Selasa, 29 Desember 2009

How to get scholarship, step by step

Dear all,
Since many people asked me for some tips on how to get scholarship, I think I just write it down for everyone. Remember, this is what I think and what happened to me. This is does not mean that the content is absolute truth.

How to get scholarship, step by step
Lay an eye to particular scholarship.

I usually look at scholarship advertisment. If I found it interested, then I will apply. Although it is possible to find the department where you want to study first then apply the scholarship, I don`t do that because usually the nominal of scholarship is small. I am only interested to fully funding scholarship. Some scholarship, however, request you to apply officially to university and get accepted before apply the scholarship (mostly European scholarship I think)

Get the scholarship form and read it carefully

Make sure that you are elligible to the scholarship, you are within the age range, the topic you want is included, your background is acceptable etc. Some scholarship is mainly for gov. employee, some are for age 35 and below, you fulfil the minimum language requirements etc.

Find the university you want to go

Make sure that you know where you want to go. Only very few scholarship that just want you to write down what subject you want to do and you can choose the university later. Again, check the requirements carefully

Collecting the requirement

Be very careful with the requirement. If it requires international TOEFL/IELTS, then do it. If it is not specified, better ask than sorry. If it asked for 2 recommendations, get two, some even specifically asked for direct supervisor, make sure you get it as well. Some scholarship request you to develop contact with the department you want to study, then try to get it.

Make sure that your application is "selling"

Imagine yourself the person who need to select which application is acceptable, which is not. That person need to look hundreds and maybe thousands of application. Make sure that your application is neat, clear, concise, to the point and rich instead making it a flowery boring story that nobody want to finish reading it. Think, what is your strong point that makes you different from others, what is the founder agenda etc. Also make sure that when they say one page explanation, it`s one page. Try to put as much related information in the limited space

Pay attention to deadline
Things to consider:
Scholarship cost lots of money. Think that it is the founder investing the money on you. What can you give them in return. Therefore you must have a clear idea why you want to take the degree, why it is important for you to take that degree, what your future plan is, how the degree will support your plan, what is the benefit of your degree and knowledge for you, for your office, for your country and for the founder. Remember, no need to bluffing and saying things like "solving poverty problem in Indonesia" but be more specific and achievable such enhancing teaching language curriculum in University ABC, particularly in terms of develooping comprehensive student learning by doing approach. You must have the confidence that you need the degree, you can do it, and you can implement your knowledge in your work

Master and above degree is not a path to get a job. I was wrong and tought master is sellable to get a better job. To some extend yes, but it is actually wiser to think that master should be used to enhance your qualification at work. Therefore, make sure that your educational background, your work and your proposed study are matched, or at least try to matched them

Have confidence. Technically, passing the administration selection is the most difficult part. Possibility for a person to pass interview is much higher than passing the administration part. If you keep failing in the interview part, means that you are not really clear about your own proposed study (or you can`t express it well). During the interview, make sure that it is you that lead the interview, you should elaborate each question, and it is quite important to be original. Sometimes it looks nice if you quote from other sources (to make you look smarter). I like to quote Confucius saying during interview. During my interview for ASF, the major question was, "why do you want to this topic, and why you do it in South China? ." The answer: "Majority of research in this issue discuss the problems that occur in North China. If I do it in the north like other scholars, what will be my additional value? The project will use new approach in looking at the China`s one child policy beyond the common pattern where instead of comparing single and non single child, I compare male and female single child. That is my scholarly contribution for the discourse. Later one of the professor said that he is very impress with that answer, because they looking for original approach. So, make sure that you have the confidence, you have the educational background in that issue, and you seems know what you are going to do,

Get the requirements they want

Make sure that you can fulfil all the requirements. It is very useful if you have some additional things that you can offer. In my situation, I get involve with lots of social organisations dealing with HIV, drug abuse, community empowerment etc. Since I am doing social studies, these are very positive addition for my applications. Trainings, seminars, articles are important too.
Hope that the info are useful.


