Scholarship: Your Inexpensive Ticket for Study Abroad

I often get so many questions regarding the scholarship.

Yes, it is because that I was the lucky one from Indonesia whom get the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) scholarship in January 2012. It is a scholarship initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the budget for development cooperation. The program offers 3 sub-programs for individual fellowships: 1) short courses, 2) master’s degree programs, and 3) PhD studies. At that time I got a scholarship for the master’s degree program in Wageningen University. Anyway, if you are interested to take a look about this scholarship, you may refer to this website for a complete information and requirements.

But, first thing first, let me tell you the several things you should prepare before applying the scholarship.

First, ask yourself what is your passion. When it comes to continuing your study, it means you need to criticize about what kind of study program you want to pursue. You don’t want to waste your time as to be trapped in a study program that you don’t like. Trust me, a new life in a new place is already challenging, so don’t challenge your life even more by doing something reckless, as you are mistaken at choosing the right study program.

Ideally, it has to do with the similar thing that you did in your bachelor’s degree, thus the previous education might help you to understand the upcoming knowledge easier. The linearity between your bachelor’s degree and the proposed master’s degree is also another thing that will be taken into consideration by the Admission Officers in the university.
But, don’t worry if you haven’t found your passion yet. At least there is a particular subject that you effortlessly get a good mark and attracts you the most, right? (I bet that everyone has it!). Therefore, that situation is more than enough to start with.

Second, choose the university which has a remarkable reputation on your interest study program. Every university will have their top listed study programs. I think that it will be extremely difficult for a University to master all subjects in education. So, be picky!
(As an example, Wageningen University is known as a leading university in agriculture and forestry subject. TU Eindhoven or TU Delft are known as universities which devoted to engineering, and etc).
To know which university fits your interest best, please refer to “QS World University Rankings by Subjects
In addition, when you choose the University, also take a look at their research topics. It is also important, so that you can see the direction of your study program.

Third, prepare your English. This might be the vital thing you need to take care of. No matter how smart you are, still you need to prove that you are able to understand, write and speak actively in English. Sorry to say, but it might seem difficult to be able to study abroad without a proper English certificate.
To do this, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend some money to take an English course. I know that it’s quite pricey. My suggestion is, commit to learn and practice by yourself. All the English materials can be downloaded on internet. You can watch hundreds of English practice videos on YouTube. So, there is no another reason not to be able to study English independently. I also did the same thing, anyway.

For another information, there are 2 English proficiency tests that are accepted by universities worldwide. They are IELTS and TOEFL iBT.
What are the differences between them? I assumed that you are motivated enough to click the above websites and find out by yourself.

Forth, make a good CV and a well-written Statement of Motivation letter. To do this, you could see a lot of examples on the internet. But first, crosscheck with the requirements which are stated by the University. For example, if you want to apply for the European university, then it is good to write your CV follows the European standard. This is so called as Europass CV Template.

For writing the Statement of Motivation letter, it is better to make it concise and straightforward. Also, let them know about your strength, knowledge background, supported working/scientific experiences, your future plan, the beneficial of this study program to support your plan and/or your country, and also “a little bit of personal experiences”.

Please pay attention to the last one, as not all kind of personal experiences you can open up. It surely has to do with the encouragement that make you as a person who is willingly to grow.

But, above of all, despite all the flowery words you might use, please tell the truth!
Because lies never been a good thing to start anything.

Fifth, it is better to have your High School/BSc diploma and transcript translated in English. To do this, ask your school or your university. They usually have the procedure for it. Don’t forget to also prepare some legalized copies.

Sixth, universities in Europe usually ask about your passport when you are applying for their study programs. This is to confirm your personal information, such as the full name, date of birth, gender and nationality. Therefore, it is also better for you to have your passport ready before hand. If you are still unemployed, you can ask your parents/families as your guardians when you apply for a passport. This also should come with a clear procedure. So, just follow the instructions from the Immigration office.

Seventh, prepare yourself for rejections. as nothing comes easily and instantly. To get the scholarship, it needs all your efforts, your prayers, and your patience. Sometimes it takes quite easy on some people, but not for others. But, all are connected to a single line: a good luck comes to those who are prepared.

Don’t be afraid to start your dream. Don’t be lazy to make your dream happen. Don’t be lazy to surround yourself with all information that you need to know. If you are down to a war, make sure you wear the right armor and you are handling the good weapon. By then, let the invisible hand above there help you out. To God, nothing is impossible.


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