How to get scholarship, step by step
Since many people asked me for some tips on how to get scholarship, I think I just write it down for everyone. Remember, this is what I think and what happened to me. This is does not mean that the content is absolute truth.
How to get scholarship, step by step
1. Lay an eye to particular scholarship.
I usually look at scholarship advertisment. If I found it interested, then I will apply. Although it is possible to find the department where you want to study first then apply the scholarship, I don`t do that because usually the nominal of scholarship is small. I am only interested to fully funding scholarship. Some scholarship, however, request you to apply officially touniversity and get accepted before apply the scholarship (mostly European scholarship I think)
2. Get the scholarship form and read it carefully
Make sure that you are elligible to the scholarship, you are within the age range, the topic you want is included, your background is acceptable etc. Some scholarship is mainly for gov. employee, some are for age 35 and below, you fulfil the minimum language requirements etc.
3. Find the university you want to go
Make sure that you know where you want to go. Only very few scholarship that just want you to write down what subject you want to do and you can choose theuniversity later. Again, check the requirements carefully
4. Collecting the requirement
Be very careful with the requirement. If it requires international TOEFL/IELTS, then do it. If it is not specified, better ask than sorry. If it asked for 2 recommendations, get two, some even specifically asked for direct supervisor, make sure you get it as well. Some scholarship request you to develop contact with the department you want to study, then try to get it.
5. Make sure that your application is “selling”
Imagine yourself the person who need to select which application is acceptable, which is not. That person need to look hundreds and maybe thousands of application. Make sure that your application is neat, clear, concise, to the point and rich instead making it a flowery boring story that nobody want to finish reading it. Think, what is your strong point that makes you different from others, what is the founder agenda etc. Also make sure that when they say one page explanation, it`s one page. Try to put as much related information in the limited space
6. Pay attention to deadline
Things to consider:
1. Scholarship cost lots of money. Think that it is the founder investing the money on you. What can you give them in return. Therefore you must have a clear idea why you want to take the degree, why it is important for you to take that degree, what your future plan is, how the degree will support your plan, what is the benefit of your degree and knowledge for you, for your office, for your country and for the founder. Remember, no need to bluffing and saying things like “solving poverty problem in Indonesia” but be more specific and achievable such enhancing teaching language curriculum inUniversity ABC, particularly in terms of develooping comprehensive student learning by doing approach. You must have the confidence that you need the degree, you can do it, and you can implement your knowledge in your work
2. Master and above degree is not a path to get a job. I was wrong and tought master is sellable to get a better job. To some extend yes, but it is actually wiser to think that master should be used to enhance your qualification at work. Therefore, make sure that your educational background, your work and your proposed study are matched, or at least try to matched them
3. Have confidence. Technically, passing the administration selection is the most difficult part. Possibility for a person to pass interview is much higher than passing the administration part. If you keep failing in the interview part, means that you are not really clear about your own proposed study (or you can`t express it well). During the interview, make sure that it is you that lead the interview, you should elaborate each question, and it is quite important to be original. Sometimes it looks nice if you quote from other sources (to make you look smarter). I like to quote Confucius saying during interview. During my interview for ASF, the major question was, “why do you want to this topic, and why you do it in South China? .” The answer: “Majority of research in this issue discuss the problems that occur in North China. If I do it in the north like other scholars, what will be my additional value? The project will use new approach in looking at the China`s one child policy beyond the common pattern where instead of comparing single and non single child, I compare male and female single child. That is my scholarly contribution for the discourse. Later one of the professor said that he is very impress with that answer, because they looking for original approach. So, make sure that you have the confidence, you have theeducational background in that issue, and you seems know what you are going to do,
4. Get the requirements they want
Make sure that you can fulfil all the requirements. It is very useful if you have some additional things that you can offer. In my situation, I get involve with lots of social organisations dealing with HIV, drug abuse, community empowerment etc. Since I am doing social studies, these are very positive addition for my applications. Trainings, seminars, articles are important too.
Hope that the info are useful.