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Tips Mencari Profesor di Jepang

Ini adalah kerjaan awal yang mesti dilakukan sebelum apply beasiswa manapun. Pemberi beasiswa banyak yang mengharapkan pelamar sudah mempunyai professor pembimbing, bahkan ada yang mengharuskan punya professor pembimbing sebelum melamar beasiswa. Cara mencari professor pembimbing mesti di sesuaikan dengan bidang saudara. Carilah di web URL universitas - universitas Jepang, meskipun banyak URL Universitas Jepang yang di tulis dengan tulisan Jepang, tetapi ada banyak juga URL Universitas Jepang yang di tulis dengan bahasa Inggris.

Untuk list alamat URL Universitas Jepang, liat di Selanjutnya setelah mendapatkan URL dan masuk ke web universitas, silahkan mencari daftar department yang ada di universitas tersebut dan carilah lab-lab yang ada di department tersebut. Di Jepang, nama laboratory adalah nama Professornya, seperti Tanaka Laboratory, Suzuki Laboratory, Kobayashi Laboratory dll. masing-masing laboratory mempunyai topik research macam macam. Dan disitulah saudara bisa menyesuaikan dengan minat riset dan bidang riset yang saudara ingin kerjakan nantinya. Jika saudara sudah merasa cocok dengan riset yang dilakukan di laboratory tersebut, saudara bisa menulis surat baik lewat e-mail, surat pos maupun fax ke Professor di lab tersebut.

Pekerjaan berat selanjutnya adalah, saudara mesti harus mempersiapkan bener bener bahasa yang baik, sopan santun dan grammar yang tepat untuk surat perkenalan pertama dengan Professor Jepang. Surat perkenalan ini bisa di tulis dengan bahasa Inggris, jika saudara belum menguasai bahasa Jepang. Perlu diingat bahwa orang Jepang adalah orang Timur yang masih memegang adat dan budaya sopan santun yang tinggi. Hal ini sangat berbeda sekali dengan orang orang Barat, yang "to the point". Saudara mesti hati-hati dalam bersopan santun untuk menulis surat perkenalan ini.

Dalam surat perkenalan pertama, tulislah introduction tentang saudara, background saudara (seperti layaknya CV, tetapi lebih mengarah ke history of education, research yang pernah saudara lakukan, apa yang telah saudara raih dalam research tersebut, dan research apa yang saudara ingin kerjakan nantinya (yang menjadi impian saudara)).

Selanjutnya utarakanlah niat saudara untuk bergabung dengan laboratory tersebut, saudara berminat untuk mempelajari ini itu (mesti saudara kemukakan). Bikinlah upaya sang professor tertarik dengan research yang saudara ingin kerjakan nantinya. Hal ini tidaklah mudah, bagi orang - orang yang belum terbiasa melakukan riset. Tetapi bukankah kita semua pernah melakukan riset sewaktu pengerjaan skripsi / thesis.

E-mail selanjutnya terserah saudara, bagaimana saudara bisa meyakinkan professor Jepang, supaya beliau bersedia menerima. Pada dasarnya Professor Jepang tidaklah keberatan untuk menerima saudara, hanya apakah ada dana atau sponsor jika saudara bergabung ke labnya, itulah yang sering di tanyakan oleh Professor Jepang, jika anda mengungkapkan keinginan saudara untuk bergabung dengannya.

Untuk yang sedang akan apply beasiswa - beasiswa yang disediakan oleh foundation / organisasi, company swasta, pemda dll,(seperti beasiswa Panasonic/matsushita, hitachi, Okazaki, JICA, Inpex dll, lihat di ( maka saudara bisa mengutarakannya dengan mudah, bahwa saudara akan test untuk mendapatkan beasiswa untuk melanjutkan kuliah di Jepang.

Selanjutnya saudara butuh rekomendasi dari Professor jepang. Kebanyakan Professor tidak keberatan pula untuk menuliskan rekomendasi dan mengirimkannya ke saudara. (surat rekomendasi berisi bahwa Professor tersebut bersedia menjadi pembimbing, dan professor tsb interest dengan riset yang saudara ajukan dll), isi dari surat rekomendasi ini tergantung professor, tidak ada format khusus yang mensyaratkannya.

