The modern research facilities, high-quality education and scholarship opportunities of world top rank institutes attract students from all over the world. Due to high competition, not all of the applicants can secure a scholarship in their first attempt. As a result, they lose hope and stop applying for scholarships. I am writing the story of my struggle and some tips for scholarships aspirants who have lost hope after rejections. Last year, I have applied for different scholarships to achieve my goal of being a Research Scientist and at that time I had to face many rejections.
Let me tell you about my story, I applied for Erasmus, Chevening, Bestway Foundation Scholarships and many others. I got 7 rejections in a row but I didn’t lose hope. I believed in myself and was waiting for one acceptance to take-off. After 7 rejections, I got multiple acceptances and scholarship offers. At one point, I had five international scholarships offers to select the best one. Today, I am almost done with my master course work and still, I am getting master scholarships offers which I applied that time. I believe that the first seven rejections were just redirection towards something better which I have now.
For those students who applied for any scholarship but didn’t make it this year, keep in mind that there is always more than one available option with free high-quality education and good stipends. Now you will have a question in your mind, ¨How to get those option? ¨ And the answer is ¨Nothing is for free, you have to invest your time to find those options¨. There are many databases to search for scholarships. I would suggest you to use ¨masters portal¨ website to search universities and programs for specific countries of your interest.
After shortlisting the universities, you have to deeply search what benefits these universities are offering in term of a monthly stipend, Research funding, Research Assistance jobs, summer training, paid thesis and collaborations with industry. In some countries, the local government provides support to international students for living expenses.
Once you select the specific country and university, try to find seniors or Pakistani students who are already in those universities and get help from them. There are also Pakistani Facebook groups for almost every country. You need to utilize those groups efficiently by reading previous posts through the search bar and file section. Don’t hesitate to directly email university or program coordinator regarding your queries. You can only get authentic replies from them.
Take IELTS test serious and keep your target to achieve above than 6.5-7+ score. Many good students with strong profile failed to achieve prestigious scholarships just because of low score in IELTS. Some scholarships and universities don’t require IELTS if the medium of instruction for your Bachelor degree was English. You just need to provide an English Proficiency Certificate issued from your previous university.
Letter of Motivation (LoM) is also one of the major elements to get admission and scholarship. Normally, it weights up to 20-40% of the overall evaluation (depends on university). You cannot make a perfect LoM within a night that’s why you need to spend your time and efforts to make an effective LoM.
In Nutshell, Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket. Don’t restrict yourself to one or two scholarships. Apply for all the scholarships that match your interests. There’s no application fee for most of scholarships and universities. If you got multiple scholarships at the same time then please accept one offer and inform the other scholarship coordinators as soon as possible so they can offer that position to another deserving student.
Don’t be afraid of rejection just try again and win. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford