This article was written by Yael, a student at the University of York.
Hello! My name is Yael. I'm a PhD researcher at the Department of Politics, as well as an International Student Ambassador at York. In this blog I will share with you some advice that helped me gain my scholarship.
1. Read the scholarship instructions carefully
While it may seem obvious, it is always worth reviewing whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria. Some scholarships may require documents that can take extra time to prepare, such as a letter of recommendation or language certificates. Remember that a strong application needs to match all the requirements!
Once getting familiar with the scholarship instructions, tailor your responses according to the questions that you may need to address in your application. This is usually in a personal statement or a letter of motivation.
2. Be yourself
International scholarships are very competitive. How do you make sure you stand out? Showing your inspiration and displaying your personality can increase your chances of making your application more memorable. So, be yourself and be honest when talking about your personal achievements. In my experience, it is acceptable to show personal ambition and set goals that will advance your professional life.
Additionally, extracurricular activities can demonstrate your personal qualities and potential to contribute to a wider scholarship network. In my opinion, I found it very useful to showcase my academic and personal accomplishments with clear and concise examples.
3. Take your time
Preparing a scholarship application takes time and effort. Before starting any application, you should create a checklist of the documents that you will need and the time it’ll take to obtain them. The earlier you start, the better for you to prepare a high-quality application.
For my scholarship, I started to gather all the documentation at least one year before. This helped me to anticipate any issues that may arise with my documents, as well as to submit my application in advance. Don’t forget to double check your application in case of grammatical errors or typos!
4. Do your research
I recommend you keep your options open and decide what is the most suitable funding for you. Some scholarships may partially cover the cost of your academic programme, which is why it is advised to keep a record of your financial information. There are different types of scholarships (ex. academic excellence, subject-specific, regional, etc.) and you can keep an eye out for the opening dates and deadlines. There are also scholarships which you can combine!
For my own personal application, I researched the objectives and values of the scholarship provider. This gave a clearer perspective of what is expected from the award recipient.
5. Be organized
It can be draining having to summarise all your academic and personal journey in a few sentences. A consistent set of ideas and examples of your personal experiences should reflect your capabilities to be organized. Remember to keep a good structure in your responses and avoid repetitions.
6. Use your scholarship wisely
My international scholarship has helped me to enjoy my student life at the University of York. To use my money wisely, I’ve found it useful to make a budget plan each week for my major costs, including accommodation and food groceries. I like cooking at home and using apps to find deals in shops. In York, there are many options on how to reasonably cover your living expenses, while you can still enjoy social activities to stay well and healthy.
Learn more about scholarships at the University of York