2016 Erasmus+ outgoing scholars’ pre-departure event organized by European Union Embassy in the Philippines and EMAPH
Hello I am Michelle, I am a Filipino, a Iskolar ng Bayan (PUPian) and currently studying in Europe – Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree Program Scholar.
Exactly a year ago, I imagined myself taking my master’s degree abroad. In that moment, I still didn’t know my exact program and how I can get it. I just perceived it, looked for an opportunity and amazingly, I achieved it in 2016. Now I got a fully paid scholarship from European Union Erasmus+ Scholarship. It means my accommodation, transportation (flight from home country to Europe), allowance, tuition and overseas application requirements were fully covered by the scholarship. Erasmus+ is EU’s programme to support education, training youth and sports in Europe. There are more than 50 master’s programmes that you can choose from Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree Programme (EMJMDP) Catalogue . Like any other Erasmus (EMJMD) Program, my course Master in Digital Communication and Leadership (DCLead) gave me a chance to travel and study to two European countries: Austria and Denmark, and a chance to choose whether my internship/research will be in Europe/South America/ Australia/ Asia.
Together with my jeepney, I travel the world and started this blog JEEPNEYSTORIES. This dream seems impossible, but believe me, if I did it, then you can make it too! Therefore, I wanted to share my experiences and give you seven tips if you are planning to study abroad:
- Be Proactive
In Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the # 1 habit is to be proactive. Know your strength and capabilities and align your dreams and vision. Being proactive will lead you to infinite possibilities. As long as you know who you are and who you wanted to be in the future, then you will find the scholarship/ programme that will suite you. If your vision is not that clear for now, then some programme will lead you to think, “Is this really the path that I will take?” or “Can I imagine myself being in this path 5-20 years from now?”. Do you see yourself studying abroad and learning from a multicultural environment? Then be proactive! Look beyond and be ready for bright future ahead of you!
- Look for a Support Team
Having a good scholarship-hunter/partner/friend is a plus point! That person will help you boost your confidence. Your scholarship buddy will remind you a lot of application deadlines, will exchange useful ideas and information about different scholarship with you, and many more. In fact, I found out the Erasmus scholarship through word of mouth. You got someone in mind? Go have coffee with that person, discuss creativity, and plan your first coffee experience in Europe! Aside from that, your family, friends, professors and love ones can be your support team too. Be surrounded by people who bring out the best in you!
- Use internet and social media to look for opportunities
Like and Follow all the pages on Facebook/ Twitter about your prospect organization. This will make you aware and be posted with latest news, tips and pointers with the how-to’s, documents, and important schedules. Don’t be afraid to send an email and message them, they are responsive! Because of social media, I was able to connect with Erasmus Mundus Philippine (EMA PH) and was able to attend two events: European Higher Education Fair by EHEF Philippines and EMA Day 2015.
- Connect with people and find a Mentor
Look for people who’ve been through with those experiences. Talk and chat with them. Learn from the best and with their stories. I found myself so inspired when I speak with people who were earlier Erasmus Scholars. I am forever grateful with Erasmus Mundus Association Philippines Alumni.
- Learn from failures
In the same year I applied for two scholarships. I was not accepted in the first program I applied to. But don’t let failure define who you are and who you want to be. Apply and look for other opportunities and don’t give up!
- Don’t believe to people who say, “You can’t do it”
Nothing is impossible until it’s done. People may say you can’t do it/ you are not enough/ your dreams are too big. Keep the fire burning in your soul and never underestimate yourself. The true power is also from within. As long as you know yourself, you can do it!
- Be ready – more often you must do things alone
Application requirements are bulky and demanding, this is because it will be all worth it. More often while preparing for your application you will always ask yourself, “is this worth of my time?” and “will I be accepted and what if I will be rejected?” Always remember, it’s only you who can convince yourself to push through with your application and your key to success is always your pure hard work and perseverance. In my case, there’s a lot of requirements, motivation letters, reference letters, English proficiency examination, etc. This will need a lot of time management, especially if you are still studying or working at the same time. Be prepared for some sleepless nights or late night meeting with friends and co-workers. It’s okay, you will reap off something better afterwards.
Please be reminded that these are my experiences, requirements and grants may be different from other programs or scholarships. This may seem to be a lot of work, but all this hard work will pay off the moment you receive your acceptance letter saying, “We are pleased to inform you that you were accepted in the program, congratulations!” For me, it was the best day of my life!
Are you ready to receive this awesome letter? Then if you haven’t planned any action yet, then please read again my pointer #1.
Here are other scholarship grants that you can apply:
Related article: Inquirer: 35 Filipinos to pursue post-graduate studies in EU
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#JeepneyStories encourages you to share your story to the world. The goal of JeepneyStories is to provide every person across the continents of any background or belief, the opportunity to share and inspire others through a blog. You don’t need to be a professional writer/photographer/famous media person. You just need to be you, the real authentic you sharing your experiences/wisdom/lessons.