How I was able to study and travel in Europe for free!

predeparture-erasmus-philippines

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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:

OFID Scholarship Award
Fulbright Programme, USA
Chevening Scholarship

Related article: Inquirer: 35 Filipinos to pursue post-graduate studies in EU

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ABOUT JEEPNEYSTORIES

What if the first telephone call was not recorded and documented? What if Mahatma Gandhi hadn’t written books? What if Prince Ea (social media influencer) didn’t share his inspirational videos online?

TELL. FEATURE. SHARE

#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.


One thought on “How I was able to study and travel in Europe for free!

  1. This is awesome! your story is very inspiring. I am currently living in Austria with my husband. I have been through rough paths in my life too and that includes my roller coaster ride at different colleges and joggled different odd jobs here. I know what I am capable of and what I wanted to do. Hard work is also no problem for me as I am a diligent student and employee (sanay na sa hirap kung baga). I just quit my job last December 2016 not because the job was hard whatsoever but because I wanted to pursue something that would really stimulate and help me give out what I really can.Back when I was a teenager, I had been to an Architecture School for one year, then I dropped cause my mom had a heart attack and I had to take over her Katulong work and I had to take care of her as well. Back then, my two sisters and our father were very dependent to our Mom when it comes to financial assistant(she was more like a bank to our family back then)..Ok fine,I admit that I was also dependent to her at that time(not fully but still). Thankfully, all of us now are independent from her except our father. She doesn’t have to suffer so much anymore(she is now busy with her rocky relationship with our dad…long story). Anyway, I enrolled back in college and took IT course, dropped out and enrolled for computer science course and then dropped out again. It was again a long story but the only reason why I kept on doing that is because I was burned out because of the following situations: My mom had a big debt and our whole family financial situations went down, so I had to help her by working during the whole day, go to school from 6pm to 10pm, travel almost 1 hour home, i have to study double time because I had a language barrier problem. German was spoken at school and my problem was, I had a real hard time understanding the language. I know a lots of words though and I speak it really well as what other people around me is telling me. Believe me, I am a hard working student but this was my first time giving up just because I could barely understand anything at school because I was too tired too(I could barely have time to eat a decent food). I had very good grades with the rest of the subjects except from the German and any subject that includes Math and solving problems (We know that solving problems needs a good understanding in communication and language). I was studying until dawn and also tried to keep my body in shape and tried to do extra workout at home in our tiny room(I could not even do that regular workout now). I wake up again early in the morning to repeat the whole routine. I was really exhausted until a bigger problem came regarding my family and so I decided to drop everything, leave my mom’s house and applied for a Nanny Job from a diplomatic family of a single mom(I only visited my mom on weekends). I learned a lot from my former Employer. We understood each other and clash sometimes cause we both have the same strong and witty personality. She was a self-built woman who also came from a life of poverty before she became a good employee of the UN organisation. I was so inspired that I also wanted to be successful like her. She also went into really hard times, also worked different jobs and been to different countries where she herself had the hard time speaking them. But look at her now, a very successful independent self built single mom. I quit my nanny job after almost 2 years of working with them because I married my husband and had to go on a different path. My husband was born here in Austria but grew up in the Philippines from the age of 6 till their whole family decided to come back here at his age of 23. So I am surrounded with a community here that barely speak german. My part time jobs usually speak english too so I have little chance of improving the german language skills. I applied for a Kindergarten Job as an English Teacher Assistant(I was more like a katulong that speaks english there). The company hires unprofessional English speaking teachers to avoid paying higher salary. Which I think was a clever business idea on their part to cut down costs in their company of almost hundreds of Kindergarten Branches in Vienna. I just resigned last December. I had no major problems there. It was just that I knew that I am not meant to just sit there and watch the kids, feed them, etc. cause I know someday I will definitely also do the same thing to my future kid/s. I realized that I already been through a lot of experience not only with different jobs but also with life’s hardships in general. And I do not want to waste all those experiences for nothing. I believe that I am meant for something better. I decided to pursue the things that I love. You said on your article that I don’t have to be a professional or any kind of superior to share my story here. So here I am. A high school undergraduate from the Philippines. I like to improve my language and communication skill so I tried to write in almost pure English language (please excuse if you see some errors). My mom was lucky enough that her application to take me her was granted by the Austrian government when I just turned 16 (I am now 26 years old) and that is how I came to live here. We are just a simple and common OFW family like others. I would be willing to know more about the scholarships that you stated above. I hope I could find the right career path for me this time. I will do as you said. I will do my own research and use the links and infos that you posted. I am inspired by people like you, people who are able to touch my very soul. Thanks for sharing your inner being. God bless you.

    PS: I first watched your video that you posted in DIY Travel Group on Facebook, I followed the link and here I am sharing my thoughts with you:)

    Liked by 1 person

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