3 things I wish I knew before applying for scholarships

1. Get your life together first, scholarship later.

Studying abroad for free is an enticing dream. Some people think, “I don’t care what I’m going to learn, I just want to study abroad!” or “I don’t mind studying anything, as long as a scholarship is available for that program.”

Wrong. Get your life together first – find out what you are best at, set your goals, and find a course/uni that will bring you closer to your vision. Explain to the scholarship provider why you want to study that more than anything in the world. Show them proofs of your capabilities: I’ve already done this much! And if I get this scholarship, I will be able to achieve much more!

2. Don’t give up – it will get much easier after the first time

I applied for scholarships 5 times. People asked how I could manage to do that, especially while working full-time in a hectic startup environment. Preparing documents for scholarship applications is a pain in the ass, I agree. But after the first time, next ones will be a piece of cake. Most scholarships require same documents – even the essays / personal statements are similar.

3. Don’t limit yourself – let others limit you

What I meant was don’t be scared to apply for top universities like Oxford and Cambridge. I didn’t apply because I thought they were out of my league. Turned out that I got accepted quite easily in every uni I applied to – LSE, Cranfield (#2 MBA program in the UK after Cambridge, and Lancaster (also in Top 10 MBA). I should have applied to the best – and let them reject me if they think I’m not good enough.

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