Professor Jepang, lebih sering menulis surat rekomendasi ini dalam tulisan tangan (tulisan kanji, yang kita hampir tidak bisa membacanya, kecuali orang jepang asli). Surat rekomendasi yang telah saudara dapatkan, bisa saudara lampirkan dalam melamar berbagai beasiswa yang saudara ingin ikuti.

Jika hubungan saudara dengan Professor sudah sedemikian eratnya, saudara bisa meminta supaya beliau merekomendasikan saudara ke Monbusho = Depdikbud jepang, (lewat universitas Professor tersebut).

Informasi tambahan :
Masih banyak Professor Jepang yang tidak lancar berbahasa inggris sehingga ada kemungkinan surat - surat saudara tidak di balas. Sebenarnya bisa tetapi untuk membalasnya mereka butuh waktu, sehingga surat saudara tidak di tanggapi sama sekali.

Untuk Professor yang sangat sibuk sekali, surat surat saudara yang masuk kadang tidak di tanggapi/tidak di balas. Kalaupun di balas, entah berapa bulan kemudian. Untuk itu, jikalau belum ada balasan dari Professor, jangan kuatir, saudara bisa mencoba menulis ke Professor yang lain. Masih banyak Professor Jepang yang lainnya.

Rajin - rajinlah membuka web web universitas Jepang.

Usahakan dalam mencari professor pembimbing adalah dari Universitas negeri.

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Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation

From Tara Kuther, Ph.D.

As a college professor, many students approach me for letters of recommendation. Writing these letters is one of the most challenging aspects of my job. How do you fit a comprehensive profile and assessment of a student into a 1-2 page letter? How do you ensure that students provide you with all the relevant information that will help you to write the best letter than you can? How do you protect yourself from liability in writing letters of recommendation? This article takes a closer look at tips to help you in writing letters of recommendation.

Inform Students
Students tend to be uninformed about their needs and responsibilities in seeking letters of recommendation. Guide students by providing them with a detailed list of what will assist you in writing a letter on their behalf.

Many professors create a handout or web page listing the desired information. Here are some suggestions:
Explain the purpose of the letter
Desired focus of the letter (e.g., discuss my research skills and experiences in your lab, or discuss my responsibilities as a teaching assistant in your class)
Useful skills (e.g., computer, statistical, or interpersonal skills)
Related experiences (extracurricular, work experience, clubs, volunteer work)
Courses taken with the faculty member, with grades and sample work (e.g., term paper)
Reasons for pursing graduate study
Think About It
Do not immediately agree to write a letter on behalf of a student. Instead, take a little bit of time to think about it and reflect on your experiences with the student.

Be Honest
If you don`t know a student well or cannot write a positive letter on his or her behalf, explain your reservations to inform the applicant. If he or she insists, you can either refuse, write a neutral letter, or include negative evaluations with supporting behavioral examples.

Get Permission
Obtain the student`s written permission (the signed recommendation form included in admissions packets for most graduate programs is suitable)

Be Specific
Use specific examples to support your statements. Specific examples will enhance the value of positive comments and will protect you from legal action. If you choose to include unfavorable information, you must include specific examples to illustrate your point.

Organize the Letter
An effective letter of recommendation is structured. Begin your letter by indicating for whom you are writing, what they are applying to, and an overview of the tone of the letter. Indicate to what extent and length of time you have known the student. Your next step should be to review grades and your records regarding the student.

Next, provide specific examples that illustrate the student`s intellectual ability, capacity for independent and original thought, knowledge of the field, or attitude and motivation. Close by reiterating your overall recommendation and its strength.

Beware of Ambiguity
Letters of recommendation tend to be overwhelmingly positive. Because most letters are inflated, readers examine them as if they were written in code. Recommendation letters thus become a projective test wherein any ambiguity is questioned. Any equivocal information might be interpreted in a negative light, even if you did not intend so.

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10 Ways to Make Scholarship Sponsors Love You

By Kay Peterson, Ph.D.

