Scholarship 101: What You Need to Prepare
Thanks to the internet, now we have unlimited access to various information from all over the world including how to get sponsored for your study. There are a lot of scholarships available worldwide. In our previous blog articles, we have mentioned several scholarship opportunities that you can try (blog I, blog II). Applying for scholarship is not an easy process—proper preparations can improve your chance to win one. Here we will discuss what you need to prepare for your scholarship application.
The Language Requirement
Whether it is IELTS, TOELF, or any other English language certification, in most cases this is the first requirement that you need to fulfill to be eligible for a scholarship. Most applicants underestimate the importance of language certification which causes unnecessary delays in their application process. So the first thing you need to accomplish is to pass the required language requirement - after that you are good to prepare the others.
Letter of Acceptance (LoA)
Most scholarships require Letter of Acceptance from your desired university. You should apply to more than one university to increase your chances. Pick several universities of various calibers (you can check the university rank from THE or QS University Ranking). At this point, you do not have to worry about the funding yet. After you have your English language certification, make sure you have unconditional LoA.
Essays and Personal Statement
Most scholarships require personal statements in form of essays. Compose the best essays you can - ensure you use the correct grammar and tenses. Usually, the personal statement has a limit of 500 words. Try to be brief, compact but clear. Do not hesitate to seek help – ask your peers or tutors to review your essays. Look for essay samples from successful candidates for more guidance or to find inspirations. However, do not plagiarize. Be original, honest and motivated. This is the chance to show the scholarship committee that you are the right person to get financial support.
If you pass the document selection round, you may proceed to the interview stage. This stage is typically another frightening stage for most applicants. If you have experienced job interview session before, this would be somewhat similar. The committee will assess your motivation and personality. Some standard questions such as "Tell us about yourself" or "What makes you the best candidate for this scholarship?" will certainly pop up. Practice those questions but do not sound like you are reading a script. Do not be intimidated. Be calm and answer all the questions as genuinely and confidently as possible. Some scholarships such as the Swedish Institute Scholarship, however, do not require an interview.
Make a list of required documents for your scholarship application submission. Sometimes, paperwork could overwhelm you, so double check everything. Put all the documents in a dedicated folder – preferably with plastic case to protect them from damage, e.g. rain. Also, it is better to prepare all documents in English. If your transcript or high school certificate is in Bahasa, you may need to translate them into English first.
- Most interview sessions are intentionally designed to make you feel intimidated. It is to test how the applicants perform under pressure.
- If you are applying online, it is better to submit your applications a few days before the deadline to avoid technical issues such as server breakdown.
- Some scholarships have specific requirements about document translation. For example, you could only use several translator services selected by the committee or through the local embassy. Check the scholarship website for the most accurate information.
- ALL-in Eduspace has launched a dedicated scholarship preparation course and workshop to help you prepare and win for the scholarship you are eyeing! Contact us here, if you are interested.
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