If you think getting a scholarship abroad is difficult please raise your hands. I am sure most of us think that getting scholarships is really hard to get, but actually it’s not, according to Prof. Taufik, a scholarship is easy to get, through a seminar entitled “Getting Scholarships for Graduate Studies in the US” Prof. Taufik explained how to get a scholarship in easy ways.
Here are a few tips on how to get a full scholarship being an American or International student as quoted from Prof. Taufik. He divided into several steps namely: When to Apply, Preparation, How to Apply, When Rejected or When Accepted, Upon Arrival on Campus and How to maintain the support.
When to Apply: most universities in the US offer on-line application, we have to pay attention to deadlines, international students have different or much earlier deadline than that for in-state or domestic, chances for acceptance as well as financial assistance are higher for Fall semester, this is when academic year starts, most graduate in May or June, hence the need to replenish the following semester.
Preparation: pay attention to requirements, if it’s necessary self-study or enroll in preparation course for TOEFL and GRE/GMAT scores, but you have to prepare and start early, research for the right university, choose 3 to 5 universities, choose strong program in your area of interest, check their labs/activities and their professors and their projects, if possible, relatively lower application fee, living cost, start making initial contact to professors by brief email, introduce yourself, your interest and your plan to apply, the most important thing is be professional.
When Rejected: please do not give up, try again the following year, do self-assessment, retake and improve your GRE and TOEFL to increase your chance, look for other universities with big on-going projects.
When Accepted: let the department know that you will be coming, prepare for your travel, passport, plan to arrive at least a month prior to the start of the semester/quarter, look for fellow countrymen going to the same university to ask for assistance in housing, prepare some money for text books and to pay fees (excluded from tuition).
How to maintain the support: you have to work hard to let the professor know that you deserve the financial support, study hard to maintain your good academic standing, do not be afraid to ask people around you who are doing the same line of research, socialize but not too much, always keep your eyes open for other opportunities.
At last but not least he said that you have to be COMPETITIVE, we are as ingenious, and hard-working as people from other countries, so do not think less of us.
Prof. Taufik is Indonesian who lived in US from 1994 until present, He is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of Electric Power Institute in Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, USA.