DISCLAIMER: this post is based on my experience. i do not claim that everything that i wrote here is true and applicable to everyone, it’s still case to case basis 🙂
okay! so many have asked, how did I apply for my scholarship?
Erasmus Mundus Program is created by the European Union to invite international students, especially for program countries or developing countries like Philippines. It is a mobility program wherein the student shall live one year in the host country for the classes, and another European country for the research study (well in my case, we have 5 universities from Barcelona, Cadiz, Gdansk, Faro and Bergen). It is open for everyone even if you are not coming from developing countries so make sure your countries are included either as program or partner countries. And one of the good news about this schorlarship is that it has no bond or whatsoever like DOST! You can work anywhere you want if you are an OFW (like me, before.. and do not want to come back in PH yet! oooops) I mean, you are not tied to work in the Philippines after graduating from this program, but of course, everybody has their own preferences on where to go next and going back home is still not a bad idea. Every year, as far as I know, EU conducts seminars in Philippines engaging young professionals from academic institutions and industries to apply for their offered scholarships, check out this FB page too for more info for EMA-Philippines! Erasmus Mundus offers different courses and one of it is my current course, Masters in Quality in Analytical Laboratory (EMQAL). Since I’m a chemist and I’ve worked in QC/QA environment for the last 6 years, this course is really applicable for me and a good choice too.
So, what do you need to submit for requirements? WELL BASICALLY, IT DEPENDS ON THE COURSE OF YOUR CHOICE. Different master/bachelor degree programs, different requirements.
For me, I submitted the following:
- Proof of Academic Background -transcript of Records and Bachelor diploma
- Proficiency in English Literacy -i took an ACADEMIC IELTS exam for this (more of this below!)
- Two Essays -Motivation and Personal essays (where you need to sell yourself, hard!)
- Two Recommendations -from my thesis adviser and my previous lab manage
Okay so EMQAL and other master programs have different ways as well on how to submit the requirements. For example, in Erasmus Mundus Master in Analytical Chemistry (EACH), you need to send it via snail mail, while in EMQAL, I just needed to upload it on their website.
For more info about EMQAL, click this link. However, there will be no EMQAL for the next semester because of some reasons I am not aware of..yet! but there are still other masters program you might get interested so visit their site! You still have 10 months to prepare for everything because usually, they open application around October and closes around December, or latest around first week of January.
For this part, I will not talk about grades, bachelor degrees, essays and recommendations because these are very subjective on the course you want to pursue and I know these requirements are already basics. But, just one note about this…please, don’t be insecure by saying “I have a lot of failing grades and I might not get it..blah blah” because I got the scholarship, with 21 units failed in UPLB! LOL! of course i am not proud of it, but I am just telling you, if any of you are really reading this.. you can always try to apply cos WHY NOT!? especially if you backed it up with an honest essay convincing them how hardworking you are after college, how your current job helped you to develop your skills and how your career is related to the course you are going to take which is a good advantage! Believe me, hard work pays off and grades are just grades!! It doesn’t define you as a person overall and the most important thing is you learn from your past mistakes, alright!? smile! ok enough of this! 🙂
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) This will be my last point. I was fortunate to take my IELTS in British Council in Singapore. Anyway, I paid around S$300 for the exam and I can really say it was EASY – IF YOU KNOW HOW THE EXAM GOES. So the British Council gave us free materials, for READING, LISTENING AND WRITING, and also a free seminar! Since I can squeezed the seminar on my schedule before, I managed to attend it and boy!! IT WAS THE BEST CHOICE I MADE! The teacher was one of the moderators and reviewers of IELTS. He gave us tips on how to pass IELTS. Moreover, you must know what kind of IELTS do you need for application, for UK you will need the IELTS-UKVI, for applying permanent residence normally you only need the General Training IELTS and of course for studying internationally, Academic IELTS. More information about IELTS and where you can also find testing facilities in your country, click here – IELTS info!.
Okay, first off, you don’t need to bring anything but yourself on the day of your exam, just your passport and the receipt or proof that you will take the exam. Ballpen, pencil, and eraser were all provided in my case. Here are the four main parts of IELTS:
- Listening : first part of the exam, you cannot go out once it started. The key here is to jot down on the test exam while listening. Normally, you will listen to a conversation, you will need to write down numbers, addresses, names, etc. For more practice, use youtube. here are some videos I used for listening and some tips as well.
- Reading : if I am not mistaken it is the second part of the exam. From primary and secondary grades, we have been doing reading comprehension, and hopefully you still remember how to do it because it will help you a lot. Scanning, skimming, and checking the questions before reading the essay, it really depends on the person but, I must say you really need to practice, a lot.
- Writing : this is a little hard to explain as I forgot already since it was already more than a year when I took the exam. For the academic IELTS, there are going to be 2 questions. First questions are different from the General IELTS and Academic IELTS. For the academic, first part you will be given graphs and you need to describe the trend (the topic for example can be number of cars produced from a range of years) NEVER GIVE A REASON WHY THE GRAPH IS INCREASING OR FLUCTUATING, they don’t need it. And, the second part normally asks for your stand, like for example if they ask you what do you prefer black or white, do you agree or disagree – give a stand and even for questions that you really don’t need to give a stand and justify it, elaborate it. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling are important. One more thing, and I think it is really necessary to know, ALWAYS COUNT YOUR WORDS. If they say 500 words, write 500 words or more. NOT LESS. why? because they want 500 words and you must fulfill it, else you will get deductions.
- Speaking : Last part of the exam and it is always done on another date from your written exam. My tips here are simple, first, do not be conscious on your accent, speak and answer the questions confidently. Second, use more words and refrain from using always the following: “i like” i want” “yes” “no”. If you want to answer yes or no, elaborate it. If you were asked what is your favorite band, don’t just answer “Maroon 5”, answer like this: “I prefer listening to Maroon 5 because their songs are very trendy and upbeat” (woooo that was my answer before, haha). LASTLY, for the two minute nonstop speaking, NEVER EVER SAY “I AM DONE”. Let your inner talkative person speak nonstop until the moderator stops you. Gather as much ideas as you can on the one minute provided for you before you answer the Ms. Universe question. For more valuable tips, this lady helped me a lot, thank you youtube!
Oh and another thing about scholarships, this website helped me a lot: SCHOLARS4DEV
So, I hoped I helped you guys in some way! HOPEFULLY YOU TRY TO APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND DON’T BE DISCOURAGED LIKE WHAT HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE, Life is too short!! Ciao! 😀