Before you submit your scholarship application, check out these tips, provided by scholarship sponsors nationwide.

Tip #1: Apply only if you are eligible. Read all the scholarship requirements and directions carefully to make sure you’re eligible before you send in your application.

Tip #2: Complete the application in full. If a question doesn`t apply, note that on the application. Don`t just leave a blank. Supply all additional supporting material, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation and essays.

Tip #3: Follow directions. Provide everything that`s required, but don`t supply things that aren`t requested—you could be disqualified.

Tip #4: Neatness counts. Always type your application, or if you must print, do so neatly and legibly. Make a couple of photocopies of all the forms before you fill them out. Use the copies as working drafts as you develop your application packet.

Tip #5: Write an essay that makes a strong impression. The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific. Include concrete details to make your experience come alive: the who, what, where, and when of your topic. The simplest experience can be monumental if you present honestly how you were affected.

Tip #6: Watch all deadlines. To help keep yourself on track, impose your own deadline that is at least two weeks prior to the official deadline. Use the buffer time to make sure everything is ready on time. Don`t rely on extensions—very few scholarship providers allow them at all.

Tip #7: Make sure your application gets where it needs to go. Put your name (and Social Security number, if applicable) on all pages of the application. Pieces of your application may get lost unless they are clearly identified.

Tip #8: Keep a back-up file in case anything goes wrong. Before sending the application, make a copy of the entire packet. If your application goes astray, you’ll be able to reproduce it quickly.

Tip #9: Give it a final `once-over.` Proofread the entire application carefully. Be on the lookout for misspelled words or grammatical errors. Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread it as well.

Tip #10: Ask for help if you need it. If you have problems with the application, don`t hesitate to call the funding organization.

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Scholarship Interview Tips

Before The Interview

Prepare in advance.

Ahead of time, consider the purpose of the interview. Review your UC application for admission as it may be brought up during your interview. Create mock questions you think might be asked. When formulating your answers, remember to emphasize your strengths.

Practice your interview skills with a friend.
Review your interview skills aloud with someone and brainstorm hypothetical situations the interview may encompass. Ask your friend to count the number of times you say "like" and "you know" to make sure you aren`t overusing such filler phrases.

Consider bringing letters of recommendation.
Letters of recommendation are optional. Submit them to your interviewer at the time of your interview. (Letters of recommendation sent to the office may not be considered.)

The Interview

Dress appropriately.

Dress comfortably for your interview, but not too casually. Rule of thumb: wear business casual and no more than two colors. If you are interviewing on the UC Berkeley campus, wear walking shoes.

Arrive on time.
Create a positive first impression by arriving on time.

Monitor your body language.
Good posture gives a confident impression. Keep your hands in your lap or on the table to seem calm rather than touching your hair and face.

Monitor your speech.
Answer in complete sentences when possible, avoiding interjections of "uhm", "like", and "you know". When asked a yes/no question, follow up with a brief, interesting detail that the interviewer might remember. If you don`t understand a question, it`s perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer to rephrase or repeat the question.

Make eye contact.
Make eye contact throughout the interview. Avoid looking at the floor or ceiling while listening and speaking.

Volunteer information.
When offering information during an interview, remember that it`s the interviewer`s job to decide what`s pertinent and what`s not. It`s your job to "flesh out" your application with details that will convince the interviewer of your strengths. Prepare answers to questions you think might highlight desirable qualities or accomplishments. Phrase what you say about yourself positively. If you are asked why you performed poorly in the sciences, emphasize your talent in creative writing, for example, instead of enumerating excuses.

Be prepared with a good close. At the end of the interview, you may be asked whether you have questions or something to add. You can ask a question, add information that you prepared before the interview, or follow up on a topic covered during the interview itself. Good closure shows that you have been engaged in the exchange. Thank the interviewer for giving you the opportunity to meet and make a timely exit, i.e. avoid running out, but also refrain from lingering.

What to avoid.

Don`t ...
chew gum
tell sob stories
look at your watch
appear bored

Source: UC Berkeley Financial Aid Office Website

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