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A Little Scholarly Advice

Most scholarships ask you to write essays describing the field you wish to study, why you want to study that field, and the impact you will have on your home country when you are done. Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships in particular focus on how what you study will help you to develop your home country. There are also OAS scholarships if you ever change your mind about studying in the UK. Other than those, the school you choose may have scholarships available for international students.

This page is a great resource; it lists several scholarships for UK schools. Most are full scholarships to master’s programmes in the UK.

The selection process begins with YOU. Start with an idea of what you want to study and where you want to study it. Be sure to have several options in terms of schools, then decide what exactly you need the scholarship to finance. When you do go off to school, there will be tuition to pay, living expenses (because you need somewhere to live and food to eat), and airfare between home and the UK/US/wherever you will be studying.

Then go looking for scholarships that will help fund your schooling. Read the fine print. Ensure you know what the scholarship will be funding and how it will happen. Some scholarships finance the full or part of your tuition only. Some provide a monthly stipend to help with living expenses. A full scholarship, such as Chevening, Commonwealth, and some listed on the site above, takes care of your tuition, airfare, and provides a stipend. Pay attention to the details.

Once you’ve picked the scholarships that fit your needs, apply. The application process is different for each; most will require essay writing, some will require interviews. One or two may be an exception, but it will be best for you to apply to your school choices before applying for the scholarships. If the school is providing the scholarship, then chances are you can do both at the same time.

The best advice I can give for timing is “start early!”. When you visit the sites above, pay attention to the application periods. Most will open in the middle of summer and close around November/December. Be sure to sign up for email notifications if you can. These keep you on top of what’s happening. Trust me when I say it pays to be early.

And when you have won that scholarship, be sure to hug whoever pushes you forward, and thank God for it.

Many thanks to Sunesis Simon of the Silver Hill SDA Church for being the inspiration for this piece.