sluggish economy and a decline in the number of domestic students, coupled with growing global competition, European universities are reshaping their programs and facilities to attract more non-European students.
Not only some of top business schools, but also some of the leading comprehensive institutions have now expanded scholarship schemes to attract students from the Asia-Pacific region, with Korea being one the main target areas.
Experts say one obvious reason is that international students contribute significantly to the regional economy through living expenses and tuition fees.
Another reason is that universities nowadays put a high value on a more international classroom and want a good balance between international and local students, according to Willemijn van Os, the director of Nuffic Neso Korea.