Are you seeking a scholarship for your studies? Undergraduate, Masters, PhD or even Post Doctoral level? Well brace yourself as you will need to break a sweat.
There are vast scholarships that are available and with this digital era you may be spoilt for choice yet still unable to nail it. Which then brings us to the question, what does it take to obtain a scholarship?
1. Know what you want
There are very many different types of scholarships available. There are government sponsored scholarships, which are offered by the government of a particular country, for example Romania; Belgium; Turkey; and many others. You can also check sites that post all different types of scholarships that are available, for example Study Opportunities, Opportunity Forum, my advice for these sites is to go to the official website of the scholarship and from there make your application.
It is also important to note the specifications of every scholarship, some scholarship require you to go back to your home country after the scholarship for some specified time. Others require you to learn a different language, the official language of the country that you are going to. Some scholarships are partial, others full, it is important to put all these into perspective. Also, do some research on the country you would like to go to, the weather, the culture, the food, the religion, and know if you are comfortable with all these aspects.
2. Put in the work
After having identified what you want, it is now time to put in the work. If you thought it was going to be a walk in the park, I am sorry to bust your bubble. It is hard work. Different scholarships have different requirements. Most require legalized documents, essays, motivation letters and recommendations from either/both an academic institution and/or your current/previous place of work.
Identify all the requirements required for the scholarship you need to apply to and start working towards fulfilling all of them. Get in touch with the people you wish to receive recommendations from and request them, some scholarships would require them to log in the scholarship site and post their recommendations while for others, you can upload the recommendation for them. Make sure all the documents are ready and make high quality scans of all of them if they will need uploading.
3. Apply to many scholarships
It is important not to put all your eggs in one basket. Distribute your risk across a couple of scholarships. The ones you can handle of course because as we have stated in point number 2, it is work to apply to these scholarships. Apply to government scholarships, University- funded scholarships (this is from the university themselves), Institute- funded scholarships for example Common Wealth scholarships, Erasmus Mundus Scholarships, DAAD Scholarships, UNESCO Fellowships, Rhodes Scholarships etc. You never know which one will accept you, hence the need to widen the net of your applications.
4. Be ready to receive nos
Unless you receive a yes on your first try, be certain that you will receive a no. I know being told no isn’t easy especially when you think you aced all the requirements, your grades were excellent, your essays were close to perfect, your recommenders put in a good word for but still you weren’t able to get the scholarship. It is sad and it is okay to grieve about it for a while, https://brightersidehacks.com/sometimes-all-we-need-is-just-a-good-nap/
However, don’t stay down for a long time, learn to wake up, shake it off and move on to other applications.
Try to maintain a positive attitude throughout the journey. You will find that you will grow a tough skin and become even better at future applications. The scholarships world is very competitive and there are always thousands upon thousands of applications from which the granters can only select a limited numbers of beneficiaries.
5. Know when to apply
Most Scholarships applications are normally open from around October – March. This is because most academic years begin in September or January every year. From October it is important to do your due diligence and begin looking up scholarships and their requirements.
Last minute rush in most cases causes lots of people to submit mediocre applications. A vital step in application is therefore timing. Start early, plan when you want to have fulfilled different requirements and work towards meeting your deadlines.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”Dale Carnegie
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